Wish me luck

Your self-transcendence-marathon
Has shattered the summitless pride
Of your ruthless life-devouring dragon.
Sri Chinmoy

Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 23

Wish me luck, because I’m running a marathon tomorrow. I may need it.

It’s been three years since I last ran a marathon, and the pain of that race has dulled just a little. After years of running marathons easily and without preparation, I had the humiliation of finishing almost an hour slower than expected, hitting the wall as they say despite the most training ever done.

Marathon TrainingThe account of my 2004 Self-Transcendence Marathon deserves a story in it’s own right—I have been meaning to write about it ever since I crossed the finish line—but in short it was a hot day, and from the start I was never able to feel comfortable, struggling to breathe, growing dizzy after 16 miles. A stop in medical was no respite—or desperately sought rescue—aside from “mental problems” they informed me, there was nothing wrong at all. Humiliated, but unable to justify quitting, I walked three miles on doctor’s orders and then jogged slowly, the slowest I had ever run—every step a battle with pain physical and mental—jogged all the way to the finish, feeling more of a loser than my actual time, 4:22, reveals.

Believe it or not I will be happy with that time tomorrow. In my case, the pride of youth has since been replaced by the realities of ageing. And maybe just a little maturity…

In retrospect, blisters healed and much fluid replaced, I learned a lot during those four and half hot hours in the New York sun. I learnt about pride and expectation, and conversely about humility and surrender. I learnt about determination and perserverence; harder to practise, yet infinitely more valuable when facing a task more difficult than expected, our capacities extended.

Hopefully tomorrow however I will learn a little about joy.

To be honest, I am not running this marathon because I enjoy running—not over body shattering, mind-cowering distances at least (I am a sprinter by preference and build); and I am not running it to do a good time—I did that last time, my ambition sorely defeated.

Rather I am running to compete with myself. To do something I once thought easily within my capacity, now a true test.

42 kilometres of road to run, 42 hours of recovery, and hopefully, 42 days of feeling pretty good about myself afterwards.

Wish me luck.

The heart-runners
Every day run
The self-transcendence-joy-marathon.
Sri Chinmoy

Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 209

A related story
My Marathon Odyssey by Sumangali Morhall. An inspiring account of running a marathon, and in a time that puts my own personal melodrama to shame.

Related Posts:

  • I've Got Nothing