Sunday, June 17, 2012

Are you out of your head?

As my post title reads .This was my first reaction after few minutes after me signing up for the info session for  the Marathon.I thought to myself Sridu  are you ok? Do you realize what you just did.
When  I told my family and very close friends around me that I had just been to an information session of a marathon and that I have committed myself for a marathon.They also had sort of showed the same mixed  reactions. They did not  understand my behavior they were not discouraging me but were worried and concerned about me.Out of all the reactions the 3 best were one  of my close friend. She was like are you sure sridu? Be careful dear and had this mixed feeling  in her tone.My mom over the phone literally screamed out loud What!!!! chanting to God saying what is wrong with her.Why did she get this crazy idea. My dad was like is everything ok dear? Do you think you can do it are you allowed to do it.

Anyways these were the obvious reactions. Because they were worried about me.After undergoing a surgery and getting treatment for gastric and peptic ulcers why would some one like me sign up for a marathon.who was in such a bad physical shape .But apart from those physical challenges I was  going through a lot of trauma mentally in the form of a divorce. Getting over a divorce was not easy for me.With parents being away and me living by myself in cleveland  every day was becoming a challenge for me.It was this constant gush of emotions inside me I had to overcome.I had all these bottled up emotions in me which I did not know what to do. I had to do something with all my emotions and channelize them the right way to grow up as an individual so while i was trying to do this I  read the email about the marathon and decided to sign up.

I did not even think for a split second about it. I just signed up with a sense that YES this is something  I should be doing.Because the stress of the divorce had taken its toll on  me  both physically and mentally and  I was like yes this is the best thing I can be doing running for a good cause.

And what else do I need its for such a good cause its for education for children back home in India.
The place I belong to. Where I have seen several children around me struggle for getting basic education.Yes it was a struggle a fight with the society for them to get to school .Everyone was not lucky enough to go to school.
My mother retired as a teacher in 2011 from a Zilla parishad school( these school's are run by the state government in every Zilla ( district) and are run free of cost and  the under priveliged children go there to study. My mom would travel every day 70 kms by bus to a district  to teach these kids whose main motto in life was to get basic education all they aimed was at passing 10th grade inorder to work .Some of them had dreams to go to college  but since it was expensive they would hardly voice out their dreams .Some of them would be forced to drop out just because their parents thought that the time spent in school could be better spent in earning money so that the family could eat a meal from the money.My mom did this for 32 yrs overcoming very many hurdles and trying to convince the parents many a times that children needed to study and not work at that stage in life.Growing up  hearing her everyday experiences I know how several children even now in this technology and modern world suffer to get a simple education.

When I  explained both my parents that I am running for getting donations for educating underprivileged  children back home in India .They both said they were extremely happy to hear it and were like OK!! we will try to  travel to USA to come see you run and encourage you on the day of the Marathon and my  dad was like  eat well dear and hung up the phone.

So I guess running and challenging my self both phsycially and mentally for such a good cause will make me feel .Ok Sridevi this is the best I can contribute as of now.
I look forward to the very long journey ahead of me.
Sreedevi Goparaju

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