Sunday, July 15, 2012

Insights from Half Marathon Experience

To set context, a group called Dream Runners had organized a Half Marathon at Elliot’s Beach. It had 2 categories: 21km & 11 km Marathon. My colleague Swami had enrolled for it & he asked if I would be interested. Being someone who relishes new challenges, I was quite eager to take it up.  Few of my college friends are active Marathon runners & seeing their Facebook updates definitely serves as an motivation. So, both of us signed for the 11 km run. I know that for Marathon Pro’s – 11km will seem like a baby step, yet for me it was significant, considering this was my first participation in an independent event. The runner finishers were to be given certificate, a medal & a T-shirt. While, I experienced the Marathon today, I realized few insights which are very much relevant in our day to-day lives. I have shared 3 insights here & hope that as you think over it, you may decide to empower your life by following those insights.

  1. Barriers are self imposed
Most of the barriers be it physical, mental which we have in life are self imposed. Be it be health, money, relationship, career, whatever be the case, most of them are often self imposed. To give an instance, I have never run a 10 km run. The maximum distance which I have run once or twice is 5km, which I run in the gym treadmill. So, when I signed on for the 10 km run, the anxiety was indeed there, if I would be able to complete the race as the distance would be almost double. Yet, I kept on affirming to myself that I would be able to complete it. It may not be easy but certainly not impossible. Just by positive affirmation, I wasn’t surprised when I was able to complete the race (with extra effort) but also finish it in 1 hour & 10 minutes. I wonder if I would have been able to do the same, if I had second thoughts or an attitude that I wouldn’t be able to run 10 kms, because I have never done it. The case is same with many things in our life. Be it a good job, a rich financial life, achieving our goals, a lot of it depends upon how we look at it, and what we tell ourselves in terms of achieving it. Just remember, you have unlimited freedom to achieve anything you want, only if you realize that the so-called barriers which you foresee is often self-imposed.

    2.  Age is not a limit

This was a surprising observation which I had during the race. While running the 11km run, I saw that most of the 21km half marathon runners were aged greater than 40. Similarly, under 11km race, there was a small kid (hardly aged 10) & 2-3 elderly people (age greater than 55) who completed the race. Again, this relates to our mental labeling that one needs to be young to do things or with older age we can’t do many things. The sad part is we impose this attitude on our-self & stop doing stuff which we enjoy, quoting age as a factor. Colonel Sanders was 60 years old when he had founded KFC.  You never  know what music you have got, hence break whatever age limitation you have about yourself & go out pursue what you like doing.

   3.   Take it one step at a time

The secret to complete a Marathon is to focus on taking one step at a time. Thinking about the entire race route would not only be over bearing, it will also tire you out mentally. The ones who run slowly at a steady pace will be able to successfully complete the race. The same holds true for most things in our life. Whatever goals which you have set for yourself (assuming you have set any) can be accomplished, if it is followed by a plan of action, executed one at a time. Thinking about a having 2 crores in your retirement fund 30 years later will seem to be unrealistic, yet the same could be achieved by saving money systematically every month. Thinking about becoming a company CEO 20 years down the line may seem challenging but the same will happen, if you invest  your current time in training yourself & developing the talents required to be successful as a CEO. Any goal in your life is achievable if backed with a good plan & an unwavering focus on completing one step at a time.

I hope you found the insights useful & you reconsider your current mental attitude to see if you are allowing any of it to hold yourself back.  Iam sure that there is a whole world of magic waiting to be unfolded in your life. As for me, I look forward eagerly to participate in the next 21km run. Do let me know, if you are aware of anything that happens in Chennai.

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