Running is second nature, and so is storytelling

“That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.”
― Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

When I finished reading the book, a lot of thoughts left a strong impression. But what stayed was how we are a naturally gifted race. Running at the outset might seem like a chore to those who don’t enjoy or find it tough to endure. But when running becomes a natural habit, then there is no struggle to wake up and run at any time of the day or night. Hold on to this thought!

I believe the human race is gifted to be natural storytellers. We live for stories in different forms – grandma’s tales, sharing experiences, water-break gossips, building brands – just about everything revolves around how well one is captivated by a story.

And that’s why I felt a lot of learnings from daily runs could be easily applied to our communication campaigns. Commonplace? Unthinkable? Don’t know, but it’s my way of connecting the dots of things I’m passionate about. So, here’s a short checklist, try and let me know.

You need a coach: There is more than enough information available at your fingertips to pick on a new habit. Enough to self-train, no doubt about it. But guidance is what takes us beyond and stretches the so-called limits we set for ourselves. My tryst with running began long back and existed, even though not that consistent. But what changed for me was joining a running group and following the coach to the tee. This made me realise so many things I overlooked and pushed me on a journey to better myself, as a runner. The same applies, when we plan to build a better career, because that’s when we start hunting for mentors (if we haven’t got one already). Just like that, all our campaigns always need fresh eyes, so don’t forget to keep going back to your coach – personal or professional – for learning and improving in everything you pursue.

Learn the technique: Yes, even kids know how to run. If running and storytelling is so natural to us, then its pretty evident that everyone is anyways doing it. So, what will set us apart? Our technique. This begins with the fundamentals we pick in our initial career span and how we learn the art of building better campaigns through ever-evolving tools and situations. Keep speaking to communicators who are planning and executing campaigns beyond your expertise. This is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, learn from others and never stop upskilling!

Speed is relative: This is exactly what I heard from one of the runners in the group. Because, she said the emphasis should be on managing your heart rate better and not the timing. The clarity that recovery runs are meant to be slow and longer runs are also meant to be slow, is an insight you learn from people who are passionate about running and not just the weighing scale. Similarly, growing in your career should be relative. It should be dependent on what is it that you wish to curate for the brands you work for and not really what competition is doing. These are basics that we learn – focus on your brand’s story and say that well – everything else will fall in place. Don’t lose sight of your campaign and keep the story water-tight.

Find your rhythm:  Once you are comfortable running, then pace or time or the weather – nothing matters. It simply boils down to you enjoying running for as long as you wish to. Just like that, find what enthuses you and create that. Keep learning and applying new methods and approaches to your communication campaign. Keep looking out for everything that’s new and beyond just an upcoming trend. Get into the depths of anything that will make you a better communicator. Don’t shy away from disrupting and innovating!


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Associate Director, Marketing, SugarBox

Bringing up a 7 year-old boy and building a career in Communications have possibly been the key driving forces in my life! Obviously, apart from the 6am runs and eternal love for black coffee. The reality of 2020 hit this industry with the worst storm, but gave me a silver lining through awards & recognition in the 40Under40 category for PR and Corporate communication professionals (three of them in one year!). My goal is to keep - Communications - as the big picture, whilst being the wanderlust traveller who is reading all the time!

1 Comment on "Running is second nature, and so is storytelling"

  1. SATISH MARUTIRAO SHINDE | March 2, 2021 at 8:05 PM | Reply

    Nice one! It’s true that while running your pace and time is immaterial, but rhythm …yes!it matters.

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