Are we running the same race?

Back in 2019 I participated in my first ever marathon race albeit a half marathon. A half marathon is 21,1km long. I was seeded in group E which in that particular marathon was the group for tortoises and was placed right at the back of the crowd. To put this into context: The race starts with your elite runners (group A) at the front of the entire crowd behind the starting line. They are off the mark the instant the gun goes off. By contrast, I crossed the starting line roughly 20 minutes after the gun had went off. I was not competing, even if I wanted to, the odds were thoroughly and heavily stacked against me. I was merely a participant and that was okay. In fact I was running against myself.

Soon as I crossed the starting line, there was a frenzy and everyone around me started bustling about. I had a plan: accelerate on downhills, pace myself on uphills, and make up for lost time on level ground. That plan worked well enough until I reached the halfway point when the track betrayed me started going uphill, unfortunately for me, that was all there was till the finish line:UPHILL! So much for a plan!

One goes through the motions during a marathon. You begin by competing with others, showing your running prowess by navigating your way out through the crowd, riding on adrenaline,feeling like Eluid. Then you get tired and the crowd starts catching up and eventually pass you. Then eventually you remember why you are running the damn marathon in the first place: to conquer yourself. It then hits you that in as much as you and your fellow marathoners are in the same race, you aren’t really running the same race because everyone is there for different reasons. You may be running the same track but you aren’t running the same race. So you resolve to run your own race at your own pace.

We are at the beginning of the new year and everyone is making resolutions and goals, some are even posting them up on social media. It is all fine and dandy, but it is important to remember as the year progresses that YOU made those resolutions and goals for YOUR own reasons. Therefore YOU are competing with YOURSELF and not the world. You may inspire the world as you accomplish said goals but don’t, for a second, make it about the world. On the flip side, you don’t owe anyone a reason why things might not go your way but you owe YOURSELF!

We are in this life together but our paths differ because we make different choices. We are in 2021 together but we want different things out of it. Pace yourself on uphills, run like Forrest Gump on downhills, make up for shortfalls where you can. And don’t forget to take it all in along the way. Like the boy with the oil in the teaspoon roaming around the palace: see all the marvels this year may bring but never forget the oil in the teaspoon.

Long Live Love!

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