Seven weeks of excruciating soreness in places quite honestly I didn’t think one could be sore and close encounters of being “sick” many a times, all for just 2 hours of my life. This was my second half marathon in the span of 2 months and rather than being practical and reasonable about it, I stood bold and confident…. until my first day of training! As I struggled through each week and had visions of the absolute relief I would get in raising my hands and calling quits, I kept going. More than my obnoxious competitive streak to surpass my own personal record and yea alright because I’m a sore loser (I can just picture my best friend and ex boyfriend nodding their heads in absolute agreement) I had an even bigger and more important reason to push through. I ran for a very special girl with a very big dream.
When I decided to run the NYC half marathon, I decided to run for a pressing cause. Like many things in my life, this particular foundation showed up right in front of me. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by Alex, a 3 year old little girl struck with neuroblastoma (type of childhood cancer) shortly before her first birthday. Her dream was to open a lemonade stand and save money for the hospital that tried to save her life. While she did just that and made an impressive 2000 dollars in her first attempt, she couldn’t live much longer to accomplish her real dream of raising a million dollars for childhood cancer. Her family however carried her legacy forward and now the one stand has grown to 20,000 stands across the country. ALSF’s contribution has reached unprecedented levels in the field of pediatric cancer research.
So preparing for this was highly important and with my extremist attitude, I dived right in. For seven weeks it was all about the training. Securing myself with one of the best running coaches in Bangalore, I woke up at 4.30am, ate a strict diet and had military sleeping hours. I got faster and fitter no doubt and I prepped myself for the best I could be. Seven weeks later, I was ready!
ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
Something or someone might just show up that can change everything in a matter of minutes. Due to unforeseen circumstances that night I couldn’t make my race the next day. From nothing but excitement in getting out there and making it to the finish line in the best time possible, all I wanted to do now was lie in bed. I was sick to the core. I quietly resented myself but then realised that in all my drama and chaos I had forgotten the actual reason for running this race. I dreamt about accomplishing a better timing and forgot everything else.
This experience has taught me one of the most important lessons in my life. We are so constrained by what is supposed to be, how we are suppose to act or react and get so caught up in ourselves that we forget the bigger picture. And then hate ourselves for not following the plan and instead breaking the rules, even if a situation might have somewhat been out of our control. We then often reflect on “so what’s” with a negative connotation. Like we’re doing something rebellious by not conforming. But sometimes “so what’s” are the best way to deal with a situation. Like an interesting person the other day said to me, its best to step back and look at the entire picture, maybe add other colors or even paint a whole new one!
So what that I couldn’t physically run the marathon, the bigger picture is contributing to ALSF. Any help is obviously appreciated. If you believe in it then this is how: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1112744