Monday, August 1, 2016

My first speech in Toastmasters: The ice breaker

Ice Breaker

Recently i started my journey in toastmasters. It has been a wonderful experience so far. I would like to share my journey as part of this blog.

I still remember the day i woke up on the first day of hostel, my parents were not by my side. I was 10 years old, alone and terrified. I was 2nd born of 3 children in a middle class family from a small village in Andhrapradesh. My parents sent me to a residential school in hope of getting quality education for me. I struggled initially. However, slowly i learnt to be on my own. Apart from providing quality education, my residencial school also provided good sporting facilities. It was a good distraction away from home. I enjoyed playing games a lot such as kho-kho, kabaddi, vollyball, cricket, athletics etc. My interest in sports has only increased over time. I had carried out this habit of playing for the large part of my working life as well. Sports taught me the importance of team work, leadership, taking responsibility, being competitive etc.

I completed my studies and started working in Bengaluru, IT capital of India. I got my first onsite opportunity to visit Canada two. I was excited to visit a foreign country for the first time in life. 
the day i landed in canada is the day my customer filed for bankruptcy. I had six months to spend in Canada before leaving for India. So, i decided that we will roam as much as possible in the next 6 months. We were on road virtually on every weekend. We visited many places in Canada. 
That experience made me fall in love with traveling. I returned back to india after 6 months. From then onwards, every decision i took, i made sure that i pickup an option that involves travel. I did mba abroad and took up a job that involved travel. Since then i had traveled to 7-8 countries and many cities in India. Travel teaches something new every time, be it experiencing new cultures, languages, food habits, ways of life. Had many humbling experiences that gave me new perspectives about life. 

I was playing on weekends, traveling to places whenever possible. Life was good. but then, 3 years ago, i met with a knee injury. It took me a month to standup again and 2 months to walk. I was devastated because the injury may not allow me to play again.  One of my friend suggested me to try yoga. I had an impression that yoga is for old people only. I tried yoga as i felt i had no other option. After practicing yoga and meditation for few months, i started realizing unexpected changes in me. I was calmer, clear in my thought, most of the negative emotions in my life had subsided and I became more empathetic towards other people. More importantly, i was able to run after an year. 

Today, i still play and travel whenever possible, meditate to keep myself calm and i look forward to many more exciting phases in my life.