Today, I ran 42kM

Background music as I am writing:Nam Myoho Renge Kyo by Tina.

This morning, 6.30 am, I ran my first 42K. Marathonian…Long distance runner…This can be added to my portfolio :)

Before the race :

  1. I watched videos of animals running. Especially cats running, jumping, playing. And tigers, lions. These felines are supple to a degree, when they move, it seems their muscles are free from all tension. Cats stretch their backs, their jaws, their legs, all the time. And these felines yawn widely.
  2. I watched videos of runners who fell, rose and won races. A video of Derek Redmond, who tore his hamstring and rose to finish the race. These videos taught me courage, what is coined resilience today, and despite the pain, moving ahead until the goal is reached.

During the race :

Decisions

They are energy drainers. In the past, societies gave individuals little freedom of choice, one did his father’s job, and people had less anguish. In today’s society, the choices are as vast as the ocean; the options of one’s life’s are infinite. Some of us are drained just facing the decision. When we wake up, there is what I would call a “decisions capital” whose level drops as the day goes by and as we make decisions. During the race, after the 24th km, I was faced with the thought of quitting or not; the thought lingered for a while. Then I remembered that I had made the decision to finish the race, so I did not have to decide again. The point here is when we question or doubt a decision we made, it forces our brain to divert from the goal, to interrupt the action process, and to go back and weigh why/how of the decision. Typically, in a race, it is hard to run and think: why do I run, should I stop, am I not too tired, will I not get injured, will it make a difference if I stop. Decision making is like cutting with a knife, whose immediate result is to divide into parts. By deciding, you cannot have the two parts, you choose one. Action: For each decision, imagine you holding a knife cutting into two parts: what you choose and the other part that you throw.

Visualize the part that remains with you and the part that leaves your life forever.

Momentum and staying in action

This time, I ran with little interruptions, and I realized that, in the past, when I stopped because of traffic lights, it would have an effect on my run-up, so to say. And the funny thing is, I could hardly stand on my feet when I stopped, but my energy came back while running. It is difficult to start again, it is good to continue. The exception is when you realize that you chose the wrong path.

Action: Imagine that you are on a suspension bridge; each time you move forward, the path behind you evaporates. Your only option is to continue, to go on, to move. Movement is life.

Knowing your strengths

Before running this distance, I did not know I could run that far. I thought I could not possibly run 42 km. How many of us push ourselves, unveil our possibilities, know who we are and what we are capable of? It is harder when we are surrounded by bullies, partners who demean us. If we believe their words, we will remain in a cell, with very little movement, because we are certain that we are only capable of that little. Self-exploration, listing your inner strengths is crucial. You cannot use a resource that you do not know is within reach. You cannot maximize its use either. Former president Obama said “yes, we can”. Action: make a list of your CAN, an exhaustive list, and check if you act on what you can do, or if your “potential”-intellectual, emotional, social, physical, psychological…-is completely spoiled.

Commit to use those resources, each one of them. It is better to start with what you own. Then, test yourself on the CANT, to find out if for sure, you can’t do these things.

To conclude, you can choose to rest from constant doubt because doubting a decision is a terrible energy drainer. You must be wise, take your time and make your decisions, even the least significant ones (like choosing what to wear), yet as soon you make the decision, do not come back, do not pick and contemplate what you threw away. Secondly, stay in the continuous move, see how everything in the world is in motion, and move. Third, know your superpowers. It is your responsibility to know them, and use them.