July 7, 2015 by Soo Ee
It’s true, what they said, about the ability of your body to go through what your mind sets out to accomplish. Throughout a huge part of the run, everything was going according to plan.I was delighted I was going to kill the Run. Murder it in cold blood with a timing below 5 hours. 1 hour 10 minutes for 10km, I was hitting 3 hours 30 minutes when I reached 32 km. Nice. I could almost smell the finisher tee.
However, 3/4 into the run, things took a really bad turn. The Run counter-attacked my joy and summoned two very powerful allies – the demons of past ankle and knee injuries. Those two imps have been lying dormant for some time now, kept away by my strict abstain from doing any form of martial arts training. I’ve even forgotten their existence for a while, till when they were summoned.
The combined power of the trio took the wind out of me. I struggled through the last 6km in a lot of pain. Every step I took resulted in sharp excruciating pain travelling upwards to my brain. I tried to move a little, perhaps jog not walk the remaining way. But something kept getting in the way – pain. It was real, the pain. Very real.
As the minutes went by, these words kept looping in my head “I was failing in my mission today to finish strong.” … “Noooooo.. I don’t want today’s run to end in me going out in a stretcher.” …. “I want to cross the finish line with my head high!..”
Unbelievably almost in tears. The pain of not reaching my goal when I was so close to it, was unimaginably more painful than the pain the demons inflicted upon me. “Make it stop” I told myself “make it stop” ..
Then, at that moment, I realised that the only person who could help me stop the pain, was in fact me.
“Stop whining and be the fighter you say you are.”
My ego was back to lift me on its wings. I had to find help, a spray, ice, whatever I could land my hands on to alleviate the pain to finish the race.
Thankfully, there were many cheer leading ra ra groups along the way and each of them helpfully loaned me their painkiller spray whenever I ran up to them and asked them if I could borrow something to kill the pain.
Aided and motivated by their generosity and encouragements, I found courage to block out the pain. I gritted my chattering teeth, kept calm and ran on. I said a little prayer and run and jog and run and jog till I saw the flashing lights of the words ‘FINISH LINE.’
It felt like an enlightenment of sorts.
On 5 July before dawn, I finally made it back to where I started, to where I wanted to be.
That moment felt great. My heart cried tears of joy and jumped in leaps and bounds.
“Oh my gawd. I survived my first fm!”
“I really did!”