Sometimes during my runs, I am accompanied by a pesky companion whose impudent voice tends to deter my spirits. Today was one such day, when that ‘companion’ emerged. It was a sultry day of June, where the monsoons were playing a fine game of hide and seek, giving a chance for the sun to grin at us in a mocking manner by shining down fiercely. Unfortunately I left my iPod behind and was forced to listen to that annoying voice.
“Hello there”, isn’t it a rather hot day to be running?” Said the voice.
I shook my head, hoping that this ‘unwanted guest’ of mine would take the hint and disappear. I was in no mood for a conversation, especially not when I wanted to run a good distance today.
“Well it looks like you are already out of steam. I don’t think you can go that far today.”
My forehead lines creased into a scowl and it certainly didn’t matter to me if I appeared rude or obnoxious.
“Oh yeah. Maybe you should consider a career as a fortune teller. Why don’t you just go bother someone else with your gibberish? “I retorted, unable to contain my annoyance any more.
“Oh well, looks like someone is in a bad mood. Not the right frame work to have while you are running, don’t you think?” the voice persisted.
I ignored, continuing my strides, spotting a hill at a distance.
“Oh my God!! Look at that gigantic slope”. No way can you run over it. Just look at you.” shrieked the voice.
I paused for a fraction of a second as I looked on hesitatingly. Perspiration trickling down my face and the humidity levels soaring as though in a jubilant celebration of the runner’s fatigue. I stepped up gradually and managed to surpass the slope. I glided downhill like a bird with a faint yet triumphant smile on my face, having proved my companion wrong.
I was on the verge of completing my loop and continued my strides albeit at a slow pace.
Just as I was about to feel relieved, the heat wave suddenly swooped down and I almost stopped my run.
“Mr. Sun is trying to say hello to you.” That voice sang. “Least you can do is smile at him.”
My face reddened as I glared in an intimidating manner, hoping that this pest of a companion would go away.
“So I bet you can’t finish this loop”, that voice continued. In fact there’s no chance.
“Shut up” I said fiercely, much to the surprise of a fellow runner and I waved my hand in an apologetic manner.
I gathered all my energy levels from the reserve, determined to prove this companion of mine wrong. Cruising along the road, I ran biting my teeth in sheer pain as the sun’s rays came on in a fierce manner. I glanced at my Garmin which indicated that it was just 200 metres till my car. I ran fast, my heart pounding so loudly that it sounded like those beats in the electronic dance music I often listened to. I stopped by my car with a satisfied smile on my face. That insolent companion of mine conveniently disappeared without a word.
I had often read a running quote which said that ‘A runner’s competition isn’t with any other runner but against that little voice inside you which wants to quit.”
Today I was elated that I could defeat that voice and I had once again conquered my MIND!
Moral: Inner demons will often tend to delude you from the vision of the finish line, especially when you want to step out of your comfort zone. It’s a fierce battle probably more grave than the World War 2. But remember, whenever this voice urges you to quit, remind yourself that you are a warrior who will not cow down to hail storm, thunder or heat. At the end of the day when you look at yourself in the mirror, you must ensure that it’s the face of a champion that looks back at you. A champion not necessarily because you have beaten a world record or grabbed a podium, a champion because you have battled against the odds and embraced the finish line.