Running The Finish Line

Everyday / Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Sometimes, running isn’t about the run at all. 

I spent the first Sunday of January running 42km in the bone-crunching humidity of Chennai. I sailed through the beginning, thought I was a rockstar in the middle, and crumbled in desperation at the end, wondering how I would ever reach the finish line. 

You see…a perfect metaphor for our life now. 

The thing is, running isn’t about the run at all. 

I hadn’t ever thought I would run another marathon. Not since I got the Delta variant of Covid, and I found myself unable to run even 5km without gasping. Just like that, I gave up on running long distances without really thinking about it. 

My last marathon was in 2020. And I thought it would stay that way.

Until I read a post by Vani Kola (vanik.eth) last year on her own marathon, where she spoke about how she was close to giving up. But she didn’t. She was pulled through by a friendly runner, thought of those who were waiting for her at the finish line, and somehow drew on that energy to finish.

That post made me think. I had given up too.

But I wanted to run those miles again for myself, for all the pain and despair of life’s looming darkness. I wanted to run 42 kilometers for those times and to make me feel like there’s still a finish line worth looking forward to. 

You see…running isn’t about running at all. 

I couldn’t run more than 18km during the training period of 3 months. Marathon training usually requires you to run way longer than that. I was petrified when I reached that mark in Chennai that I wouldn’t make it for 24km more.

Yet, somehow, I did.

finisher's medal running

And no, I have no lesson here.

Just that, sometimes we can find within ourselves that stupid stubbornness, a dogged, doomy sense of determination to see things through. When we look closely enough.

That’s enough, no?

I hope you always hang in there for the finish line. It’s worth it.

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