The first thing you would notice about Ravi s/o Muthalagu is that he wears these huarache sandals made out of tyres, to run. But it isn’t the sandals that draw people to him – it’s Ravi’s sense of compassion and selflessness.
At each ROCKrunners session with AXA Game Changer, Ravi will make sure no man is left behind. He runs with some of the slower runners to encourage them, and even goes for extra sets (on interval days) to accompany them.
The 44-year-old auxiliary police officer and father of two is the only one in the family who runs. “I have a 16-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, but neither enjoy running,” he says.
“Running is an art; it combines our breath, mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion. It’s a form of meditation which instills peace within me. I run to feel free and I run to feel strong.”
Running was something Ravi did competitively at a younger age, when he was on the school athletics team for events such as the 100m, 200m, 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400m relay. This was also a time in his life when things got rough – his mother struggled as a single parent to raise him and his brother, after his father passed on.
“My mum had to battle all odds to overcome many challenges; challenges that pushed us to the edge and left us with no options at times. However, these hardships made us stronger and taught us valuable life lessons, such as being humble and grateful for what you have,” he adds.
When Ravi started working, running got sidelined and he only picked it up 16 years later – straight into a half-marathon.
“My boss asked me to take part in the Army Half Marathon in 2010 and I agreed, not knowing what it was and without any training. That wasn’t the easiest or wisest decision but it pushed me to discover more about myself.
Now I run three times a week – twice a week I run from my workplace back home and during the weekend, I’ll do a trail run. I work a five-day week and some weekends when needed, so the rest of the time I spend with my kids.”
Ravi likes to keep running simple, down to the footwear, for a minimalist and natural running form. “It gives me a unique experience and more freedom when running. I got bored with running shoes as they wear off very fast and it’s costly to keep replacing them every few months. That’s when I started searching for minimalist running footwear. It took me a while to get used to them but now my feet are so happy!”
Ravi certainly brings this enthusiasm to the ROCKrunners sessions, where he is a regular ‘thanks to the atmosphere and positive energy’. And he reckons you should come and experience it for yourself.
In partnership with Rock The Naked Truth, AXA is organizing a series of weekly running sessions on Tuesdays and exclusive monthly workouts such as HIIT, PoundFit, and Bhangra-X, to name a few! Head over to https://www.axa.com.sg/axagamechanger for more information.