January 27, 2007

Sports Day

Here goes the Sports Day event I had mentioned in the "Bus Drivers" blog. This event occurred 1.5 years back when I was in my first year of my Masters.

Post Graduation was very serious unlike under-grads where there was loads of fun and loads of studying too. College will be another blog...I seem to be going back in years in every blog :)

Ok coming back to the Sports Day.......... It was a very bright and sunny morning. I got up very early at around 5.30 and was ready by 6.30. My classmate came home to pick me up. We were going by car to the venue where the events were to be held.

We had packed water, glucose, a change of socks and towels........

I had worn red track suit and cute socks, the ones which come till my ankles and New Balance Shoes (quite fashionable an entry I made)

U might have guessed by now, I had not planned on taking part. I was going there to cheer my other classmates. Most of my classmates had come and the ground was looking colourful. The track was empty and people were in various forms of excercises, some jogging, some sizing up the ground, others running.

There was this 40(i m guessing)year old guy ,looking in the prime of his health ,running tirelessly. I was starting to feel ashamed that I could not muster up as much energy as he did. I ran on the tracks for a while competing with my classmate "A". He beat me easily saying i rolled rather than run on the track.I stopped running. However the sight of the 40 yr old man continued to move around in my head. Constantly reminding me of what I could do and yet did not.

I am not an anti-sports person. I had run my fair share of school races , was an active high-school "Throwball" player. Somewhere along the line, the idea that "I look clumsy while running" combined with my need to win always took precedence and I had not been in any of the races ever since then ie after my 10th STD.

There were nice stalls with water containers and loads of glucose.The inauguration started 8 am on dot. A large crowd had gathered to watch activities.

Not many of my friends were participating and I felt good .............Well, I had company didnt I? However that niggling thought of that man kept creeping back and reminding me what a loser I was. It didnt care I had company.

Now I have a problem. When there is something I need to recover from my databank(head) or find answers- my mind goes full steam till I solve the issue. And this thought just did not go away as I had not even Plan B for it to stop chewing my brains.

There were the usual 100 m, 200 m and 400 m for the guys. 100m and 200 m for the girls. Relay. Long Jump and High Jump. Javelin throw for the men. Women were given a heavy ball.

The mens 100 m event started first. It was a tough finish. Two people were extremely fast. My classmate "A" whom I had come with in the car, and another junior. The junior came in first. The arenalin that surged inside me as I watched the race cant be explained. All the races I had run in the past came in front of my eyes and that thought just kept getting stronger and stronger. It had started speaking to me. Now my thought better have a name as it plays a vital part.Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I will call it "Sparky"

Next it was the 100 m Womens event and Sparky was goading me now. What a pest. I did not take part. A girl in my class came in third. The top 2 positions were taken by juniors, the twin athlete sisters. They were brilliant.

Next was the 200 m Mens and 200 m Womens. I continued ignoring Sparky who was getting on to my nerves now. Heck I could not even enjoy being the spectator. The long Jump for Men was a great event to watch. People pitting against one another and themselves. Thats what I admire and always strive for- to better myself and pushing myself. I was understanding that sports and life was not much different.

It was an enjoyable event. "A" won the first place and the junior who beat him in 100m won the second place. There was a small break. And i was catching up with my friends, getting them water and glucose.

The womens event for Long Jump came and went with more men than I had seen in the college in totality also :) :)

The womens event of throwing the ball came. Sparky was head on and I said what the heck let me try it. I was practicing before the event to see how far I could throw it. Many an attempt later and I could throw relatively well. People all along warned me against attempting this as I m a small person. But what no one knows I m very strong mentally and that makes up for my small frame. I have helped a friend shift residence moving beds, showcases and cupboards(some filled with clothes) from downstairs to upstairs using narrow stairs as other friends watched in awe. My mind can do things my body never dreamed of.

The warnings just served to fuel me. I work better when the odds are against me. And I took part in that event. I didnt win, but I felt good. I had taken part in an event, enjoyed lifting my aching arms and throwing the ball, not winning and having a smile on my face :) I was feeling calm.

The last events of the day was the 400 m relay. The twin sisters and my classmate who won third in 100 m were on the lookout for a fourth one. Everyone wanted to be on that team as it was a sure shot to the 1st prize. I looked at them as they waved aside many a "probable good runner" wanting only the best to be a part of their team. They finally teamed up with another good runner and assembled their relay team.Two other good teams also got assembled.

3 (not so bad) runners were on the lookout for a fourth person to join them and there was no one. I have run 100 m in school and I was thinking if I should join. Sparky was quiet. Probably letting me take the blame on myself if I agreed and did not win , so he could come out and keep reminding me of a bad choice i had made. Thats what i thought of Sparky. He was dead silent.

They were looking disappointed as the Relay requires 4 members. I offered. They were delighted. I was wondering If I am giving them false hopes. They said they just wanted to run because they enjoyed running. They beleived that they would not win and that pissed me off. I told them, we might not win, we might win. But we should never be negative about it. They were listening eagerly. I was wondering if I could push them a little bit to believe in themselves.

I was excited. My heart was beating. I asked them how good they were and they said they could run fast, but could not beat the twins for sure. I told them to stop thinking of the twins. I said I would take the last position as I am a fast runner. I could not beleive I said that. I had won 100 m races in my schools. I wondered if my legs would be that fast now. I have an athletic frame but 5 years of not much excercise ????????? Was I being over confident ?

One of the girls said she would take the first position. Now in the Relay race, if the first and the last person are fast, they can make up for lost time and stand a chance. Here we were 4 teams. There were going to be 2 prizes. We could attempt.

The team was charged up. I told them two things. Hold the baton firmly and pass it on carefully . And run like u have nothing to lose.

The relay began. My classmate "A" wished me all the best. He siad u guys can take them on. I said I was running for myself, not to beat anyone , but just to let go of my stupid notions and ideas.

The Relay event started. We took our positions. I sent a prayer to GOD. I just said let me give it my best. Sparky that pest was nowhere to be heard. The whistle went. The race was on. The first girl of my team was very fast........... I have goosebumps writing this......... She passed the baton like a dream to the second girl. She ran pretty ok. And the third girl took the baton from her. I was waiting last. The moment i got the baton in my hand, I ran like a I never have. I felt I was one with wind. I dont mean I was fast coz I didnt know how fast I was. Just that feeling the wind on my face in that speed was wonderful. I didnt mind whether I looked clumsy or whether I was going to win. Running was exhilarating. And I crossed the finish line. Everyone around was clapping and cheering. I didnt know why. The team came and hugged me. We had come second. The twins team was first by 3 seconds.

I was stunned. We looked at one another with astonishment. II nd was unexpected. We didnt speak but the eyes conveyed a lot. I just had made them believe in themselves and whats more................ We had come winners with the odds stacked against us.........

It was this Sports Day when my classmate "A" hurt his foot and could not drive back without wincing in pain........... which sparked my "Car Driving"

Sparky was contented................ So he remained silent for the rest of the day.....I was feeling light-headed, as if all the tensions within me had broken down. It was a lovely ending to a lovely day.

Sparky comes up once a while with different thoughts and I always make it a point to give him a hearing....................