10 Life Lessons learnt from my First Marathon
“Waking up at 4:30 am that too on a Sunday morning. Are you mad?”, I said to myself. It was a chilled winter morning of Nov 20th, 2016.
Yes, it was not easy. But this morning was not a normal routine. It had something different with it. A new feeling of going for my first 10K marathon. The super-excited I, woke up on time and got ready for embracing the all new experience.
I love running (not running away as some of you might think, hahaha…). Although I go for a run every morning but this was a different feeling with goose-bumps on my skin.
Whoa! 365 was my BiB number.
“Was it a co-incident or God wants to give some message to me”, I was constantly thinking.
I think, God wanted to tell me, “Son, you have to run all the 365 days of the year. So, you better gear up and get your ass out of your bed every damn morning”.
During the run, I would say to myself, “Man, I am running for so long and it’s just a couple of KMs which I have covered. Is there something wrong with the markings on the track? Since when even 1 KM has become so long”.
It looked so long and hard to complete. It took the best out of me to complete it.
But I would say, it was a transforming experience for me. I never thought that a simple run can teach me some of the most important lessons of life. Those lessons, if used wisely can bring a wonderful change in one’s life.
There were some moments of magic for me that I could relate to my own life. Those moments gave me such powerful insights about life and the daily challenges I face.
I would love to share those 10 lessons for life which I learnt from every Kilometre I ran. So, here we go.
It’s not about how fast you can run. It’s about how long you can run, without giving up.
Take moments to look backward but keep running.
On an upward slope, slow down but be steady.
On a downward slope, use it to run faster.
Find your rhythm, tune yourself and hold on to it.
Dance to your tune. Don’t worry what others will think.
Leave any baggage you are carrying, you will feel lighter and comfortable.
Hold your head high. Look at the sky.
Don’t feel bad if you are slow, you are still inspiring people behind you without giving up.
You won’t realize but you are getting transformed.
1. It’s not about how fast you can run. It’s about how long you can run, without giving up.
There were times when I wanted to finish the race as fast as I could. But it was exhausting and could have forced me to give up even before I could finish.
In life, sometimes you focus on achieving what you want as fast as you can. You forget that going so fast may drain you out of your energy and leave you completely exhausted. This situation demotivates most of the people and eventually they give up. But when you focus on how long you can persevere rather than the speed and keep putting in your efforts without giving up, you go far beyond your imagination.
2. Take moments to look backward but keep running.
At times, when your legs start hurting, turn around and do the reverse running. Say “Hi” to the people behind you with a nice smile on your face. It not only breaks the monotonicity but also relaxes your legs. It also makes you see the distance you have successfully covered. And when you come back to your normal way of running, you feel better physically as well as mentally.
In same way, life may give you such moments. When you think like giving up, turn backward and see from where you started. Appreciate yourself for the all the efforts you have put in till now. Say thanks to the people who were there in your past and helped you in one or the other way. You won’t believe but it will fill you with a new energy to resume your life’s marathon.
3. On an upward slope, slow down but be steady.
When you are running on an upward slope, it takes a hell lot of energy to run with the same pace. In order to save yourself from running out of energy, slow down but be steady. Keep running.
In life, when you face challenges, it is nothing but the upward slope. It may slow you down but don’t stop. Be steady in your efforts even if you are slowing down. Keep going because that upward slope will end somewhere for sure. And then you can increase your pace again.
4. On a downward slope, use it to run faster.
Downward slope gives you an automatic push. With less energy, you can cover more distance. That’s the time when you should take advantage of the gravity ;). Run faster than your normal pace before that slope gets over.
Life will give you such opportunities when the time is right and you get more out of your efforts. It may be because of the right circumstances you are in or may be because of the right people you are with. Use that time to develop yourself faster. It will help you when the odds are against you.
5. Find your rhythm, tune yourself and hold on to it.
For a long run, it’s beneficial if you are able to find your rhythm of running. The rhythm which is yours and you are comfortable with it. Steadily follow it and keep running.
It is important in life to find your own pace and rhythm. Otherwise you might get disappointed by looking at other who are going faster. Establish your own rhythm and consistently follow it. Tune to it. Be steady. Change it whenever you feel so.
6. Dance to your tune. Don’t worry what others will think.
When you run for such a long distance, listening to your favorite song gives you an extra push to go extra miles. You might feel dancing while you run. So, dance as you run without worrying what others will think. It will fill you with enthusiasm, energy and never ending zeal. You will enjoy running.
Set your own philosophy of life and a way to keep yourself motivated. When you do so, it re-affirms your belief in your capabilities. Be firm to state your views without any fear of being alienated. Enjoy it as you move forward.
7. Leave any baggage you are carrying, you will feel lighter and comfortable.
While running I was holding a water bottle, in a hope that I might need it. But more than the need it would satisfy, it was like a burden. I wanted to get-rid of it but constantly thinking of the fear of getting thirsty during the run. And I decided to leave it. I can’t tell how much lighter and free I felt. Although it was just a water bottle, but it made a lot of difference.
Don’t carry unnecessary baggage of expectations, emotions and thoughts with you in your life. They won’t help you in any way. You might feel attached to them and hard to get-rid of. You might have certain fears. But overcome that and decide to throw them away. You can’t even imagine how much lighter you will feel. You will run faster and most importantly freely.
8. Hold your head high. Look at the sky.
Holding your head high not only keeps your body posture correct while running but also widens your horizon to see. Think like you have the entire sky to achieve.
In life, keep your attitude good and aim high. Hold your head high and look at the sky thinking about the bigger purpose of life to achieve. When your purpose is big then it is easier to put in your efforts without giving up. Your journey becomes more worthwhile and enjoyable.
9. Don’t feel bad if you are slow, you are still inspiring people behind you without giving up.
If you feel bad about running slow, think about the people behind you. You are still motivating those people by not giving up. There would be at least one person who might be following you and observing your moves. You are inspiring that person. Keep running for him if not for yourself.
In life too, you think that you are left behind because you are slow. Never ever think like that. You never know whom you have inspired. There might be people who follow you. So, don’t think about giving up, you have a bigger cause to fulfill. Keep going, keep inspiring others.
10. You won’t realize but you are getting transformed.
As you are running, some transformation is happening, physically and mentally. You won’t even realize. It is making you stronger and flexible at the same time. It is improving your will power and the spirit of never giving up.
Throughout your life, you are constantly changing for good. As these changes stack up, you become a better version of yourself day by day. But it is imperative that you acknowledge it from time to time and enjoy your transformation. Because this part of your journey, you won’t go through again. So, enjoy it while you go for it.
These are the lessons which I learnt from my experience of running. This is not an exhaustive list. There can be more such lessons one can find from one’s experience. I would encourage you all to share your lessons which you have learnt from such activities.
It will not only help you to contemplate but also contribute to the growth of other people around you.
Share this article with your friends if you think it was worth reading and worth using in your life.
Wish you all the best for the Marathon of your life which you are running in each single moment.
Don’t stop, never give up and keep running at your own rhythm.
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