It took me roughly four years. Four years to run my first marathon. From huffing to walk a kilometer to completing a full marathon in 2006 to finally coming in as the first runner up in the Bangalore Ultra 2007, it’s been a long and arduous journey. There have been moments of weakness and moments of sheer determination, but mostly it’s a run
that has been truly long and lonely. I’ve seen passersby laugh, passersby cheer and also seen them run along.But what has stayed is this feeling that is indescribable, a feeling that has to be experienced.
But running has, more importantly, taught me a number of things about life other than just putting one foot forward over the other.
*The single step– It has taught me that every single journey has to begin with a single step. It does not matter how big or how small, you have to start somewhere.
*The end point – There is an end point to your run just like in life. But the best part is , you get to decide when and where you want to stop, when and where you want to take a break, who you want as your partner, who you do leave behind, how fast you want to go , how slow you want to be and most importantly, where is it that you want to head.
*Life’s a marathon, not a sprint– Running has taught me that life is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s that 42 km run, that kills you, that pushes you,gives you the runner’s high and yet makes you smile and cringe at the years that pass by. Some people are
determined to run fast, be first and some people are content making it to the finish line. But the underlying and often missed point is , that you have to run at your pace. That you have to be happy to reach the goal line at your terms. It’s only then that you will enjoy it.
* Life’s not fair– It took me five years to run a full marathon. To let my body develop that endurance. I’ve seen people train for one in 4 months and finish ahead of me. Well, life’s not fair. But we all get our share of glory.Some people are more capable, more talented, more skilled. But perserverance, hardwork and dogged determination pays.
*Best friend– I discovered my best friend. Some guys have dogs, some guys have their gadgets, some girls have their shopping and well , some girls have their running shoes. When I’m low, when I’m high, I know where to find them.
* The toughest runs are won in the mind– For me, my toughest 26km run was the Ultra 2007. I hadn’t trained for it, I was out of shape, and I was down and out on the personal and professional front. I could feel myself emotionally drained and physically tired but at 21km, my body gave up. I walked a few steps but then I had made up my mind to run the distance. And I did. For me, I wasn’t excited about being the first runner up, I was relieved that I completed.
More than anything else, running has given me some great moments , some great friends to be with and also,the first company I loved being a part of.
And tomorrow, I will still tie my laces and start my run. From the same place. At the same time. But this time , it will be alone. And I look forward to it. For me, my 42 km run was a big thing that started small. Just like ion .Just like another step that I begin today.