Sunday, September 25, 2005

Marathon

I would rather prepare my mind for the marathon of life than prepare my legs for the one on road. Should I run a marathon? Well, an on road marathon preparation requires a lot of mental preparation too. The legs have to be there. Not necessarily long, but strong. You run on your legs! You could start crawling once your legs consider the Marathon a lost cause. What if your mind says enough is enough? Forget the marathon, it happens when you try to jog just that extra round. You know you have the physical strength but the mind has its own plans. Twenty eight miles of running without the destination in sight should be difficult. The destination in view could propel the mind, I guess. But here there is nothing in site, for miles and miles all you see is road (discount the spectators, I guess after some running your mind blocks them all). You may even loose sight of your competitors after some time. Some have told me that all they want is to reach the finish line. Doesn't matter even if they make it after all the rest. Reaching the finish line is the goal. You are set against your own self. It is a fight against one's own limitations both physical and mental. A fight that everyone wants to win.

Wonder what gives up first. The mind or the body. I guess it should be possible to resuscitate the willing and trained mind but the body if tired beyond repair may be difficult to drag along. A marathon race I watched was the Olympics 2004 Women's Marathon which was won by Japan. Believe me the race was more exciting than one may expect a marathon to be. The short Japanese seemed to pack in a lot more than one would expect. The untimely exit of Paula Radcliffe when many expected her to win a medal in the race. All the action was tangible. One could empathise with the exhaustion that the athletes showed on their face. Sudden increase in the strides of a competitor would send your heart racing as if you were the one trying to run faster. Will she be able to keep running this fast, you would ask yourself. Reduced strides would confuse you. Is it the end of the road or is it just a part of a larger stratagem. The Japanese Noguchi had increased her strides quite a bit towards the end of the marathon as if she was trying to finish it before it gets too late. She was maintaining a fair distance from her opponents. Not sure whether she was being doubly cautious. What if someone showed a sudden burst of acceleration? Maybe it was her race against time. Probably, nobody will know. All I know is that she won and deserved the victory, not that the others didn't. I guess most of them there were victorious. Just that one of them topped them all.
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