p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Come Out Stronger

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Come Out Stronger

When you shock the body and mind to the extreme you certainly come out a changed person. While entering oneself in a race in an untrained state could hardly be called an extreme measure to, say compared to an emotional trauma of a death in the family, it is still a jarring experience from which one could either submit to the battering or, get this...come out stronger.

Last Sunday's Putrajaya Half Marathon was that experience for me. My lungs and legs were put through a shock therapy. As the early miles passed, the initial feeling of dread subsided, giving way to renewed confidence and hope. Holding together the two feelings are the spirit of competitiveness and never-say-die. Race experience took over and by keeping a cool head there was control over my surges.
However in a distance race, there could be no hiding from the fact that one was unfit. There are instances where a person has such a high tolerance level that no amount of pain nor breathlessness can impact his performance. But these are exceptions, so it's not in our context of discussion here. While the human body is an amazing machine, there's only so much you can squeeze out of it. The in-built defence mechanism will automatically kick-in when the body is pushed past the discomfort threshold into the territory of pain and in my case, breathlessness. My intake of breath grew shallow and try as I might I just couldn't get enough O2 into my body. That's when the untrained one starts to walk. And curse. And finish among the slowest in his peer group and risk some remarks (intended or not) about losing to an older person.
All these are circumstances beyond our control. If you're unfit, you'll be slow and you can't really stop people from talking. That's all natural. But that's no reason to fret. You can control how you react to all the "negatives". By seeing things in the right perspectives you can thrive in it and use it as a sustenance even. You're you. You run your lives, not the naysayers. To all those inadequately trained or slower marathoners who dared to toe the line last Sunday and in future races, and whose indomitable spirit see the distance through, I salute you. May you come out stronger in body and spirit.


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