Monday, 26 October 2015

Running is Addictive!

I hated running. I'm sure you know I was fat and every run was dreadful to me. Ask my younger self to run even 500 metres and I will be complaining. But I was challenged to improve 1% every day, in one area of my liking. I was challenged by myself.

So I decided to change a little on my usual routine last Wednesday. Instead of playing badminton in the evening after work (there was a volleyball match going on at the same venue), I decided to do something similar - running. Just like badminton, running is a type of cardio but was deemed as a more boring type of cardio, so I thought. But I was proved wrong later. 

What I normally do with my workout session is to run for 10 minutes then proceed to free weight training. Last Wednesday I decided to push myself and try to run my first ever quarter marathon (5km). Big deal, because I don't even do 2km on a usual basis, more like 1.5km. So the first time I touched 5km line, I clocked 33 minutes 45 seconds. I was on top of the world. I thought I was invincible for a moment. Then I realised later that night, I was actually quite slow. You would have thought I will be discouraged. Some people will. 

But here's the thing: Time was not my main concern. I just wanted to finish the race. I just wanted to touch 5km mark. 

Now I knew 5km is doable, I decided to push myself a little bit more. This morning I pushed myself for a shorter time. And I assure you I had never felt so good before. I SUCCEEDED to clock 28 minutes 55 seconds, 1 minute 5 seconds below the 30 minutes benchmark. Here's a great opening to a journey I won't regret myself embarking. I know I will push myself even more and I won't settle. When there is a first time, there will be second and third time, only if it makes you feel good. 

I am then reminded this quote from Initial D movie many years back casted by Jay Chou: “你不需要与别人比较,要赢的是你自己。” which directly translated into: 
You don't have to beat anyone else, but only yourself. 
So true. I just have to beat my own record, over and over again. Set a new personal record, and celebrate for a moment. But never settle for that. Always push myself for much better record. Because it would be pointless if you compare yourself with anyone else. There will always be people better than you. You just have to run your own race, not other people's. Beating your own record is always more addictive and encouraging than trying to beat someone else's record. 

Same thing goes to every other areas in life. Some people took 2 years to qualify as a certified professional, some people 3 or 4 years. Some people have been doing it for 8 years and they are still attempting. Many extreme cases go up to over 20 years. You just have to settle for the fact that everyone is different. Everyone has different priorities and commitments. But you will eventually get there if you never give up. Do the right thing, persist on and you will reach the destination! You will eventually succeed! Don't give up! Ever. 

I somehow think running is like drinking coffee. Drinking coffee the first time may give you a repulsive feeling. Your heartbeat runs faster and you feel like your heart is pumping too much. You can't contain its excitement. You feel like you are going to have heart attack anytime soon. You vow to never ever try it again. But something pulls you back in and the next thing you know, you are drinking coffee again. It is getting more and more addictive. You start to enjoy the aroma of the fresh percolated coffee, every sip excites you. You are energised and pumped up, ready to take on all challenges the world is to throw at you. 

Same thing goes to running. 

Every drip of my sweat is a testament of victory over myself. I managed to beat myself but I know this is just a short term victory. I will only keep improving, trying to beat my own record every time I run. This feeling is not entirely new though. Just like playing Flappy Bird about a year ago. Everyone was so hyped up about Flappy Bird, because of its difficulty to thrive in the game. It seemed so easy, yet it was challenging. But one thing is for sure, everything challenging can beat you unless you decided to beat yourself first. Then you will forever be in front of the pack. 

In last Friday's Homes (my church's cell group) we were asked to write down our greatest fear and our greatest dream. My greatest fear was: To be complacent and stagnant in life. To do nothing more than a routine and settle for mediocrity. I hope I will never ever settle for mediocrity in life. I want to emerge victorious in all areas of my life, and I reckon it is only possible if God is in the picture. Not to be confused with ungratefulness, not settling for mediocrity is indeed a way to receive God's best. Only then God can pour out more and more even bigger blessings into your life. 

I hope you will never settle for mediocrity too. Always push harder to beat yourself and you will find yourself on top of the world. I found myself on top of the world.  

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