Journey To The Finish Line
Last weekend, I took part in my very first fun run and completed it!! Woohoo!! *celebratory dance*
I’ve never been one of those people who’s enthusiastic about fun runs or marathons. In fact, I wasn’t the one who signed myself up for this particular run—my cousin did! He’s noticed that I’ve been dragging his wife for a jog on a regular basis and thought I’d be interested to join a fun run somehow. I was a little hesitant at first because back when I was in school, cross-country (merentas desa) was compulsory and I hated it!
I hated all the cross country practices I had to do plus the event itself but things really do change because now I voluntarily jog 5km every other day and enjoy it. I’m glad I did the fun run; I hope to join more fun runs in the future. And next time, I’ll be the one to sign myself up. Haha.
During the run, I couldn’t help but observe all the participants around me. There were all kinds of people taking part; I felt like all the different characters I saw and the way they ran were reflective of how people live their lives. Believe it or not, there were mothers who brought their kids with them. I even saw a couple with their toddler in a stroller! They obviously didn’t run but instead took their own sweet time strolling to the finish line.
Some people were in pairs and motivated each other all the way to the finish line. Some were in groups and never strayed away from their friends. Some ran all the way, some jogged and some couldn’t be bothered and just walked. And then, there were participants in different colour jerseys: those were the competitive runners and they mean business. They had their sport headbands and game faces on.
I’m not entirely sure where I fit in. I didn’t walk all the way; I mostly jogged. I was with my cousins and their friends in the beginning but separated from them after a while so that I could go faster. At times, I stopped to brisk walk. Throughout the whole run, I kept telling myself not to worry and that my main goal was to reach the finish line no matter how slow I go.
I don’t want to rub it in my cousins’ faces but I did finish before them. 🙈
While I was waiting at the finish line, I took a look at all the happy faces around me. Everyone was either relieved or happy that they completed the run. Some people received more than a finishers’ medal: they won cash prizes and a fancier looking medal. I was happy with myself because I got up before subuh to do something I wouldn’t have voluntarily done years ago. In fact, one of the reasons I’ve been jogging regularly was to build my stamina for this run and it paid off.
The main takeaway from the run was that there are so many ways to live life. You can live slow or live fast but at the end of the day, it’s YOUR journey and you know what works best for you. It’s easy to get caught up on how to run our lives (pun intended) when we begin comparing ourselves to others. Each one of us live very complex lives that come with privileges and setbacks of their own— it’s easy to forget this and believe that everyone has the same starting point.
Two people can come from the same socio-economic backgrounds, but their relationship with their parents and the kind of friendships they had growing up can really boost or hinder their personal growth. There are so many hurdles that we have had to overcome by the time we reach young adulthood and I wish more people acknowledged these milestones in their lives.
Finishing school. Graduating from uni. Getting a job, whatever it is. Recovering from childhood traumas. Building your self-confidence. Doing something you thought you never could. Improving your health. Getting a car. Buying a house. Settling down, starting a family. Maintaining a long-term friendship. Maintaining a marriage. All these are milestones and you can do it in your own time!
Just because it takes you longer than your friends to reach your desired milestones, doesn’t mean you are losing in life. Another person’s success is not your failure. Learn to appreciate the journey and be thankful for the lessons that come at every stage of your life.