Some time in July 09, sitting on the table for a casual dinner....
After a few drinks and merry making, I was dutch uncled by the boys and girls at the dinner table. 4 of the guys are regular marathon runners. 2 of the ladies run 10km regularly. I am the only "dude" that eat+drink as much (or more) then them but minus the physical exercise. Call it peer pressure, which I succumb to it willingly. Because i know that i need to exercise, if I want to see the moon again when I am 60 years old.
The next couple of day, I received an email telling me that i am participating in SCSM09 - HM. What? I never paid for it....Anyway, found out that my friends help me to register and I got to pay them back. 21Km, seems to be very loooooooooong ....... When I go to gym once in a very blue moon, I can't even complete a 2Km slow jog. Logically, 21Km requires 10x of the determination and effort.
Since then, my friends took turn to run with me. Usually we would run the perimeter of the campus. Because I ran so slowly and lack of motivation, they have to push me from behind both physically and verbally. Came to a point that it is abusing already. But I just smile at them and continue with my antics. Eventually, nobody would run with me anymore.....
Sounds familiar?????? It is like the studying for a subject. Especially subject that you do not like it very much or hated it completely nonetheless.
Fast forward to Dec09. With very little training (I only ran 10Km once in Aug, not even 4KM per weekly basis), I am having second thoughts of going for the run. I read the maps in detail, trying to look for an "escape route" along the path. I even have the thoughts of completing it "virtually", by tagging the chip on a stranger (by putting in their pocket or something like that). This lack of confidence is the true reflection of not preparing for the challenge. It is like exams is coming in few weeks time but did not study nor prepare for it. Sitting for the exam is simply for the sake of taking it and hope that will pass the exam by luck.
Usually I would over prepare before I take any exams. I actually look forward to take the exam and not the other way round. Somehow, this mental capability does not reflect on my physical capability. Or is it because of my lack of empathy to work out physically?
My friends run the 42Km marathon, they start as early as 5am. Leaving me alone waiting for my flag off. Thoughts of escaping keep seeping into me. The thoughts of running away is so strong. I start to make excuse such as I would hurt my self during the run, take photo as "COP" (Certificate of Participation),run for 2km and go home after that. Sounds familiar again??
This is the Fight or Flight Situation...
Until I met Mr.Seow warming up, have a chit chat with him and he gave me some positive reinforcement. We started together and jog the first KM together. He left, because I could not catch up with his pace.
At the 2nd KM mark, I can still jog albeit slowly. I kept jogging until the 5Km mark, where I met this uncle. He is 2x my age, had a mild stroke before and sharing his life changing experience with me and the reason that kept him moving. This resonates with the fear within me...We jog-walk-jog intermittently together. After the 7Km mark, I bump into Mr.Seow again.
Uncle was stopping at the first aid station to get some help for his knee pain. I am all alone again. Along the way, a few people gave me a pat of the back and keep encouraging me. At the 15Km mark, Andy bump into me. Tell me to try harder.
At the 17Km mark, blisters develop on both of my sole. It is really painful even to walk. Thanks so much to the $200+ running shoes. I kept jog-walk-jog, not wanting to lose the momentum. I knew once I sat down, I would call a cab to go home. I saw people that are bigger size, heavier and less healthy then me also keep moving forward.
Savor the last moment to the finishing line. Strangers enthusiastically cheering for strangers. Not forgetting the muscle ache after the run too!