Rant#16 – Life lessons from a marathon.

  1. Winning is cool, but finishing in itself is a worthy achievement. Most people don’t get to do that, willingly or otherwise. You get a medal ’cause you made it to the end.

  1. Look around, pace yourself, make an experience out of it. The finish line will get around eventually, but you’ll be in no state to enjoy anything then.
  2. If someone rushes past you sprinting at top speed, DO NOT try to catch up. Maintain your pace. You don’t know his story, maybe he’s an expert practising for years, maybe he’s an amateur who thinks he can dash through the whole marathon. He might win, you might find him passed out on the road a few miles ahead, it’s not your problem.
  3. Running fast is important, but not stopping running is necessary. Jog or walk if you must, just don’t stop.
  4. Marathons start crowded but get lonely and stay so till the end. Get a partner and support each other. You are going to need someone to celebrate the victory with, in the end.
  5. Adapt to the route. Use the downhills but don’t burn out. Pace, when there’s uphill and conserve, for all roads that go up, have to come down as well.
  6. Nobody just runs a marathon, everyone’s got their reasons and motives. Always remember yours. No applause can come close to the nagging voice in your hear. Listen.
  7. It is a tough ride, there’s an eternal ache in your legs very soon after the start, your heart rate’s up, your sweating is off the charts, but you realise the less you focus on these, the easier it gets to run. It’s only when you don’t feel anything at all, if your legs go numb, if your heart stops, is there a problem.
  8. Set immediate short-term goals. You don’t plan on ‘finishing first’ in a marathon, you plan on catching up to that guy in the blue shorts first, once you’re there you set your eyes on the father-son duo at the far right. Short term helps in the long run. Pardon the pun.
  9. Ultimately you’ve won if you complete this year a few minutes faster than last year. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t finish first. In the end, you’re only running against yourself.

No matter what they tell you, life ain’t a rat race, it’s a marathon.

Fight me.