Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why do people run marathons ?

On 29th September, Shimla is going to host a marathon. I am pretty excited about it and this excitement is easily seen in my disucssions with my friends.

In one of these discussions my friend asks me a few questions.

"Mujhe to samjh ni aata marathon bhagte kyun hai?
Na to wo koi race hai...sala teen ghante tak bhaagte raho.
Aisi race ka kya fayda jisme pukka harna hi hai.
Jeetenge to wo Kenya wale hi."

I couldn't answer him than but let me try and answer him now....

From the time i have got hold of my senses and till date i can see  a ridiculous obsession with being the "Best".
So lets start in the chronological order...
  • Mother to Kid :"Mera bacha... jaldi jaldi finish karo...first aana hai...(She wants the kid to eat fast.)
  • Father to son : "Is baar agar top kiya to cycle milegi."
  • Any Parent trying to motivate his kid : "Beta Gaurav se seekho kuch...har baar top karta hai." 
  • A Child trying to justify his low scores : "Papa mere 32/50 marks hain...par Gaurav ke bhi 39 hi hain. Is baar strict thi marking bahut"
As you can see from the above examples...the obsession is with being the "Best".
However in order to be the Best you have to find someone who will be second best to you.

So if you want to be the best student in the class you have to find out the present best student in the class.

This approach produces a false impression of having achieved everything that there was to achieve.
Going for the best is a limiting approach as you become contended once you are No 1.

The Best Syndrome was so much hardwired into my systems that i could not enjoy the brilliance of any performer individually.

If Sachin scores a 100 hundreds it was difficult to enjoy Sachin's artistry in isolation.
I'll be satisified only if someone says he is the best and he is better than Lara or Sir Bradman.
Approaching "Best" is limiting...."Better" has no limits.
Trying to Achieve "Best" is daunting and intimidating to start with any effort....Better is doable.
"Best" approach tries to impress..."Better" Approach enjoys .

So how do you get this Hardwired "best" approach out of your systems? a marathon. :)

Before i ran a marathon ...I was asked to run races whose end point was visible.(100 mtrs,200mtrs,doing homework,coming first in class.)

So when the end point is visible it becomes hard to enjoy the process.
Or i should say when the end point is visible..i don't feel the need to enjoy the process.

As the destination is visible,i can afford to reach the destination with/without enjoying the race.

All my focus is on the competitors...if someone goes ahead i'll put in a better effort...once i am ahead.... i'll try to maintain the lead and once i am sure of winning i'll relax and not put in my best effort.

I may win with a time that was worse than my best performance till now...and still feel happy about being the best athlete.

With marathon this is different...

As the distance is small small bursts of brilliance won't do.
As the distance is a monster..i won't even be able to complete it... if i have not practiced for it.

...that's when i have to enjoy each and every step..i just can't afford to be focused on the destination...destination is way way far ahead and getting obsessed with destination makes the situation worse.

I have no choice but to enjoy the journey.

Completing the marathon becomes a challange for 99% of the participants.
You feel those legs aching...breath going haywire...lips drying...heart pounding...but you have to go on as your sole motive is to complete the race.

and that's when you are fighting/challenging yourself.

Once you complete the race you have no clue who won the race..who lost the feel like a champion as you have outlasted yourself.

You start appreciating the people who completed it faster than start respecting people who completed it slower than you.

.....and that's when the "Best" syndrome is knocked out of your systems.

....and once the "Best" syndrome is knocked out of your system.
You'll see magic happening. :)

PS: If you also feel bugged with the "BEST" Virus. Please run a marathon.

Symptoms Of Best Virus:
1) Craving for "Best Employee Awards".
2) Feeling like a King if you are enjoying the highest CTC amongst your batch mates.
3) You are 80kgs at a height of 5' 7'' but feel happy as you are the fittest in a team where average weight is 120 kgs.



lithiummonty said...

superlyk sirjeee

lithiummonty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bansi said...

My answer to you friend immidiately would have been "Journey".

Let me thank you for showing me that movie - one morning when u went to office and i was waiting for travel to Chennai.
:- Did that movie told me what should i do.??
:- No, that movie gave name and face to my actions and passions and i am living it till day.

maneesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maneesh said...

Nice one !!

Kenya waale isliye jeette hain kyunki paani waani ke liye unhe itne long distances bachpan se hi daudne padte hain . Un becharo ki zaroorat hai aur baakiyon ka shauk !!

waise Best hone ki khwahish rakhna koi buri baat to hai nahin. Journey enjoy karne ke liye ek Destination to nirdharit karni hi padti hai.

Gaurav Vashist said...

Destination nirdharit to karni hi hai dost..par har kshan ye check nahi karte rehna ki pahunche ya nahi.

Destination will give you the direction of the journey...

Choose a destination and just start on the journey..

Obsession with the destination is what spoils the journey.

Obsession has to be with the verb(walking/running) not the noun(india gate).

Baki "Best" i think should be a byproduct of "Better" your pursuit of "better" is bound to happen.

Saurabh Baghel said...

Everyone has a destination ..... and something ends there......that's the truth that we have to live with....the best part is JOURNEY....that never ends...and i suppose MARATHON is one journey to some...while JOURNEY's can be different for anyone....

So....enjoy the journey..:)