Business Today

Why Running is the New Golf

Running together is a team-building exercise that promotes loyalty.
Sanjay Tripathy        Print Edition: October 25, 2015

Running and Living: Unleash Your Potential by Rahul Verghese

PAGES: 196

PRICE: Rs 309

Vision Books

In the last few months, I have read few physical books; fewer at a stretch. But this book is an exception: I started and finished it in one stretch. Not only because this book is about something I am truly passionate about - running - but also because the book talks about everything I, or any other passionate runner, experiences and believes in.

I have known of Rahul Verghese of course. He is a fellow marketing professional who has logged in over 25 years at places like Unilever, Nestle and Motorola. But this book gives the reader a completely different perspective of the person and his character.

A late entrant into running, Rahul started running to fulfil his dream of running a marathon. The first marathon must have been the toughest, as he himself writes. The dream ignited passion, made him persevere till he completed his marathon and pushed him extra hard over the toughest-the last two miles. The book talks about mental barriers every non-runner, non-exerciser has - internal and external.

For any non-runner to become a runner, there are hundreds of websites that will give you instructions. This book is sort of a one-stop shop for you if you want to start running. It gives schedules for beginners as well as experienced runners, the basic tricks of running including small stuff like carrying water, buying the right gear, sleeping on time, eating right etc. As Rahul writes about the injuries he overcame, we realise again how running is more about mind than body. It's his mind that has driven him to complete 51 marathons, including one of the toughest in the world - the Everest Marathon.

The parallels are not between running and life alone. In an organisation, when the leaders start running and motivate others to run, they build a more successful business. As he writes, running together is a team building exercise like no other. It builds synergy, helps people build bonds and promotes loyalty. New relationships are made and old ones are made stronger. As he says, running is the next golf.

This book motivates a non-runner to get up and start running. It is about how you can continuously challenge yourself and achieve your dreams, without creating unnecessary stress in your life. It says what I have come to believe in the last few years - running changes you totally as a person. It helps you become more humble, empathetic, goal-driven and happier. And if you take the right lessons from running, you become a better human being, a better team leader, a more successful business leader and helps you build a better organisation.

The reviewer is Senior Executive VP, Head Marketing, Product Analytics, Digital & E-commerce, HDFC Life and a keen long-distance runner

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