Should we change from ‘Finisher’ to ‘Also Ran’?
I finished a half marathon couple of months back. All finishers get a medal. To show off my endurance skills, I shared the medal with some ten WhatsApp groups. I drowned in the appreciation I received and was thrilled with my achievement.
But the silent voice in my head said
“What did you achieve? You set a target of two hours and twenty minutes to complete the half marathon. You completed it in three hours and ten minutes. Why are you so thrilled?”
I countered that voice saying
I am obese
It is a trail marathon
In my last month of preparation, my knee had a problem
It took time, but the reality slowly sunk into me. I was piling up my load of excuses on why I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve, and it finally stuck me
I had a sense of misplaced personal accountability.
It just hit me that while I hold others, whom I interact in my daily life from personal to professional, accountable for their commitments, but when it comes to my commitments, I am willing to allow a discount.
Nike did the famous experiment of completing a full marathon under two hours, and when the world’s top marathoner just took twenty-five seconds over two hours, they considered that a failed experiment.
I attribute my failure to lack of deliberate practice. I ran around 1800 KM in the whole of last year, but I seemed to have run without any sense of incremental progress.
Well, I am not going to rue about that now, but this made me wonder
Why did I show off my medal? Was it to inspire others to finish or the haughty see ‘What I can do?”
Why everyone was decent enough to congratulate, and no one said ‘Three hours and ten minutes is a lousy finish time.’
and the most critical question of
Why do I have different levels of accountability? One for the self and one for others.
What about you? Have you experienced this with your self?
As usual, none of what I write will give a specific actionable answer. I just figured out yet another aspect of my glorious inconsistent self!
Well, the lighter side of me thinks that the whole wording of ‘Finisher’ medal is a marketing gimmick to maximize participation. If they want runners to run better, they should change the wording to ‘Also Ran.’ But then, the profitability and fun of conducting a marathon would go away!
Enjoy Maadi . (Have Fun)