Virender Singh, the Gold Medallist from IIT Bombay was not into running until sometime ago. He was living a normal middle class life of a successful professional. He had a nice bunglow in Pune and was leading a happy life with his family.
Unfortunately his luck turned against him after he shifted to Hyderabad. His wife from a remote town filed all kinds of false cases against him with her intention to help her family settle in Pune at Virender’s bunglow. To throw him out of his own bunglow she has filed false cases against him and also used their minor daughter who was six years of age to file false cases on him and his parents. As he was working in Hyderabad she succeeded in filing three different cases in Pune.
His turbulent personal life brought him close to Save India Family (SIF) organisation. His inner fighter that has motivated him to fight all legal cases has also transformed him to take up a mammoth task of being a marathon runner.
He started his running journey for SIF and child rights organization CRISP in Hyderabad marathon 2013 where he ran with a four member relay team participating on behalf of SIF and CRISP.
“I wanted an addiction which would keep me away from other kind of addictions and depressions so I took to long distance running. I was never into sports and was totally unfit, 37-year-old 100 Kg obese and rotund middle age guy but I resolved to myself that I will take part in long distance runs. So I started working on my fitness and started practicing from in June 2013 for Airtel Hyderabad marathon.” – He says.
The new addiction of marathon running has kept him away from other negative addictions like alcohol, smoking as normally happens with any heart-broken man. But a fighter like Virender has never allowed negative thoughts to come in his mind and in his life.
Virender with Superdad Manpreet in Bangalore, December 2013
He has taken part in many major marathon events around India in last one year, these are –
Airtel Hyderabad relay marathon Aug 2013
Pune Runners marathon 15K, Oct 2013
Pune International Marathon- Dec 13- Half Marathon 21.1 KM
Bangalore Midnight Marathon Dec 2013- Half Marathon- 21.1 KM
Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon- Jan 2014- Half Marathon- 21.1 KM
University of Hyderabad Marathon- March 2014- Half Marathon- 21.1 KM.
Currently he is practicing for his first full marathon 42.2 KM in August 2014.
@ finish line of Pune International marathon, December 2013
His practice schedule involves 5-15 Km running on weekdays – three times a week, strength training once a week and long distance run (20+ KM) on Saturdays or Sundays. He is so much dedicated for his running training that he never misses his running kit even when he travels outside Hyderabad for fighting his cases. He maintains his schedule in all seasons no matter what the weather conditions are.
He promotes Men’s Rights and Shared Parenting causes while running. He wears the T shirts of SIF or CRISP for the same. He has already motivated other Hyderbad people for running and also supports Superdad Manpreet in his Superkids campaign for Father’s rights. He ran in Spiderman attire (pic above) for the cause. His running takes him to various cities and in all cities he has received whole-hearted support of local MRM chapters.
@ Hyderabad marathon 2013
“For me running is a means to achieve Nirvana. It teaches me to stay calm, focused and direct all my energies towards achieving my goal. Running has helped me become a better human being. It has inculcated the values of discipline, determination and perseverance in me which I practice in my personal life and professional life. It teaches me to never ever give up in wake of extreme hardships and personal suffering.” – Virender says.
His timing in a half marathon is 2:31 hr and for 10 KM is 1:08 hr.
He recognises “that fighting legal terrorism is a battle similar to running a marathon. Initial period is full of lot of energy and enthusiasm, but we have to learn to persevere till end and carry the same energy till end. It will become frustrating and painful at one point. Your mind will ask you to give up (similar to settling the cases). It is at this time that you will need determination to push on and fight hard. In the end you will definitely cross the finish line (win you battles). The feeling of runners high is same as feeling of emerging victorious after legal terrorism. The feeling of quitting in between your legal battle midway when going gets tough is same as the feeling when a runner gets after 32 KM when his body has spent all the energy, is feeling extremely dehydrated, mind becomes numb and you cant even do simple calculations. During the battle of legal terrorism and also marathon at one stage your mind starts playing tricks with your body and you get the urge to give up. At this time all your marathon training (SIFF training) comes to your rescue”.
His message to fellow fighters is –
“Never ever give up. You don’t know what you are capable of. The miracle is not that one day you will be at finish line and win your battles. The miracle is that you have already demonstrated the courage to start the fight.
When I first ran in spider man costume in one of the event, people mocked me, but these things don’t demotivated me. Later when they became aware of the cause some of them expressed solidarity.
Remember what Mahatma Gandhi has said: first they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight with you and then we win. This is true even while fighting legal terrorism.”
Today Virender gives hope and provides the helpless with endless hope and courage to fight back. He lives by his own example. His life story shows how a fat and unfit guy can overcome all barriers and become a marathon runner by winning against all odds shows new rays of hope to all victims of legal terrorism. Thus he becomes a role model for many.