Running My Own Race

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.  Thomas A. Edison 

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.   Aristotle

Running a marathon had been one of the many ‘to do’ activities on my wish list. It was pending for a long time, but always existed as a task to be accomplished. I had heard it to be a difficult race and that it required lot of physical and mental resilience to complete. In national Police Academy, during our basic training course, we had a tough training regime. Physical fitness was one of the most important contents of this training and I had completed this with flying colors but that was in year 1997. Now after a long gap, running a marathon seemed a perfect test for my physical and mental faculties.
There was a new beginning in August 2014, when I was posted at Mumbai. In Jan 2015, I ran my first marathon. But an important question that came to me immediately after I decided to run the marathon was, whether my physique would support? Some people discouraged me by saying that this is not the age to take up running as you might damage your knees. Few said, what is the idea of running a race where it takes a long time and some, jokingly though said, whom are you going to impress at this age?
Since I had already made my decision to give it a try, I decided to go ahead with self-training. Also, seeing so many people on the streets of Mumbai practicing regularly added to my resolve. As I began to Practice, I realized that running was more important than timing for amateur runners. One of my friends rightly pointed out that in marathon every one runs at his or her own pace. Forget about timing, if you complete the race, that is a reward enough. The joy of having finished the marathon is enough to make issues like ‘time taken’ irrelevant in the first instance. The amateur runners run for the joy of it and that is the meaningful part of this race. Only after running the first race successfully does one push the goalpost further away and decides on time frames to complete the race.
Having made my resolve to run the race, I decided to accept the challenge head on. Getting out of bed was the first hurdle I had to cross. One fine morning, I spent some time thinking about it and a name kept flashing in my mind. It was Fauja Singh, the legendary runner who is still running at the age of hundred plus. If he can have the resolve to run at this age and running regularly for so many years, then why can’t I? I accepted the challenge and started preparing for marathon at each day break. This was the last time I deliberated whether to run a marathon or not and to wake up at dawn to practice for it or not. Since then I have run many marathons and wish to run many more.

I did not take any formal training but started on my own. Initially a friend of mine practiced with me but he developed some heel problem so stopped running. For my second marathon at Mumbai, I practiced all alone. It is actually difficult to run alone and one has to be highly motivated to do so. However, after completing the race you feel contended, satisfied and above all you have a sense of achievement that is beyond achieving any monetary goals or any materialistic target.
Actually, running the marathon was a means for me to push against the self-imposed barriers of age and mindset. It was a means to again taste the sweetness of a hard-won victory, won with courage and dignity. I feel, this is what a person should actually understand. The rat race of life actually imprisons us in our own chains of desires and we use all and any weapons of deceit and lies and falsehoods to reach our targets. But the real meaning of success lies in courage, true strength and living with honour. Only then, can we attain contentment. A person who wins through cheating, would never appreciate what he has but would always be unhappy about what he does not have. And while running the marathon you are only running against your own weaknesses both physical and mental like sloth. And no cheating can make you win. So run in the race of life like its your personal marathon and only way to winning is through hard work and above all not giving up at any stage.
In the end the important question is, what did I accomplished by running a marathon?
1. I proved the point that with practice you can achieve your goal.
2. I experienced the thrill of running with so many enthusiasts.
3. I wanted to understand whether there is any age limit to run a marathon. I learnt that there is none.
4. I got rid of my inhibitions.
5. Our body is amazing, the more you work on it, the more it responds.
6. I set an example before my children and people close to me including my friends.
7. You have to take out time from your, “SO CALLED BUSY SCHEDULE,” as everyone has 24 hours in a day. So, no excuses.
To conclude, I realized that marathon is nothing but a mental game. If you have not trained your mind enough then you can’t run and complete the race. There is a continuous fight between mind and body. If you have a strong mindset you will win, otherwise you will lose. While preparing for marathon you will have to continuously tell your mind that ‘YOU CAN DO IT’. Those who win are not extraordinary people but they plan and train themselves in an extraordinary way.
So, the mantra is, ‘‘those who practice, dedicate and work hard will always be the winner’’. Always aim high, that is not the prerogative of few and be the winner.
Always remember, “winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.”

Author avatar
Dr. Ravinder Singal

33 comments

  1. Bavvy

    You keep inspiring us all the time.. very motivating..

  2. Prakash

    Sir, thanks for sharing your experience. Really a motivation for us also .

  3. shivaji shinde

    very nice sir

  4. Samadhan Wagh

    Resp.Sir,
    Really inspiring Article….thanks a lot ….

  5. Gorakh Bhamare

    Sir,it sums up that only great minds can break the great barriers and attain the great success. Whether it’s a marathon or a life it’s all about how you perceive and take on the challenges that decides your success or failure.

  6. Mukhtar Shaikh

    Resp.sir,
    Aap se hame hamesha hi positive enrage milti hai.aap ka ye article hame bhot hi prerna dene vala hai… thank you sir

  7. Mahendra Chhoriya

    Sir you are just great..

  8. Tarannum

    Indeed nothing comes without hardwork n dedication . Passion to achieve a particular goal and determination to reach the goal that is want one needs to inculcate in oneself .
    You have always inspired many and will keep inspiring 🙏

  9. Dr Shweta Bhide

    Truly from the heart of an athlete to the core!
    Hats off to you sir!
    May you find all your wishes and goals come true!

  10. Kunal Gupte

    Sir very motivating to younger and especially the elder generation

  11. Kiran bidve

    Sir good morning. Above mentioned 7 points i like most . Marathon is not only physical but mental game. Sir age is not the criteria for Marathon . I have also never run in martahon before but by seeing you i ran first time in hill Marathon in last month.sir ur r real inspirational .Best wishes for new assignment. Thank you

  12. Vivek R Pendse

    नमस्कार,सुप्रभात.सर,आपका खुदसे लिया हुआ अनुभव, मुझे बहुत कुछ सिखा दिया l कठिनाईंया, तकलिफे तो रहतीही है ,जब तक हमारा मन उसे ठुकराता नही है l मै आज ५८साल की उमर का हूं lआम दुनिया के हिसाबसे निवृत्त होने जा रहा हूं ,मगर मेरा मन नही मानता है l अनेक संकल्प है मन मे l हमेशा सोचता हूं की कैसे पहुचें मंजिल तक,मगर आपके अनुभवसे रास्ता दिखाया है l मै आपसे मिल चुका हूं ,नासिकमें l
    प्रणाम और धन्यवाद l
    विवेक र.पेंडसे.नाशिक.9823196801

  13. Vivek R Pendse

    नमस्कार,सुप्रभात.सर,आपका खुदसे लिया हुआ अनुभव, मुझे बहुत कुछ सिखा दिया l कठिनाईंया, तकलिफे तो रहतीही है ,जब तक हमारा मन उसे ठुकराता नही है l मै आज ५८साल की उमर का हूं lआम दुनिया के हिसाबसे निवृत्त होने जा रहा हूं ,मगर मेरा मन नही मानता है l अनेक संकल्प है मन मे l हमेशा सोचता हूं की कैसे पहुचें मंजिल तक? मगर आपके अनुभवसे रास्ता दिखाया है l मै आपसे मिल चुका हूं ,नासिकमें l
    प्रणाम और धन्यवाद l
    विवेक र.पेंडसे.नाशिक.9823196801

    Reply

  14. Nitin pardesi

    Sir.
    Nice sir awesome 👏🏻 wonderful 😊 fantastic 👍 world 🌍 no ☝️ sir.

  15. Satish

    Wow so motivating …. for sure my next target

  16. Ashok wagh

    Sir your mantra is always inspired us in every tough situation when we lose hope.

  17. Santosh Shankarrao Tandale

    Resp Sir,
    As given Example of Mr.Fauja singh runner after 100+ age is different for every person.
    I surely follow this rule

    Thank you sir for your this valuable message

    .

  18. Pandit r m

    Nice one Sir !!
    Me too joined but discontinued

  19. Sagar D Terke

    Very Nice Article R/Sir, There is much to be learned from your valuable experience…

  20. Sangeeta Koshti

    It is a motivational and l encouraging article for all of us, sir.

  21. Kishor Chaudhari

    I Read that We are what We eat. We are what we think. We are what we digest. But today , I learned from this Article that We are what we repeatedly do. Yes, you are very correct . The things which we do repeatedly are the things which we do unconsciously and we become that so whatever we do, we do it consciously in osho’s language. Marathon is a mental game and after completing it , we get more than any monetary and materialistic reward. Sir I know that we first met at the Mumbai Marathon on Jan 15 and from that day till now , you are drastically progressing and have become an IRON-MAN—-You Have Achieved a Herculean task. NAMASTE Sir.

  22. Anil Kumar

    Very encouraging. Thank you for these inspiring words.

  23. SHRIKRISHNA KOKATE

    INSPIRING AND MOTIVATING
    DOING ALWAYS THE BEST!!!
    OUR INSPIRATION

  24. Milind Sajgure

    By heart, u have a inspirational episode Sir.. this might be a path of physical as well as mental nourishment for upcoming generation. Hat’s off to u Sir ji !!.

  25. Ramesh Shyamsukha

    It is very rightly said U.R.GREAT
    INSPIRING ARTICLE. ….

  26. Pravin vetal

    Respected sir,
    You are great mind trainer.

  27. Anil Sharma

    Truely Inspirational..bravo…wishes you miles of logging

  28. Dr Sitaram kolhe

    Hon’ble Sir!
    Read your article on health. Liked it very much.Then introspected and found in myself ‘some’ vacant corners.They should have been filled but some how remained unattained. Actually one should have a balanced bucket list.Things properly arranged and duly attained.This saves time,money, energy and enables one to enjoy life!
    This one opens my eyes. There is a beautiful word in Hindi… उनिंदी आंखे. Will have to shed drowsiness! Much Obliged!
    Have a great week ahead.
    My obeisances!!
    Pi Dr. Kolhe. Nashik.

  29. Mirza a baig

    Respected sir
    This article is very inspiring to our department and youths.

  30. PI Gorakh Jadhav

    Resp.Sir,
    Very motivational Article Sir…

  31. Santosh S Tandale

    Resp Sir,
    You opened the game between Mind and body.
    Absolutely
    Mind if positive and body gives negative response it will convert in Positive response.

    It’s our thinking works on our behavior…

    Thank you sir very much O P E N E D T H E G A T E O F AGE, MIND, THINKING.

  32. Sushilkumar

    Thanks a lot sir for such a great article and guidance, I am a huge fan of you since you were commissioner of Nasik and getting inspired from you I practised many times but couldn’t keep it up. But your article has given me an inspiration once again to carry out running Thanks a lot sir and hope to meet you face to face in some marathon.

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