From bedrest courtesy an injured back to the marathon track: This is my story

Updated on: 14 April 2022, 19:34 pm IST

When an injured back waylaid Anjana Anand’s plans for an upcoming run, she tried alternative therapies for rehabilitation until she conquered the marathon track across distances.

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Giving up wasn’t an option for Anjana. Image courtesy: Anjana Anand.
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This story has been submitted by GurgaonMoms on behalf of Anjana Anand, who is the co-founder of FYCGlobal Career Guidance Company in NCR.

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“Forget your marathon this year,” I heard my husband’s voice as I struggled to move myself out of the bed.

I recollected the practice run we did the day before at Leisure Valley Park, Gurgaon, followed by breakfast at a nearby cafe. It was the last week of October 2017 and we were gearing up for the upcoming Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) on November 19. I was so thrilled that ADHM was on my birthday and eagerly looked forward to the run and the celebration thereafter. I had overheard that my husband was planning a surprise birthday brunch post ADHM with my girlfriends and our runner friends.

But I just couldn’t move. Defeated, I connected with my doctor and somehow managed to reach her clinic for a check-up.

“Your back is in a bad shape. Complete bed rest with physiotherapy is the only answer now. No physical activity permitted,” she said.

There went all my plans for the run.  It seemed unlikely that I would get back to running—ever. Instead, I would be corseted with a support belt for as far into the future as I could see.

Also, read: I started running 2 years ago and today I am my fittest and happiest self

Strong painkillers and physiotherapy sessions… that was life!
With a heavy heart, I surrendered to God’s plan and celebrated my birthday brunch with my waist belt on, trying my best to commemorate my friends’ ADHM experiences. I was hurting in their stories and in my body.

Several weeks passed, and my body, not used to any medication, seemed so inactive that my mind was getting duller by the day. Not one to give up easily, I resorted to homeopathy along with its tremendous food restrictions. Gradually, my movement smoothened and I saw a ray of hope.

The universe transpired to my desire and I had my old fitness and movement trainer back in my life.  When I expressed my urge to get back to marathons, he promised me, “We will make it happen, ma’am.”

Aman’s reassuring words enthused me after every session and fuelled my fire. He focussed on the gradual strengthening of my back and core muscles, and I started slow jogging.

Fast forward to November 29, 2018
With Aman by my side, I ran my first 10K without a belted back. I remember sharing my joy on Facebook, and rediscovered a post from exactly three years ago on November 29, 2015, when I had run my first ADHM. The powers of the Universe continue to amaze me at every juncture.

There was no looking back. On February 10th, 2019, I participated in the Amity marathon Gurgaon finishing a 10K. My 15-year-old daughter Shivi joined me for support and ran alongside me, finishing her first-ever 10K. We continued our running journey together with the Tuffman Gurgaon 10K in April 2019.

With the summer approaching, I had to halt. My mind refused. Shivi and I registered for the Tuffman Shimla U Mashobra 10K Run for June 8, 2019. To give her the experience of travelling by an inter-state bus, I booked us an overnight bus journey from Delhi to Shimla.

Also, read: Run intended! Here are 6 exercises to help you prep for a marathon

However, on the 30th of May 2019, I woke up with an excruciating back pain again to the same voice: “Forget your Mashobra trip, I cannot let you travel.”

So there I was, back at my physiotherapist’s clinic—when another angel appeared. My business partner, Yashi Shukla, took me to a Korean therapy centre. I went limping and came back with my spine elongated. My confidence boosted. I continued my training and intensive therapy, and finally got a green signal for the travel and run from my doctor.

At Mashobra, Shivi was a podium finisher winning the first position and I was the winner when I crossed the finish line.

On the 1st of December 2019, I finished the half marathon at the Apollo Millennium City Marathon, Gurugram. And this year in February, I was a 14K Finisher at the Trail-a-thon in Faridabad.

And then the pandemic happened…
To mark my 50th birthday in November 2020, I registered for the 50k Tuffman Shimla U Run scheduled for June 27, 2020. Aman was confident and we continued our training. Little did we know that the world would come to a standstill with covid-19 chasing everyone.

This run is now postponed to the 3rd of October, 2020 and my training goes on—the months of sweeping and mopping during the lockdown my bonus workout! I run with confidence week on week with a back that grows stronger everyday.

With a sound mind and body and most importantly, my family and friends as my biggest support, I’m taking life in my stride with every step.

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