My first 5K run

I am not a dog person. Actually, I am not much of a pet person. I adore them for a distance but I am considerably afraid when they come close and this is true for the most well-behaved and playful pets. To my utter embarrassment, I have screamed and ran in fear in the past when they came near me.

Couple of weeks ago, Kendra, a friend of mine, asked me whether I would be interested in a 5K / 3 mile run on May 19th for a charity. I registered, thinking, “Why not?”

When I reached the 6th Annual Hair of the Dog 5K! event location today morning around 9 am, I was stunned to see the number of dogs running for the event. I knew it was a charity for dogs in animal shelter but never imagined that dogs will be part of the running event.

In a few minutes, I found myself surrounded by dogs of all kinds – from the big, majestic Husky to the adorable, cute Pomeranian. Being well-aware of my dog fear, Kendra started to educate me with species names to allay some of my fears.

I looked at her sadly and remarked “I could have picked a different charity where the pets are not going to run with me.” It was drizzling and the weather was cold. So I thought “Do I finish what I came here for today or return home?” In the end, I decided to stay and finish what I started.

Kendra and I walked and ran alternately amid hundreds of dogs along our sides on a narrow road and finished the race in 49 minutes. I was exhausted but proud of myself. This, however, does not mean that my fear has left me for good but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Sharmistha’s Book

Before the 5K race
Before the 5K race

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Sharmistha Das

Sharmistha Das, an Indian immigrant engineer and entrepreneur, is the author of "From Hindustan Cables Limited - Journey of a Small-Town Indian Immigrant Woman". Every South Asian woman who has immigrated to America will identify with the adventurous journey of Sharmistha Das. Born in a small rural company town of Hindustan Cables Limited in Bengal, India, Sharmistha grew up with her brother, mother and father in a simple home without running water or furniture, but with a great amount of love. Supported by her parents, she left her hometown for Kolkata and became the first female engineer from her community. After her marriage, she moved to Bangkok, Thailand and finally to America, the land of opportunity and heartache. While working and bringing up her daughter, she got her Masters in Business Administration and started her own business. Unthinkable for a girl from Hindustan Cables, she got divorced in 2012 and adapted to a new life as a single woman and as a single mother. Sharmistha’s story will inspire any women to dare to live her dreams.

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