People generally ask me why I don’t think of leaving law and pursuing dance full time. I surely know that such a decision needs Guts. On that note, this story got instantly connected to me. This is a story of a transition. A transition from a running around smart corporate lawyer to a full-time happy runner!
It’s almost considered a cliché that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. She believes that the first step towards a healthy body is to ‘move’, rest all is incidental and can be taken care. This happy runner makes the next generation “move” at the Ashoka University, near New Delhi, India.
I knew Sonam as my senior at law school, a smart lawyer-to-be. Then it was quite obvious that she got into a well paid job at a big law firm in Delhi. Almost every other day I saw Sonam’s pictures on my FB newsfeed in her running shoes at some marathon event and I was so curious to know what she was into! Alas! Thats when I came to know that the tax lawyer I know is a Sports & Exercise manager now! Now thats interesting for me and wanted to share her inspiring story of transition! This could be inspiring to anyone who is at the edge of the corporate cliff and struggling with own-self to take that one leap! This story will inspire you, if especially your leap is to change the life of next generation!
Introducing Sonam Taneja, a fitness freak and a food lover, who speaks in numbers (12K or 1 hour)!!! 🙂
Is it the kind of work or is it the work expectations that made you choose this path? In other words, “Did you not like law?”
I love law. Law School is still one of the best things that happened to me. I could be a student of law all my life, I feel my introduction to law at 5 years of law school made me a better, more aware citizen. But I wanted to do something more in life than sitting in an office and here I am!
“It’s a big thing bro”… How does it feel today to leave the fat paychecks job?
Light! At peace, I have time for myself. Actually, my work anyways revolves around what I love. I meet inspiring people on a regular basis and there’s hardly a ‘working day’ in the regular sense of the term.
What did you think when you had to take this leap of faith?
Normally, I think a lot! 🙂 The decision wasn’t taken in a day or a week. It was taken over months even before I had this opportunity in sight. Running made me realise that there’s a lot more in life than working towards a fatter pay-check. I had begun making up my mind about doing something related to health, months before I even knew of this opportunity. I just didn’t know what! Before taking the plunge, I had a few things on my mind:
- I have to do something I love even if it’s absolutely unconventional and sounds crazy. I had to love it;
- I couldn’t live off my savings nor could I borrow or beg;
- The lifestyle needed to change.
After weighing the pros and cons, I was willing to take the reasonable amount of risk. I went by my gut feeling.
How did your family react to this? (This may be irrelevant too but just wanted to know)
They had their concerns and worries, rightly so, they’re parents. I am allowed to take my decisions, that’s how it’s always been. My father has served the Finance Ministry for 33 years and education is the biggest gift he has given us. He was taken aback when I decided to deviate from the education I had invested in, but then he understands me. My parents concluded with saying that they trusted my gut feeling and will always be there. That was it!
Do you ever want to go back to legal field? Did you also think if you could do law and sports together?
Yes, I hope to connect law with what I love. Someday, Inshah Allah!
Did your life style change? Do you see any compromise in it?
It has, but I don’t see any compromise in it.
How does your day look like now?
I usually go for a run with students in the morning, take a break and then resume with desk work like planning stuff which is followed up by another round of exercise and field work. Now, would you call it work!!!
At Ashoka, we don’t look at sport as just a medium to lose weight or win medals, it’s a way of life, a way to connect better with ourselves and nature. We seep into their curriculum, arrange as many facilities as possible, be innovative, encourage student leadership, bring experts and inspiring folks, connect sport with different facets like writing, art, history and what not! My job is to plan and execute all of that! I am not a PE (Physical Education) teacher!
What plans for future? 🙂
One step at a time. I’m thoroughly enjoying what I’m doing. I want to do justice to my current role. Once I think I’ve done that only then do I want to start planning ahead.
Sonam’s story to me, is not just a learning of “change” but something which reiterates that if you keep doing what you like in life without expectations, time will show you the un-expected turn in your life and reward you with satisfaction and happiness.
All the very best Sonam for all your future endeavours. Happy running!
– Signing off!