2019: Three Hundred and Forty

This year has been a rollercoaster. You’ll learn more about this in twenty-five days, when I write the annual year in review post on this blog.

Today, I participated, ran in and completed a 5 kilometer run. With this participation, and the medal (very shiny, see below), I have now completed the last of my pending 2019 Resolutions.

Of course I tried to be fancy with the photography, which is the only reason the watch is there.

I hadn’t prepared at all for this recently. I run as much as I can daily in University, but there are several days I don’t, and I’ve only ever run 5 kilometers twice before. I haven’t run in the last three months at all, so I wasn’t exactly in any shape going into this. The only thing I knew was that I definitely wanted to run the entire distance, complete this thing, and collect the medal. As I’ve highlighted before, medals mean a lot to me.

My parents and I registered for this event together. They’ve run events previously when I haven’t been around, and take great pleasure in participating and letting themselves loose – just enjoying the atmosphere. I told them fairly early on that I’d be running ahead and waiting for them at the finish line.

It was bloody difficult. The adrenaline rush at the start made it incredibly tough to control my pace and not run too quickly (because I would have collapsed at that pace). The Corniche winds in the middle made it difficult to continue running, because all I wanted to do was to stop and spend some time enjoying the view and taking photographs of the beautiful blue coastline and the boats that were docked there. My own limitations meant I struggled with motivation in the last 2 kilometres. I had some discomfort in my foot for some time too, given that I had scalded myself while cooking just last week.

But I persevered. This isn’t some great accomplishment, and I really don’t want to celebrate it like one. It is, however, another thing I have done now. I really didn’t expect that I’d be able to cross this off the list this year, and I genuinely became comfortable with the idea that I’d go into 2020 with one resolution carrying forward. I’m happy that isn’t the case.

This running thing has been an obsession over the past three years. I’ve literally had “run a 10km/half marathon” on the list for 2017, 2018, and 2019. This year it was phrased at “cross the finish line at some organized run”, because I didn’t have a distance goal in mind at all, and I literally just wanted to do the bare minimum – I wanted to push myself to go, register, and actually participate. There’s a reason for the obsession. I’m interested in fitness and staying fit. I know how much I’ve benefited from it in the past, especially in Grades 9 and 10, when I was arguably at the peak of my sporting prowess (if any). Except, I found myself enjoying contact sports lesser and lesser in subsequent years. And then I became lazy, incredibly. I have a great deal of inertia generally, but when it comes to physical exercise, I find it a little tougher to get out and do something. This is especially because it’s something I’m doing entirely for myself, and its been very difficult to “see” any real progress (there’s a circularity here – I haven’t invested enough time to see any progress in myself). But I’ve been obsessed: I’ve read, and thought, and reframed my objectives. I’ve spoken to runners. I’ve listened to running podcasts and videos. It’s been crazy.

A large part of this obsession has also been because I was surrounded by people who run. My community, the one I reside in in India, is filled with inspiration people who participate in this running craze – all for different reasons, with different distances they’re good at. All of them train really hard. They manage to do so alongside incredibly demanding jobs. And they travel – for running. I’ve been surrounded by these people since I was in Grade 6. My own Uncle has been running for the last 4 years (I think – it could be more/less), and has been participating in runs, and traveling, and making his own progress – but more importantly, just been enjoying it. He tried pushing me a couple of times, but my inertia came in the way (a lot).

This obsession has now seen the first of its action. I’m hopeful of one thing only: that I don’t stop running. That next year sees more of these medals, and more stories to come with it. It’s going to be really tough, I know that now. But I know I can do it, so do it I will. The inertia is something that will take a lot of warding off, but I’ll ward it off each day, and get this done.

Today (and my parents will read this for the first time on this blog), I broke down at the finish. They gave us a towel for us to wipe off the sweat. Mine helped me wipe off some tears. I literally just sat down on the side of the finish and dabbed my eyes. I don’t know why it happened. I can hypothesize several reasons: the relief of finishing, the joy in being able to trust your feet with your weight are two of them. My system clearly needed to get those emotions out, whatever they were.

This is probably the only reason I want to cry again. Doing something I’ve wanted to do terribly badly, and then having those emotions pour out. Literally.

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