(If you’d like to read the prequel to this chapter, you will find it here.)
THE OTHER DRUG
Somewhere in the middle of being a wildebeest, speeding into my wildest dreams, I found something beautiful: Love. Friendship. Togetherness.
And to lay that mystery to rest, I found them all in Homiyar Mistry, an accomplished athlete and the man I decided to spend the rest of my life with.
Like Rumi said, my heart knew the way and I ran in that direction. He is strong and supportive and solid and has always wanted me to be the best I can be. So, it was easy to be in love, wherever I was, whatever I was doing. And while our love made me stronger, marriage to a man who probably believed in me more than I even believed in myself made me indestructible.
Hence, soon after the Asian Games, where I was part of the relay team with my idol, P.T. Usha, I got married.
(1990 – Asian Games, Beijing (Silver – 4X100m Relay)
1994 – Asian Games, Hiroshima (5th in 100m, 5th in 4X100m Relay)
1995 – Wedding)
A year after I got married, I gave birth to our daughter, Karen.
I was advised to quit my career by any and all. Going completely against their advice, I got back into training exactly 40 days after Karen was born. I totally wanted to come back.
In May 1997, I competed at the National Games in Bangalore in my first ever race against P.T. Usha. And I beat her. I say that with emphasis because although I had won Gold, it was more significant that I had beat P.T. Usha. I knew then that breaking her record wasn’t too far in sight…
At the national camp in Patiala, where I was living with a 2-year old Karen and Homiyar, preparing for the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, I was trained by a Russian Coach, Yuri. That led me to winning a Bronze in the 100m event. I was then bestowed with the Arjuna Award. That was the first year that two people were awarded in the same discipline. So, I wasn’t done yet…
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