10k run: Lessons in change, perseverance & integrity

And it’s done! After 3 months of practice (regular during some weeks, not so regular during others), Sarovarthon, the 10k run within my apartment, happened this morning (25th Jan, 2015). I wrote about this event in a couple of my earlier posts – Doing it together & Keep on running.

While the time I took to cover the distance is not great (1 hour and 25 minutes), there are a few important lessons that I learnt during the preparation & the run itself that I would like to share.

Change takes time: I started practicing for the run 3 months back. I was ambitious enough to believe that with 3 months practice I could run the 10 kilometers with ease. Way too ambitious…more so since my stamina was in the dumps 3 months back & I didn’t run as regularly as I should have. So while I am happy with the fact that I completed the run, I know there is still a long way to go. In Veronica Roth’s words, “Change, like healing, takes time.”

Perseverance:  I was dead tired at the end of the 5th kilometer. After that, for the next 5 kilometers I pushed myself saying – ‘let’s get till that corner’, ‘let’s cover this stretch’, and thus cover another kilometer. Sometimes I would slow my pace down, so I could continue to run. During those last 5 kilometers a part of me wanted to give up, but another part of me wanted to complete what I had started. As with many projects/assignments/tasks, perseverance was key. As Confucius  said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

Integrity: There are always shortcuts, if you are looking for one. During a previous 10k run, I saw a few participants going over barricades to cut down the distance and get to the finish line faster. ‘Who are they cheating?’ I wondered. It is never about doing things the right way only when someone is looking. It is about staying true your commitment, your goals. It is better to not cover the distance, than take shortcuts to complete it. Oprah Winfrey put it wonderfully, when she said, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

With the 10k run now behind me, I am wondering what health goal to set next. Covering the same distance in less than hour? Hmm, sounds challenging, and exciting!

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