August 30, 2015 2 Comments
I have always been interested in athletics and just love the direct competition, the emotion and show of strength of individuals. Its gladiatorial and a human story without being hurtful to people. Today, watching the Marathon in the World Championship, was an education which captured all the above ingredients.
When Edna Kiplagat, the Kenyan, who had been World Champion twice in the past, suddenly dropped back a few meters from the leading pack of five competitors, in the last ten minutes phase of the race, it was the declaration of her inner self. If you are running twenty six miles plus at fair pace, then for a top athlete, mental endurance is what it is about. They are all supreme athletes and physically in prime condition. But at some point, the mind does take a call. Through the fog, stress and physical challenge, the mind is ready to go on or conversely the pain barrier has become too much and now its time to lower it.
In that one moment, it is a real human story. The particular athlete is deciding, I am superhuman or I drop back to being a normal mortal. In this case, Kiplagat, who had overcome these barriers often in the past and been superhuman for long, decided that notwithstanding a great career, she could not be superhuman anymore. No more! She was saying ‘I am ready to go home’.
Moreover, as always happens in this life, there were four others in that leading group who continued onwards. Soon enough, in the next couple of kilometers a sprint ensued at the end (which must have taken superhuman effort) and out of the ashes of Kiplagat, rose another phoenix, in the shape of the Ethiopian, Mare Dibaba. The new World Champion.
Is this not what happens in real life also? Not so dramatically though. We all take calls at a certain time, that our search for achievement, the sacrifices and effort it calls for, are just a mountain too far. And so we decide to lower the ante, or decide to change our purpose in life. Others who are with you in your life, continue onwards. They still have the desire and out of them will appear another flag bearer for the future. The Marathon today was a one hundred and fifty minutes encapsulation of all our lives.