Complete silence other than a faint rustle of leaves. The air crisp and cool. Stretch. Deep breaths. Stretch again. Old legs.
Enter today's distance into the mobile app. Let's add another 500 m today and bump it up to 5.5 kms. Praise music on.
3, 2, 1.,, and I am off.
Slow jog through the leafy avenues of Asha Kiran, tall sliver oaks standing like silent sentries. A short-cut out back and I am on the quiet road towards Kantigoda village. Eucalyptus groves shrouded with mist. The sky is getting rosy now.
Pass the Asha Kiran Academy, more eucalyptus groves, and then off on a path across the fields.
"2 kms" I am panting, but able to push forward. The beauty of the morning is unfolding in 360 degree splendour. "Open the eyes of my heart Lord... I want to see you"
Having crossed the fields it's time to enter another stand of eucalpts.
Down-hill, thank goodness.
And then out to the primordial beauty of the Kolab Reservoir just before dawn.
It's the first time I have made it out this far before I turn around. Today I slowly jog down to the mushy edge. The mist skimming the watery surface. The odd loon ducks below the water and disappears.
Time to turn back. I decided to walk a 50 meters up a slightly steepish slope. Old bones. But then on-on again. Music propelling me forward, beauty sucked in hungrily.
The sun has risen behind my back. As I turn back onto the road I take a look at its yellow orb.
Panting. Sweat now drenches my neon green shirt. I am wearing Enoch's goal-keeping jersey that he left when he went back into boarding earlier this month.
Will I make my goal? I stop for another quick pic of the misty road ahead of me.
Push on. You can do it. Brief stop to say hello to one of our Asha Kiran community staff who is on his morning walk through shrouded-dawn beauty.
A final 800 meters takes me back into Asha Kiran campus. After a short cool-down walk around our 'chukkar', some stretches again. And up the steps for my morning shower.
So what gives?
Well, for one there is more of me than there once was. I spent about a decade before marriage just under 70 kgs. The last 2 decades have been generous in many ways. And last week was the first time when a fasting blood test notched up an unwelcome value.
But the real spur for these last 8 odd days of jogging (running is not really the word yet), is the upcoming Asha Kiran 10 K run!
On Saturday the 28th of March 2020 we are hosting the inaugural Asha Kiran 10 K Run!
I very, very much would like to hit 10 kms well before next month and be able to actually run.
But whether these old bones run or not, I am super excited about the run itself.
The Asha Kiran 10 K Run is a fun run. But it is a run with a cause. We want to celebrate the beauty of creation around us. We want to have people run for the joy of exercise. And we want to see prayer, interest and funds raised to help the Asha Kiran Society.
We are hoping to see 100 runners line up at 7 AM on the 28th of March. We hope that a number of these will be sponsored by friends and family.
That's just over 5 weeks away from today!
Do you want to join us? Please spread the word. Here is a small video to get your blood pumping...
And here is our current Facebook Event Page for the Asha Kiran 10 K Run.
Will you pray? Will you come? Will you spread the news to folks who you think would like to run in the coolness of the Odisha Highlands (we are at 1000 m over sea-level)?
Please write to us at contact@AshaKiranSociety.org for more details. We have put together a 5 page write up which gives the ins and out of the Asha Kiran 10 K Run and ways that you can be involved.
So in the meantime, the trails beckon...
all photos taken this morning (18th Feb 2020)