My Pace, My Progression, My Passion : By Jahnavi Matravadia

| Wednesday, March 11, 2015 | |
One of the Fortune Tellers told me more than a decade ago that I will be a writer one day. Not sure if it was told because my Mom is the one already and it might be in my genes, but of course, it sounded quite nice. Real fact is, I always struggled writing Essays in my school days. My Short Notes in any Exams were always quite short! However, one has to start somewhere and here is my humble try.

I have a few short stories to describe my 6 months Journey with PaceMakers. They do not cover all my experiences but main ones. Thought I will keep few things for my next blog!

There are many good hearted people I met and cherish their company; I would rather not mention all of their names but only few of my experiences.

Story 1: Confession

Sir I want to confess something here.. Why did I join PaceMakers? Making PBs in running? Well, didn’t even know what PB Meant then. Being Healthy.. yeah but that was not very first priority.. then? It was for Love of my Life.. My music..

I am a trained Hindustani Classical singer since my childhood. But last 10 yrs, since my Guru shifted his house from Bannerghatta Road to Banashankari, it wasn’t possible for me to continue training with him. Little more laziness creeped in and I stopped my music training altogether. Off late, I realized I couldn’t sing higher notes and was struggling with fake voice on those points.

When I was considering joining you for my health, I also thought it would be good side effect to my Music. More you are fit; your lungs are powerful to hold your breath as well as long notes for the songs. That’s when I thought training under you should help me for my overall fitness.

And guess what. Last 6 months of rigorous training has definitely made lots of changes. I am confident of my singing & back on stage!!! But but.. by that time I am so used to your training schedule that I am not leaving this group now

Story 2: Coach Pani Sir

I still remember before I joined PaceMakers, when I first called up Pani Sir to meet him personally, he said you come to Kanteerava Stadium at 7am and see how we train. Unfortunately I couldn’t trace the group since there was a huge rush in the stadium that day, but could meet him after the workout. Remember asking weird questions like, sir, 2 1⁄2 hours straight? I don’t think I can do so much.. What if I cannot continue? Sir, is this for Every Tuesday & Thursday? Very calm and with his signature smile he answered all that was necessary and said: ‘If you can come early by 5am to Stadium, You come ma for few weeks and see how it goes. Don’t worry about anything else.’ With all my questions still intact I started and could survive very first day.. But after that I never had a single question!!

Every time I struggle with any of the workouts, I need not hear Pani Sir saying something, I would only imagine him saying: ‘Try Ma, Do whatever you can do’. Except at one occasion, I told him I am unable to do ladder workout and he simply said, you are not even trying!! I was like, Really?

I have learnt that it is a mistake to think Pani Sir can’t see everyone what they are doing. Well, he just doesn’t speak so frequently but when he DOES, you know what it is!!

Story 3: PaceMakers

I was never a sports person in my childhood. Always take part in Cultural Activities but Sports? No ways.. If it is compulsory to take part in Running race, I would go and definitely come first… Yeah, from last ;-) Went to Gym just for a year and always reduced the target on my own.. If inclined 5 is suggested, would ‘aram’ se go on 2, if 3 days a week is suggested, would skip 1 for sure!! Then How come I am here? Because I see that there is all kind of runners around.

We have someone like Najudappa who can finish his FM just like a wind; and we also have someone like me who has a very high ambitions BUT execution is always a big struggle. All are welcome here and more over it’s a fun group. There are very sporty people and welcoming to anyone who joins.

How else I can still make a resolution of running half Marathon this year when I am still struggling for a continuous 2 kms running at a stretch?!! And People always say, it’s achievable, very good, we will do it together et al.

Err... Did I mention that I love this group because this is a foodie group too? ;-)

Story 4: My Pacers

Ajmera Thump!, December 2014. One day before the event, Rinka, Bala and Asima plan a whole day training walk for Oxfam Trail walker. By end of the day, all of them were dead tired. I really thought I will have to go on my own for Ajmera Event.

On the event day, to start with, I, Bala & Anjana ran together till half way. Anjana was definitely faster so she moved ahead. Bala is also much faster than myself & Anjana but Bala still sticks to his plans pacing me till the end and giving my PB for 10kms. He continued the same even in Pinkathon Promo run later as well. Wow, I really admire you Bala for this!

Come Pinkathon 2015. For 10kms, Men are not allowed to Pace for 10K, Giri’s strict instructions!! But then out of nowhere, Mili Sharma comes and tells me, I will pace you. I am like.. What?? Either I will be dead or you will be bored for entire 10kms. Talking to her couple of times, I made her realize that she is excellent runner already and I have a long way to go to cope with her pace even if she is trying barefoot.

Well, come the run day, it was so heavy rush, I couldn’t meet anyone and most of the time, there were PaceMakers Men who helped with Photography, Pacing and Water Points cheering my name each time they see me. Being on my own helped continue with my pace and pushing myself every time I hear my name. Mere knowing that there are well wishers watching you and helping you run faster is bliss, isn’t it? And there I reach 9 kms mark and see Mili coming back after finishing her run, looking for me.

As you understand why, more than me, she was happy and asked me to hand over everything that was there in my hands. She held my hand and literally dragged me towards finish line. This last 1 km I can never forget. I remember someone saying ‘Die on Road’. I was experiencing one then!! I also tried telling this to Dipankar when we met him on the way but was he listening?

Mili started talking to me which I found rubbish then (!!) and laughing at it now, though I never told her about it so far. i.e. “See how straight road is this..” Or “See how nice sunny day it is” (oh yeah..!!) I knew of only one thing; this iron lady will not leave my hand and will not change her pace. To my surprise, in a couple of minutes I was kind of tuned to her pace, really!! Until we reached finish line, she didn’t leave me and voila!!! This was another PB, shaving off 7 minutes to my earlier 10kms run!! And above all, I was still alive!!

While talking about events, I can’t forget Practice Runs which are so very important too. Bala, Rinka, Suman, Deo, Anjana, Jyothi & Gayathri are good friends to run with. ‘Masti’ is the word for this group and while running with them the conversation can go anyway! We always need to be prepared!! That always gives me something to look forward to while running with them...

Story 5: My Pace Group

Every Sunday Pani Sir sends the coming week’s workout where he groups same Pace People into one and gives similar targets for each workout. That’s where I met my Pace Group. Of course lot of changes from thereon, some went to high pace groups, some new faces came in etc. But the earlier group remained intact. We also made a Whatsapp group and do share all our running dreams here. This group is always ready and up for everything. If I come up with an idea of doing 10K for 10 consecutive weekends, all are ready!! Someone gives the idea that let’s all go together to Satara Hill Marathon and do our first Hill Half Marathon, all are ready again!

We also named this group which I can’t publish here. That’s because the name was kept on some Story, we all could relate with, but then Group name keeps on changing every time we find a related word or other. Hoping in few months, it will stabilize!!

May be this should be one of the topics for my next Blog!!

Story 6: Official Photographers

Asima – PaceMakers’ ‘Bahar’: whenever she comes for work outs, it’s all lively. She is always there with something in her hands. Either that’s some homemade stuff or Famous eatables from some place or flowers for someone or other. How can I miss Cake for Birthday Boy/Girl. But then, main thing about her is, she is always present when there is a need to click photographs. Not only for group photographs, but even for any Breakfast event/ Birthday celebrations; Asima is there somewhere standing on one of the tables and capturing the event!

Selfie Sridhar can’t be kept behind! You are very sure that his captures are all creative and out of the world. How do you get such ideas Sridhar?

Suman did a splendid job of capturing PaceMakers Party. And these clicks are in hundreds.. Man, what an awesome energy!!

I sometimes wonder why they are not Professional Photographers!!

At Last....

I have a real long way to go when it comes to my running timings, but I have got a wonderful, funny, witty PaceMakers family, and each member is so wonderful at heart. I only hope that I continue with this team for longer and longer. It’s not possible for me to cover all of you dear PaceMakers, excuse me for the same. You know I love you all, right?

I never thought joining PaceMakers could have one more side effect. Writer in me was waiting to come out, and here she is..!!


  1. Got goosebumps reading this blog. Its like i have had those same experiences.

    Satara here we come!

  2. Wow Jahnavi

    What a blog and you call this your first...naaaaaaaa. Good to know about your classical singing inclination. Now I go to know how and why you liked my post in FB the Marathi Song Vedat Marathe a song on Chattrapati Shivaji. You have captured most of the feelings that a new comer goes through. One thing for sure the way you have broken your blog is super. Super duper likes Jahnavi. All the best for Satara

  3. Awesome Jahnavi! I cannot believe this is your first blog.what a way to start.thank you for kind and wonderful words for me.i am truly touched and honoured.

  4. Thanks Anjana. Its the exp for us! :-)

  5. Thanks Sudhir. Its indeed first blog, really. Appreciate your kind words.

  6. Thanks so much Asima for your appreciation. You are like that dear, loved by everyone! :-)

  7. A well written blog right from your heart. Commendable effort and you have taken the first step to be a writer. Keep going at it and we are sure you will realize your dreams . Sharada joins me in wishing all the best in your new passion.

  8. Very nicely written Jahnavi. Loved reading it.

    I've never thought, not even in my wildest thoughts, that I would ever become a part of someone's life story (blog). Thanks for the honour Jahnavi. After reading your blog, I am feeling so guilty for not coming for you IMMEDIATELY after finishing my run that day. Hope you forgive me for the same.

    And yes, that fortune teller was right - you can become a writer ;)

  9. Hi Jahnavi....Awesome blog ..very well written. Though I have heard you speaking about many of these any point of the blog, did not feel it boring while reading!!!!
    Best part..I liked the title you have given to it and it suits it very well :)
    So glad to see you enjoying the workout, running days with the group...your stories motivates others like us to join in too !!!

  10. Thank you so much Brig & Sharada 'ben', this really means a lot to me!!

  11. Hey Mili, I'm afraid now I will really Die on Road!! Don't scare me pls.. :-)
    Glad you liked the blog, I am honored..

  12. Thanks Deepti. Glad you noticed the title, it was decided in just 30 mins!!
    Btw, Pacemakers is open for you, please join in whenever you can!! :-)


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