We Are Finishers!
I know I’m supposed to be writing about the rest of my Sikkim holiday because I’ve just reached day 4 Day 4 : Gangtok to Namchi to Pelling but I just had to write this first. Its about what we did…sorry ‘achieved’ yesterday, as a family!
I’m not exaggerating. And being modest wouldn’t be wise. Its the time to cheer… for ourselves : the four of us- my teens’, my husband and me!
What did we do?
We took part in the Powai run for Women’s Empowerment in the 10 km category.
“Big Deal,” you may say and I’d happily agree. Because it was!
My husband had a slip disc a few years’ ago and was unable to take a step. Thanks to Ayurvedic massages, he was able to get back on his feet without going under the knife. The pain does come back once in a while and requires a 5 day treatment involving hot oil massages and the last one he underwent was only last month. So him doing the 10kms is nothing short of a miracle.
Self-Initiation is definitely not a word in my girls’ dictionary. They are not to be blamed though. It’s the genes from their mother’s side. Their mother too has immense starting trouble, though of a different kind. A variation in the genes is not so surprising considering its not one that make us most adept in surviving. But since, it takes generations for weak traits to be erased, the girls’ still show a strong variant.
First stumbling block – Registering for the Run
The registration had to be done by 30th November 2018 and it had to be done by each one of us from Facebook. Only one of us did it by the day. No guesses and no awards for guessing who did it.
Fortunately or as luck would have it, someone I knew from the gym was a volunteer and managed to get us 3 forms for the run after the deadline. Phew! Our forms were filled and the cash handed in.
Second stumbling block – Getting the runners to participate
Its all very easy to pay and fill the form. Totally stress-free, I told the girls’ that I had paid up for them and if they did not run, they would simply have to pay me back. It was as easy as that. No coaxing, no coercing, no cajoling. ‘Let’s talk about it on 6th Jan 2019, the day of the run!’
‘And I just want to tell you, there’s a person who is blind and is running this marathon. It is his 100th half-marathon. If he can do it, I don’t see why we can’t.’
Third stumbling block – Practice
With 4 different schedules, practicing together was next to impossible. Hubby and I resumed evening walks together, when he wasn’t travelling on work. The younger one got me out of bed for a few days at the unearthly hour of 5.00 a.m., for 3 days precisely after which things went back to normal. And the older one began going to the gym though infrequently. I think she managed like her sister to do it thrice before exams and Christmas break began.
Day of the Run
We woke up at 5.00 a.m. and stepped out of the house at 5.20 a.m. wearing our T-shirts and bibs. The world outside was dark but there was a stir. Participants were all making their way to the venue. There were no vehicles on the road. They had been stopped since 4.00 a.m. Police personnel stood/sat around keeping vigilance. Around 5000 people had signed up for the 10 km run. Many more for the 4 kms and the half marathon.
The walk up to the starting point was around 2.34 kms. Thankfully, nobody was cribbing and we walked in silence, not even feeling the cold. Maybe it was the fear of ‘will we actually be able to do this?’ that was on the others’ minds; being their first time.
Security check, baggage counter, toilets, high-fives, mamma’s last piece of advice, “Give it your best shot, no excuses” and finally the gun-shot.
6:00 The race had begun!
6.04 We crossed the start line together. Initially walking through the crowd and then there was just me and my younger one. The older one and hubby were together behind us.
A few minutes later, I see my older one sprinting ahead and I’m thinking ‘You can’t go on for long if you sprint so early…but you’ll learn along the way.’
Then somebody goes whizzing past, saying “Hello,” with a smile. That’s none other than hubby and he disappears.
The younger one, slow and steady sticks with me. I can’t help feeling impressed that she’s actually able to stick with my pace considering that she’s doing it for the first time. There’s not a single emotion that I see on her face. She’s running just like everybody else.
Each to his own!
We stick together for the first 2.5 kms, sometimes she’s beside me and sometimes she’s behind. But she’s still there until the distance between us slowly widens. I keep turning to see if she’s there and then I see her walking, albeit quickly, but not enough. She isn’t keeping pace with me and one more look and she’s part of the milieu.
My heart is hoping she’s not feeling betrayed. The previous evening I had explained it to her and she had said, “Mamma you run, I’ll stick with you.”
During the Run
At times during the run, there is a feeling of “what the hell are we doing running like crazy… like horses galloping in the same direction?” Some would say, “Seriously why…just give the money to charity. Why do you have to run?”
The joy of completing, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, challenging yourself to do something that you know is not easy and is going to take a lot of strength is the entire package; a journey of its own.
We Did It!
As agreed we congregated at the Finishing line, each feeling so, so proud of themselves. One look at my younger one for reassurance and she was all smiles, at having achieved what she thought was ‘The Impossible!’
We did our very best and the timing showed it. There was no regret on any face, just pure joy.
If you have never done a run, please do it… for yourself. Its liberating.
If you doubt yourself on your ability or think you’re slow or incapable, please don’t. When you go on a run, there will always be people going ahead of you and there will always be people behind you. Your competition is not with others. Its with you. Give it your best shot and run in a way, that you don’t need to make excuses at the end when you check your timing, ‘ I slowed down for so and so…’ or ‘I went to the washroom on the way…’ or whatever else. Do it and feel good at the end of it.
If running is not your thing because of health issues, then do anything else to challenge yourself. Just don’t become complacent.
I am nowhere near a pro but for a few tips on running, check out : Lessons learnt after my first Run – For Those who wish to Run and Those Who Run.
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Lastly, here are some of the pictures of the run.
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