Finishing is fantastic!
Today I completed my first 10km run with a bunch of friends. At the end of the Green Corridor run were sweet rewards – cheers from friends, fresh fruit, a clean towel, water, and a Finisher’s medal.
I love how they call the medal a Finisher’s medal. Except for the top runners, the rest of us are called Finishers – we finished the race and that in itself deserves a medal. Wonderful! To me, it speaks of my own grit and intention. I didn’t just start, I finished what I set out to do. I never gave up jogging. I didn’t resort to walking. For different people, finishing meant different things. For me, the point is not merely to finish, but to finish running! I experienced what it felt like to have lungs feel like they’re bursting and legs wobbling. I felt victorious, almost heroic. I still feel high thinking about the run I finished.
For Sheron my business partner – who said yes to taking part in the race without any heed to her considerations – uncertainty about her own level of fitness was but one of them. She simply turned up, optimistic, happy, and was surprised she had so much fun. Life is really like this: I will miss 100 percent of the shots I don’t take; I will miss 100 per cent of the fun of living if I choose not to participate.
Just at the start of the race, I texted my mountain-climbing guru Khoo Swee Chiow. “My life is madness now. What am I doing tearing around disused railway tracks on a Sunday morning?!” His reply: “Better to be mad than doing nothing.”
He is absolutely right. So many of us did our first 10km run. Another team member, Lucas, had an unforgettable birthday. He was elated and excited. I could see and feel his excitement. He had consistently failed his 2.4km test in the army when he was 20 years old. And that day, at 38, he finished 10.5km in good time! It gave him such a sense of pride and accomplishment. He thinks this was the best birthday gift ever.
A gift does sometimes look like this! Our mentor James gave us a gift by inviting us to run with him. We gave ourselves a gift by saying yes. And in so doing, we gave ourselves a wonderful and unforgettable Sunday experience, learnt so many new things and stretched our physical and mental limits.
Two weeks ago, a visiting pastor from the US said: “When you have walked some place you have never walked, you will learn some things you have never learnt.”
And that is exactly why I do these things. I would like to do some things I have never done before, to walk some places I have never walked before, so that I can experience and learn things I have never learnt before! Unabashedly, I would say that I love the feeling of being proud of myself at the end of the race. It gives me such a boost.
That is how I would like to feel when I have retired from my business – pleasantly spent and tired, having run a good race and fought a good fight.