In the Long Run : Lessons from Completing a Marathon

Ya akhoee (O brother in Arabic) would you like sit in the Ambulance shouted the doctor. I tried to put on a brave smile and told him “No thank you”. It was the last 5 kilo metres of my first marathon and after running for 37 kilometers, I was not about to give up. My wife and my friends cheered me on. Running a marathon requires a lot of “Running”. You have to train close to six months for running this race. A distance of 42.3 kms is not easy to cover. I spent most of the days after work “Running” and most of my weekends “Running”. Working six days a week did not make it any easier. The lessons I learnt during the process of running the marathon were many. I want to share these lessons with you.

Lesson 1 : Be clear on the objective : It is a simple question you can ask yourself. “Why do you want to do this? “ Why did you choose do this? “ Being clear on the objective helps you to focus. My objective for running the marathon was to get a feeling of achievement. For once in my lifetime I wanted to experience the feeling of working on a project, following through it and in the end completing it. My life was like a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs, starting projects enthusiastically and later giving it up for silly reasons and I wanted to complete at least one project in my life.

Lesson 2 : Don’t try to climb the mountain yourself—Take Help. When I decided to train for my first marathon, I was looking for help. I did not know anything about running a marathon. While researching I found that there were a lot of running clubs in Dubai. I got in touch with Malcum Murphy of Dubai Creek Striders Club. It was great meeting him and the group helped me to train for my first marathon. The best thing for me as a novice was to hear stories from others as to how they trained for their first marathon. For any goal you want to achieve in your life, it becomes easier if you can associate with people who have achieved the goal before or people who want to achieve the same goal as yourself. You get more ideas for achieving your goals.

Lesson 3 : Take Baby steps—–“A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step”. I would like to change this quote to “A journey of a thousand miles begins with baby steps”. Start slowly. A journey for running a marathon begins with you seeing if you can run atleast half the distance. I ran a half marathon a month before the race. One of the major mistakes which a novice marathon runner makes is to start from the very front of the starting line at the beginning of the race. As a result they start running at a fast pace at the beginning of the race and are unable to complete the race as they run out of steam. Start slow and then gain pace. The most important part of the race is the last 21 kilo metres that is where you need your energy. Start slow, analyze your mistakes, correct the mistakes and then gain speed from the half way mark to achieve your goals.

Lesson 4 : Have a support group—My support group were the members of the running club, my family and friends. The icing on the cake for me was my wife running with me for the last 50 meters of the race. She was there throughout the course of training and running the race. It was a great feeling to be running with her. A support group helps you by giving feedback, correcting your mistakes. Most importantly they help you to keep your motivational levels high. So the question you have to ask yourself when you are trying to achieve your goal—“Who are part of your support group”.

Running the last 50 metres of the race with my lovely wife Aishwarya.

My support group in 2004.Aishwarya, Mom ,Dad my friend Shrikant. Aishwarya has taken this picture 

The 5 truths of my life.

As the day reaches its end I find myself contemplating if I should tell about the truths I learned in my 48 years of life in this planet. The truth might sound bitter, but it has to be revealed to all if its going to help everyone. I am an achiever– good son, good husband , good father, good friend and compassionate human being.So here are the truths of my life.

Truth 1: It does not matter how you are in school or college whether you are a good student or a bad student, whether you are rich or poor, by the time you reach 48, your life becomes balanced. You are not doing worse than your genius friend. Life has a great way of balancing everything. If you are not doing decently well, then you would have done something really bad with your life.

Truth 2: All successes are based on the principle of persistence. Assignments given in school and college helps you prepare for the hard work needed for later life. All the inspirational stories of some one dropping out of the education system does not mention the amount of hard work they have done to achieve their success.

Truth 3 : Sex is not the only thing needed to have a good successful relationship. It is based on lot of give , take and letting go. Just like a baby who do not keep things to heart despite being spoken harsh words by a parent, it is important to just let go and look at the positive to maintain a relationship . Copulation will happen when it has to. Same cannot be the only reason to have a relationship.

Truth 4: Do not torture your body in your quest to be fit. Most of the so called fit people suffer when they reach old age. You are fit after 48, if there are no aches and pain in your body , if your knees does not hurt, if you can still shop with your wife and play with your children after a hard days work. So to hell with all fitness programs. Exercise 30 minutes, build some muscle and eat good food. You will be for life. Do not abuse your body with too much exercise, too much food, too much alchohol and too much diet.

Truth 5: Do not judge the ability of your children based on their academic performance and social interactions. Take a step back and look at how you were during those times. You achieved everything when you were given the freedom to do your own thing. You need to give the same freedom to your children.

My Learnings after Posting 51 Blog Posts in

All this writing about Anger , Lust , Greed and Hatred and given me few realizations:

1 . We as human beings are good by nature.

2. Our Mind is true by nature.

3. All the afflictive emotions like Lust, Greed, Hatred and Anger are temporary by nature

4. All afflictive emotions exaggerate things or situations more than what it is meant to be.

5. Mind and aflictive states can be altered at will.

6. Reversal of emotions works as a Antidote. If the reaction to being angry situation is calmness then it helps you.

7. There is lot of regret for all the actions we do when we are angry. The reason is because we are good human beings by nature

8. No religion promotes hatred

9.All great men have become great by taming their anger. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson mandela and Dalai Lama to name a few.

10. Being compassionate is the new world order