Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's Not about the Winning


Last week I posted a silly gripe on Facebook after my run:’’ Argh, run interrupted by darned rain’’.

A friend posted a flippant remark in reply, ‘’what rain?  It was only a slight drizzle – showers of blessings’’.

I guess a non runner will say this.  I told him that I am a responsible runner and do not want to catch a cold just a few days before my race.  In fact, people who know me well will know that I do more than that – I train, eat and prepare sensibly before any race, and I do so responsibly, so that I do not collapse at the finishing line and send my friends and relatives panicking to the hospital.

Today, I am happy to see this article about the Olympics.  It says ‘’it’s not about the winning’’ and goes on to explain that it’s the ‘’striving’’ that is the essence of the Games.  Of course I am not elevating my races and training to the Olympic level, but I’d like to think that in sports and games, the majority of time spent is in the training and preparation.  The actual ‘’deed’’ (competition, run, performance) is but a fraction of the prep time. 

The article goes on to mention what I’d been trying to get my friends to understand, whenever they say things like, ‘’aiya, no sweat lah – you have been running so many years,’’, or, ‘’wah, you’re really serious ah, about the rain and what you eat’’. 

‘’You can catch the flu a week before those 5 minutes’’ and ‘’have another hurdler fall on you’’, says this article. 

This morning, I was pushed twice by an aggressive woman as we neared the finishing line, and a few times earlier, had to avoid being pushed off by two others too.  While racing in Hong Kong 2 years ago, a hefty man nearly fell on me.  While racing in Singapore more than 5 years ago, I nearly fell and broke my toes just 50 metres from the finishing line.

So, even if my race was ‘’only 10 km’’ as many put it, something sway can happen, and it will have fucked up your entire year of training. 

And even if it was ‘’only 10 km’’ and that I am a seasoned runner, contrary to all the air brushed glossy ads in the media, I don’t look pretty during the run.  I was huffing, puffing and panting loudly, and at times I was dribbling and drooling and wiping snot on my shorts and sweat off my eyebrows with my already sweaty hands. 

Many times (usually it’s towards the last 2 km) I would promise myself that I would not run for the next month after the race, like what our gymnast said in the article – ‘’not move’’ when the Game is over in London. 

Usually I managed to hold out for only a week, not one month.  This morning I beat my personal best with a good timing, and maybe I shall reward myself with more than a week.

Well, all I can say is, a run is not 5 minutes, unlike gymnastics.  In my case, it was 57 minutes of non stop, intense, focused-pounding on the road….


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