It has been almost two years since I embarked on a clutch of activities that would serve me in good stead post retirement. They included gaining certification and experience as an Executive Coach ; cycling , hiking, photography and the study of life around us ; writing and publishing a couple of books and to top it off , learning new skills .. golf and swimming if you could teach a 63 year old to swim!! All this, along with travel with my wife, family events and professional networking form quite a hand full. Here’s a rundown on the progress on this exciting but ambitious journey, as I prepare for 2012.
I went through a formal Executive Coach Training through the Franklin Covey Foundation .A programme based on the Results Coaching Systems (RCS) founded by David Rock. I liked the course and its structured and methodical approach to coaching. I seem to take to this profession and have enjoyed the subsequent coaching sessions I have conducted for six senior managers in our company. Another batch of seven senior managers has been identified for the next round starting in the next week or so. I do hope I can add value to their careers and lives through these coaching interactions.
I’ve also enrolled as a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) arguably the best professional body for Executive Coaches around the world. I now need to log in all my coaching hours and seek accreditation .I see a long haul before I can claim to be a skilled executive coach .Perhaps involvement with an India body such as the Hyderabad chapter of the ICF could be a good ground for networking and honing one’s skills.
I started off quite tentatively on cycling by purchasing a Schwinn sports cycle and venturing out gingerly on the roads around our house in Sheikh Sarai .I was fortunate to get introduced to the GK Bikers by Vijay Dhawan and this accelerated my initiation into the world of cycling. I equipped myself with a helmet, cycling shorts & T shirts and gloves and now look quite the part. The GK Bikers are a strong bunch of cyclists and I’m nowhere near their standard of speed and endurance. Nevertheless I joined them for a 3- day expedition to Rajasthan, a ride of 300 kms which I was immensely pleased to successfully complete.
Now I am seriously training for a tougher expedition to Kerala covering approx 450 kms over 4 days with two days in the mountains! Don’t know if I’ll make it this time but I’m working as hard as I can .I’m pretty much a cyclist now and didn’t know I would go so far when I started off two years ago.
I scaled up my involvement in photography by purchasing an entry level digital SLR (Canon 1000D) and recently after study and trials ,a Photoshop Elements 9 software for editing .I have the tools now but have still to get off the mark with significantly better photographs and adequate editing skills. Photography has taken a bit of a back seat and I’m only into family event photography and even now only using Picasa for editing .I’m still to get familiar with Elements 9 and still to acquire the tools and skills that will make my photos a work of art!
While hiking and outdoor camping has been a lurking desire, I’ve not had the opportunity to participate in any of these activities. I did participate in the Delhi Half Marathon and briskly walked the distance of 21 kms .I used the build up and training to get acclimatised to long distance walking .So along with cycling and walking I should be pretty well equipped to manage a multi day trek in the hills. I really am looking forward to this ASAP.
Reading and more particularly, reading on wild like habitation, birds and trees of India hasn’t taken off, though I have purchased a few good books on these topics. In the recent past I have been drawn , for some reason , to the natural ecosystem around us and have desired to read up and get knowledgeable about it .I guess it has a strong link to hiking / trekking and camping , where observation of life around us and photography get to be meaningful and rewarding. In the years ahead I would spend more time on this activity and have an immediate opportunity to visit a nearby bird sanctuary to get started as the weather and season for migrant birds is on us. The Okhla Barrage is the nearest and not too far off is the Old Fort and Delhi Zoo .I must just make this happen …an outing with my dear wife.
Likewise my desire to get into writing and publishing a book or two ,hasn’t commenced. Once again it has remained a lurking desire .To be honest there hasn’t been the opportunity to seriously engage in this time intensive activity. I suppose this will only be possible when I finally hang up my boots .I will have to do the planning and pre-work, if I am to give it a serious shot. The topic or genre for the first book itself isn’t something I’ve made up my mind about …. and I don’t seem to have a clue in which direction I should proceed.
Blogging has been the only slim link to my literary pursuit .My blog now has a fairly sizable number of hits daily, although this is largely on account of a few blog entries on the Thiyyas of North Malabar. These posts alone have received more than a 150 comments and posts and there is a lively ongoing debate on this topic. My blog is not all about the Thiyya community and hence this large attention on the social media is not quite so satisfying .The silver lining is, that several people who stumble on to this blog, in their search for material on the Thiyya community, remain to read other posts in the blog. I will surely be a more active blogger in 2012.
Family engagements and travel worked in 2011 .Deepa and I travelled to Canada for over a month, which was a wonderful vacation, and we broken in the New Year with a large family get together in the Andaman Islands .It was a good fun outing. Much more of this will happen in the years ahead .For starters Deepa will join me as a support team member for the Kerala cycling expedition!
So it would seem that the agenda I set for myself for the next seven bells is on track .I have only now to pursue these favourite pastimes of mine more strongly in 2012 and lay a solid foundation for a rich and supremely active life when I do hang up my boots. GOD and health willing!!