Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rejuvenated Desires, Encountering Shame: Athletics

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run”
The poem ‘If

Within 2 days of being taught the ones who can change us, are the ones who we give power to by Angelie Mam, my list expanded by a unit- Harbir, the previous year Athletics captain for my hostel.
As the Inter-Hostel drew nearer, hopelessness increased within me to a point of indifference. Awful preparations where despite repeated insistences I showed up once a week, was sufficient to tell how optimistic winning a medal would be for me. But a shame was induced within me, later turning into flare by Harbir a week before the events, when he asked me to return my spikes. I started rigorous training not before one day prior to my first event- 800m. Surprisingly, starting that day I practiced 10 days in succession, eclipsing my previous record of 3.
From no expectations to an enormous pressure, I experienced it all before the race but finished with a hopeless 12th out of 25. The moment I remember from the race was, Rachit cheering me when I overtook him proving his worth as a captain. Harbir and even our Sports Secy. Apoorv performed splendidly in the heats as I was left to cheer.
During the following gap of 5 days before the next event, I became serious towards practice, daily completing 1500m while watching Harbir bag 5 gold medals and 1 silver, including the fastest man in IIT by winning the 100m. He was my new source of inspiration, as his simplistic lifestyle aggravated the respect earned valuing paid juice over free cold-drinks, spending bucks on proteins, and Athletics fitness over social appreciation of body.
The best of determinations failed in 1500m where I understood determination cannot overcome lack of talent and practice. Even during the race, I didn’t apply my best in the middle laps to finish 10th out of 20. For the next day, 5000m I had consoled myself to be worthy of a medal, although my body parts were aching. But surprisingly, an hour prior to the event my muscles started refusing to work and the situation was a mixture of confusion and resolve. Amongst this, I kept my ears open to Divyam’ s words just before the race, telling how useless it was to run a 5000m and secure no medal. With all this in my mind, I overcame all to give my best start possible as the first 1000m I was 3rd, where I was overtaken and later dragged to 6th within the next 500m. As my stomach pained, Divyam’s words echoed in my ears and to add salt on my wounds, he cheered I painfully withdrew at 2200m. Sadly, within the next 400m the 3rd position guy withdrew, and the 2 ahead of me lost all their power to be dragged at 8-9th. I comprehended the pain of withdrawal over failure, the pain of not trying which made stomach’s pain seem so small.
To conclude the events, Harbir won 5 golds, 2 silvers to be named Best Athlete also playing the One-Man Army to lead our hostel to 2nd. I was filled with pride and shame simultaneously.
To compensate, I ran 2 bouts of 400m in 25*400m relay illegally as my hostel fell short of members, helping it secure a 6th from an initial 8th. Practice continued for me until 2 days before the minors, as the desire for winning in Athletics had rejuvenated in me.


Divyam Singhal said...

actually what happened was, i cheered you for going good and the very next moment i saw you giving up... the vice-versa dint happen..

and btw, i still stick to my funda of "why run for 5000 fucking metres just to loose the race"...

pgm said...

Why play to win? Beginners don't win, yet still they play, don't they? And those who play for long without winning, also still play?

Why do things just as a means to an end?

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

@ pgm:
Hope you can inspire people with your lines. This was a good one.
@ Divyam:
I have written it in that order only.

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