Life is boring without new challenges, interest or embarrassment to spice things up a bit.
I have been going to the gym for about nine months now. So when I found out that my company was organizing an inter-department athletics meet, I thought, ‘Well, that sounds like fun.’
So I signed up for the 800m event.
It was my first competitive athletics event. Heck, it was my first competitive sports event, excluding bedroom sports.
Anyway, the actual meet itself was on Sunday. I was up at six thirty and I was at the stadium by eight thirty. The 800m was scheduled for ten thirty.
Some info about the training that I had done. Actually, there was almost none. Well, there were a couple of days of training the week before. And that was it.
The weeks before, my gym visits were put on hold due to the exam at the end of May. As you can see, I had yet to get back into my training routine and it was still on hold even after the exam.
Yup, you could say that I was way over myself when I signed up for it. Not that I regretted it.
On Sunday, I was nervous. Nervous about how my performance was gonna be. Trepidation about embarassing myself (what if I trip and fall?). And I have this recurring fear that my shorts would fall off (now is not the time to psycho-anaylse).
At the back of my head, I could hear myself, ‘Just relax and do your best. You are supposed to have fun anyway. Don’t worry, you’ll do fabulously.’
There were eight of us. The others looked like seasoned runners. Tall and leggy. No cute ones though (Stop it. How could you think of such things before your big splash into the hall of fame, or worse, shame?)
Anyway, we were at the starting line. Muscles all tensed up. Sweat dripping. Brain saying, ‘Run like you have never run before.’
Before I knew it, the gun was fired and we ran. I managed to keep up with the pack for the first 200m.
Unexpectedly, I was trailing after 200m. After one lap (400m), I was eating everyone's dusts from 50m away.
This was not good, not good at all.
There was hope yet, as the person in front of me seemed to be slowing down.
‘Aha, there is a chance that one person will eat my dust.’
I dug up whatever reserves I have. I was closing in on him. 100m away from the finishing line, we were shoulder to shoulder.
At this point, I could hear my colleagues cheering me on to sprint the final distance. Digging deeper, I pushed myself to carry my two legs faster.
‘Come on, come on.’ I was telling myself.
And indeed, I was in front of him perhaps by a meter or two. He was on my left.
Final 50m now.
I saw his shadow approaching. Very quickly.
Apparently, he has been preserving his energy all this while. Or he has deeper reserves. Whatever it was, he overtook me in that final 40m.
So, yeah, I was last.
On the bright side, my time was better than the practice one. 3:13 against 3:37.
And I am not going to disclose what the winning time was.
Though on the not-so-bright side, after crossing the finishing line, I collapsed.
It was no laughing matter, OK? I literally ran out of fuel and exhausted whatever energy I have. And I sat on the grass for the whole of ten minutes.
But still, I am proud of myself. I will be back again next year with a vengeance.
I would like to end with this little gem. How very true, don't ya think?
"Remember that if men were not meant to be sucked, their bodies wouldn't have come with a nozzle!" – Anonymous
[By the way, the winning time was 2:24. He ran like it was a 200m sprint. He must have been on steroids or he hasn’t been getting any. Hmmph.]