So, this is not really a new blog, I wrote this on 16th November 2010!
By the time you are 35 you seem to have achieved all that you set out to achieve as a teenager – marriage, kids, job, education etc. and suddenly there are no goals!! This is why it is called ”mid-life crisis”. To overcome my crisis I decided to run the half marathon. Easier said than done – first it was a slip-disc (that I have had since I was a teenager), then a leg injury (that I acquired racing my daughter), pain in my knees and all other parts of the body. Maybe I am just too old (and overweight) for this sort of thing.
Then on one my sundry visits to Littleton I went out for dinner with a colleague. As I whined about the co-relation between getting old and overcoming jetlags, he suggested that I try running (he said that is what he does)! Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? But it is big deal because the eldest of his 3 sons is almost my age. Sometimes people just have an incredible influence on you and they don’t even know it. So Patrick Clark, even if you didn’t know you rubbed this off, thank you for teaching me that ‘age is just a number’. It is true you don’t stop running because you are old; you get old because you stop running. Everytime I thought I was too old to run, I thought of you. On Sunday, I ran 25 kms, 4 more than the half marathon at the Bangalore Ultra Marathon and I dedicate my run to YOU!
Earlier this year I found myself a running partner – Raghu. A running partner is the best mate to have because he will never let you quit. Raghu is the better runner but he waited for me at every street corner on our practice runs and every finish line at a race (we ran 3 this year), shooed away occasional road-romeos like a bodyguard, didn’t let me change our race category (to a lower one) and most important was ready to kick me if I wanted to bunk an early morning run out of sheer laziness because it was 5 am on a weekend. Raghu Anna, couldn’t have done it without YOU!!
The race itself was an incredible experience. So many nameless people cheer you, pushing you to go on and most don’t even know you. Half way during the race (bit over 12.5km), I overtook a guy who was struggling to run. I patted him on his shoulder as I overtook him and said: “Let’s go”. At 15 kms I told myself that I had run the maximum distance of my life. At 21Kms I said that I have run the half-marathon. And at 22 kms I had nothing to say because every bit of me was aching and paining. And then I could not move one inch. And who comes along? My 12.5 km buddy telling me: “Let’s go”. I told him to go ahead because I did not want to spoil his run timing but he refused to go on without me. He said that my pat on his shoulder had changed the race for him and for that, he will won’t leave without me. We dragged our feet the last couple of kms and after we finished the race, he went his way and I went mine. I don’t know who he is or even his name but whoever it was - thank YOU!
And, although I finished the race in just below 4 hours, my daughters think I am a hero – as if I have moved a mountain. Finally, there is one other man - a man who accepts me as I am and allows me to be the things I want to be to everyone: sister, mother, friend, writer, athlete, artist and his wife! You are still my magic and without you, I cannot take a step in my life, leave alone run 25 kms.
Here’s to a few good men who made it possible for my running dream to come true – 2 months before I turn 39!