When I learned to re imagine my life, I learned to set myself up on a new adventure (and sometimes, multiple new adventures) all the time. It was almost whimsical, and yet the pursuit of something new, and something a little crazy, and something I’ve never done before began to fill with me with a happiness I had never known. It also began to teach me so much about myself, and tryst with people quite unlike anyone I had ever known.
Somewhere in the middle of June, I began to dream up the possibility of running the Standard Chartered Mumbai Half-Marathon, even as I could barely clock a couple of minutes on the treadmill. I took inspiration from friends who had run the marathon before, badgered once-runners and fitness aficionados and strangers for advice, and most of all began to run.
When I reached a point when I could run ten minutes at a stretch, I felt a sense of accomplishment that pushed me on- running, and that surreal runners high was terribly addictive. When I couldn’t run, I began to walk, when I couldn’t walk I began to climb the stairs. And, when I clocked a 170 miles through a month-long corporate challenge at work, I knew I was in this for the long haul- my eyes were on the finish line.
On the 19th of January on 2014, at 21 km in 2h 51minutes, I made it past the finish line. It was a victory of many things, but most of all of conviction. In that moment, I was the strongest I had ever been, and the weakest I will ever be.
There were many days of despair and frustration along the way. There were days I dressed up, showed-up and could not run. There were days I turned up again, despite that, and ran. And there were days, I really pushed through- got in a good run- and began to believe it all over again.
When you really want something, you need to talk yourself into it over and over again. Even as friends and family cheer you along, in faith alone you are most alone. I began to understand that running 21km isn’t an easy feat, and I also began to think I was a little crazy for setting myself up to it.
But the morning of Sunday, when Bombay thronged the sea-link, when enthusiasts handed out biscuits and water and peeled oranges, and held posters, and played the drums and cheered, and you watched runners heave and push through- in all shapes and sizes and onward to 42km, I began to understand running a marathon was a beautiful kind of madness.
You learned to fight with yourself. You learn to yield to the power of your mind, test your body in ways you had never imagined. You learned to underestimate yourself a little less every day, and you learned to believe…believe, believe, keep-beleiving even when there was no sign in sight.
And most of all, in that moment…in that moment past the line, and before the magic of it hits you, you learn that you can do anything now.
You just had to put your mind to it.
Thank you Mumbai! #scmm