Growing up in a fast-moving city like Mumbai always kept me on my toes. I have been an athlete in school and college but post my graduation, the only sprints I did were to catch the local train to the office. Though I participated in 10km runs (mini-marathons), sprinting is a different ball game altogether.

The strenuous curriculum of ISB too wasn’t less of a race for us all. Everyone tried recreational activities that could keep them mentally and physically fit, and so I joined the ‘Soles of Motown’ group, headed by our very own ‘Bagga’. He was the first person who made me realise that I can sprint well even now and should continue running for my fitness. Thankfully, ISL included athletics as an event for the first time and gave me a chance to register myself as an athlete. 

It has been an honour to be playing for ‘Punjab Hukums’. When it came to preparing for the event, we realised that sprinting as an adult is more difficult as we earlier thought it would be. Persuading your (heavier) body to move as fast as possible takes a lot of power, skills and energy. But it’s also fun, so much fun! Discipline in diet, practice and proper physio stretches kept me away from injury. Our athletics team made sure that no matter how much we don’t fancy doing a practice session at the end of the day, in the middle of assignments and in freezing cold, we never missed any session. We also realised that in just 15 days before the event we couldn’t transform a cart horse into a racehorse, but we could make it go faster. It was unfortunate that one of our strongest team members got injured just a day before the event. Determined not to lose the team morale and not to let the efforts put in practice session go in vain, our team gave their best on the D-day.

Running the final race will always be one of the best moments of ISB for me. I pushed myself as much as I could and realised that day that if you have worked hard for something, then your mind is the only thing that stops you from achieving it. The moment you clear the thought of losing and become fearless, nothing can stop you!

The field saw the best sportsman’s spirit of athletes who irrespective of their teams stood by each other as a cohort for providing medical aid to the injured ones. This spirit defined ISL in the truest sense, and I am so fortunate to be part of this event!

– Vibha Saxena, PGP Class of 2019