Our son Varun, now 20 years, was diagnosed with AUTISM at the age of 3. He was also very restless as a kid, so the diagnosis juggled between ADHD and AUTISM. There were therapies that started, right from occupational therapy to speech, and further swimming and dancing. We did everything to calm him down.

The therapies were steadily reducing, as Varun started coping with life at school and in society. Things took a dramatic turn as puberty hit. There was restlessness and anxiety to cope up with. We then shifted to swimming as a medium to vent his energy out, but were not consistent for varied reasons. We weren’t really sure as to what to expect from Varun.

As running marathons was more talked about as a good regime to follow, the idea of running as an alternative therapy hit our minds and so we looked for a good trainer. We were introduced to Mr. Kaushik Panchal (Runners Academy).

By the age of 17, Varun had an amazing transformation. It has been 2 years now since he has been running. It started off with Tarblazer which he ran the half marathon for then The Vasai Virar Run, The Standard chartered, The Satara Hill run and The Bhopal Run, as well.

As he ran these marathons we saw our son grow not just physically, but most importantly he grew mentally and emotionally. It changed his attitude. He learned to believe in himself. Every time he completed a marathon it changed his attitude towards himself. His faith in himself was exhibited on his face as confidence. It started with a positive attitude, and now he tell himself that he can do everything he desires.

Meditation is scientifically proven to aid concentration, improve memory. Those who meditate are able to focus on a task and are less prone to mood swings. Running is a lot like meditating. Like meditation, running demands that you train, and commit to one task for an extended period of time. Even at times when the body gives up, the mind is focused enough to finish the race. Running or any other physical activity of your choice builds the inner discipline and cultivates the focus you need to work.

Being a runner made Varun competitive. At the end of every run, on the finishing line he throws up his hands in victory and proclaims loud and clear “I won the race”.