Marathon, 15 Kms, as big it may sound, it gets bigger and harder once you say it is. My experience of marathons has always been overwhelming I would say.I could hardly run 100 m initially. I always counted myself one amongst as those on the other side of the fence who say , ‘WOW’ , ‘GREAT’ how were you able to do it. Never realizing the fact that I too could do it. The only thing that was missing was the way I said to myself, Yes !! I CAN DO IT TOO.
Today’s marathon, 9th December, the day when I was running my second 15 Kms and the last night wherein I was dwelling in the thoughts that I didn’t do enough strength training, exercise, diet and protein intake to run this marathon. In my mind, I had already started to visualize getting tired after 2 Kms. As I woke up , I kept telling myself, “if you can’t RUN, then WALK. If you can’t WALK, then CRAWL. And if you can’t do anything still you got to go and RUN. That is what enabled me to start running slowly in the early morning foggy weather. Nobody was there with me and I started running in the streets . The smog was so much that i couldn’t see my next step. The wind was cool and the fresh morning dew fell on my forehead giving me a false alarm as if it were to rain.
I kept my pace slow to check my heart rate so as not to loosen my energy in the beginning of the run. There was a moment when literally noone was around. No cars, no dogs, no human race. Only the fog covered trees of great heights and a temple. I was enjoying the radio songs by Taio Cruz. And the song played like, ‘Its time to be Bigger , Harder , Stronger’ . It felt as if the song was just for me and I own this whole world inside me. What is it I am running for now when there is so much I have to give to this world. A sense of realization was deepening and I was weaving unbreakable chords of marathon and my life. Sun was still not awake and then I looked around to see a cyclist waving out to me in cheer and giving me a hi-fi !! And then there were a couple more cyclists on their way to an altogether different journey. My mind as it flickers again started to think, how many people we meet in this life and how many stay along and how many just pass by. I unplugged my earphones just to hear the music of the’ SILENCE’ around me for the next 15 mins. There was a poetry running inside me and I could feel it to the core. And felt an urge to just stop and write. I continued though without stopping myself from creating a million dollar world inside my head of what things I do, I see, I love, I think about, what I have been all this while, why am I here and what not. There was a point wherein I could smell tamarind too. It bought a sense of pleasure in my veins. And then the song played, Keep Going and World in our hands and I just went pass by the roads full of dreams to reach the place I have always wanted to. I did stop to gather my breath and give myself a break. I usually do it to break my pattern which after 7 km had become monotonous. Then I switched onto some pop music , There she goes and I raised my hands high like a soldier and started to run. The sun was awake and the light had started to fill the atmosphere.
Around me people were running barefoot. It caught my attention and I could see what inspires them to run like this. I continued walking as I was unable to give myself any reason to Run. I wanted to book a cab and get back to the starting point as fast as I could. I was even planning to take lift or call someone to pick me up. I had exhausted for the last nights thoughts started to overpower me. That ‘You didn’t do enough practice’, ‘You are tired’ “Legs are paining’ , “there is a cramp’. Then the last 4.5 km seemed to me IMPOSSIBLE. I stopped there and then. Started doing stretching, had water, turned around and saw many people like me who were enjoying their early morning walk, runs, cycling. A person from the other side of the road shouted, DON’T STOP, keep running. you can do it. i felt energy running in my blood once again. I took sprints. Then zig-zag running. Then high jumps and what not. All the drama I added, I smile as I recollect. Not caring if someone is watching. I felt free of all the constraints of completing the run in time . I took my time and involved my thoughts how the housewife is making roti in a tandoor, the milkman, the sewage cleaning machine, junior college kids rushing for schools. I started to look for life around me.
All people seemed so happy doing their daily chores and then my pain went away. If they could be happy in the small acts, I can too. I smiled seeing myself and what kept me moving all this while. The run was about to finish and I was so charged up by then , that the last 1 km I just ran with whole heart. The finish line appeared possible and I was happy I could make it the way I wanted to. Happily and satisfied.
So, in the end all that mattered was whether you did or not and you did it with a smile on your lips for you had always wanted to reach out for something bigger than YOU. Marathon taught me a great deal about how my entire life gets in between, smooth and steady at times, difficult and even Impossible and then how I get back seeing the small little things around me. It isn’t about the run, it is about what you free yourself from to stop focusing on just completing the Run!!