I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to register myself for my first ever 10k run. I don’t know if it was the social cause of rape and gender violence against women in the democratic republic of Congo or if it was a deep inner desire to do something that I had never done before, I don’t really know.
The race was in London’s Hyde park on 3rd June and there were professionals and regulars too. There was hardly anyone who was a first timer like me or even someone who had never run before.
I am not sporty and I don’t exercise. Exercising doesn’t come to me as a part of my existence and it doesn’t come naturally to me at all. So after I registered for this 10k charity run, reality hit me and I sat down counting days and thinking of ways to get through to it in my mind.
I read a lot of posts online on how to get from 0k to 5k in a week and so on and although they all made perfect sense, I had a body that was completely out of sync with everything. I could barely run. I had no sense of time and I was extremely extremely slow. I remember my initial runs, I wouldn’t know where my breaths were and where I was! I was a mess and a diaster at the same time in equilibrium.
Then came the race day.
It was time to run.. Everyone started running, so did I. People overtook me from right and left and in no time, I was left on my own at the very end. I seriously felt so silly that I wanted to run in the opposite direction and not follow the crowd in front. I could neither keep up with the crowd and neither could I give up. I wanted to give up but then something was stopping me..
Turns after turns and at one point something inside me told me that it was just my race; I wasn’t there to compete with the rest. I was running for the first time in my life for a cause that I believed in. I couldn’t give up! I might be slow and walk and run and finish last, it would still be my race.
I ran and ran and completed my 10k race officially.. And I didn’t come last. I finished my 10k in 1.20.44.. I know it is not the best of timings for a 10k but I am happy that I did it.
So today while I sit and sip my coffee, I remember the race from June 3; and it makes me smile.. I completed it despite me telling myself to quit at the start, I completed it despite what other runners thought of me. I completed it when I got out of my own way.
And my biggest lesson learnt that day was .. It always is our own race, our own pace.. And most of the times, we are the ones standing in our own way 🙂