A group of runners around Gangtok and other states started a group for runners and named it Project Life with an objective to make aware mass about the importance of fitness in life.The group operates with an objective to make change physically, mentally and emotionally. It is an overall development of oneself towards a holistic approach.
Speaking with Sikkim Chronicle, Founder Project Life, Dr Sudharsan Tamang stated that lockdown was one of the most important factor in creation of project life, he said, “Sikkim observed one of the strictest lockdown measures in the country during the first wave of COVID-19. We were not allowed to even venture out for morning walks. I had gained weight due to the lack of physical activity. I was in bad shape, but I equally felt that the lockdown had affected some of my friends who were already overweight and were on medication worse than it did to me.”
“I wanted not just myself to run, but also them. As soon as the lock-down was relaxed a bit, I asked 2-3 close friends to a walk. Slowly they were able to run 5 km and then 10 km. Before long they were comfortably running 21 km and had lost more than 10-15 kg. I thought it was a kind of result that can change other lives too. That’s how the idea of forming a group crossed my mind.” He added
Furthermore, Tamang on the reason behind name of the group said, “Initially I thought I would name it 42GR. 42 km is the certified marathon distance, while GR is the acronym of grit runners. Furthermore, 42GR rhymes with 11 GR or 3rd GR. But I wanted to make it more inclusive, much wider, and Project Life was formed. We started to run since early July, but the foundation day of Project Life can be observed to mark an event when two of the first members Dr Anand Pariyar and Binod Chettri ran their first 21 km on August 15, 2020. I was elated to see someone who had never run in life run 21 km and lose 15 kg and see happy.”
“Now we have more than 100 members in the group and as far as members based in Gangtok are concerned, we wake up everyone in the morning meet at Reshithang Khel ground run continuously for 2 hrs followed by stretching and other exercises. The reason why we prefer a localized ground over the road running is because some of our members are slower than others, and we don’t want to make them feel left out or outran.”
“We have members in Kolkata, Delhi, Darjeeling, and elsewhere they post their morning activity in the closed members-only WhatsApp group. The results so far have been amazing. Many members have lost more than 10 kg in a matter of a month, other health benefits apart. Lives have been definitely changed. Doctors, Academicians, Students, Singers and people who were not so much into sports or running.” He added
“Just like bad habits, good habits are also contagious. Friends around you will be a constant motivating factor for you to continue the healthy lifestyle even when you feel like having a break. It’s not easy to be disciplined in life. Peer pressure and friends circle can be a great driving force.” He concluded
Bharti Gurung a runner from Gangtok who has participated in marathons across the nation and also one of the members of Project Life said, “Running can be termed as one of the cheapest sports or exercise. Running can be performed alone and doesn’t require anything except for one’s two strong legs.”
“Running is not just convenient but is also the King of all sports be it football, volleyball or any other sports. To gain stamina, one needs to run. Running is not just about completing a race, but it’s a holistic approach towards life. We begin teaching our new members a small walk, jog and how to adapt it as a routine to later making it a ritual. Doing this, one doesn’t need to think one has to follow a routine, but it becomes a part of his/her life.”
The group is in its growing state and is currently a non-registered group with more than 100 active members.
By Taiong Bhutia