Thursday, 24 September 2015

Cross Country Race and Apex of Pains.

Cross country race during the training days was eagerly looked forward to be completed as early as possible, not because the cadets are fond of it, but to get rid of it at the earliest and to take rest, thereafter. The practice sessions of the race takes away all the weekends and most of the scanty free time. Looking back the simple running taught us many things besides improving the stamina.

The urge to give up running comes knocking just after one to two kilometers and it keeps increasing with the passing distance, until it reaches the apex, where the internal voice that keep saying, “Give up, start walking and take rest” just goes away. The cheering party and encourage-rs on the way rightly says, “It is all mental, come on!” And indeed, it was all mental. The tiring muscles and build up of lactic acid in the muscle fibre sends signal to the brain urging the body to stop, and the willpower fights with that urge - to stop and rest. And that internal fight goes on till it reaches the crest and after that the urge to rest or willpower whoever gives up, wins.  It is the willpower that is made to win most of the time because of the thick bamboo from behind and because of the love for the squadron. The constant practice facilitates  in reaching that apex and making the willpower win.

Even in life we come across so many incidents where you feel that you cannot take it anymore and think of giving up. In some instances you must have given up and in some instances you have tried to persist and come victorious. Even when there is no victory involved, one must have experienced persevering till the apex of the problem, crossing which, the problem did not matter. The pains be it physical or emotional just becomes a part of life and that nagging internal noise telling you to quit, just goes away.

The winners of long distance runner and bikers would agree here that they too feel the pains like any one of us, but their endurance and not listening to the inner voice which keeps telling them to quit, conquers the apex of the pain. Thereafter, the inner voice gets silenced and the pains fade away to the oblivion. Normally those are the people who have immense amount perseverance and never quits.

The apex of the pain can be illustrated better with getting a prick from the short and sharp needle/thorn - how painful it is? The needle must have penetrated just below the epidermis layer and the pain is almost unbearable. Now compare that pain with getting an injection from a needle that is more than an inch long – bearable, huh? The longer needle crosses the apex of pains, after that the graph of pain remains flat.

Looking back, the numerous grueling practices for the cross country race with the final race itself, twice a year, for four years, which made us think that we were almost turning into a racing horse had taught us invaluable lessons of life i.e. to never  - say, “quits” in whatever situations we may be. All hardships in life have its limit, beyond which the graph becomes flat or descends. It is the endurance for the physical hardship and perseverance for the mental hardship or combination of both, that helps us in conquering the crest without giving up and come victorious.