Should we change from ‘Finisher’ to ‘Also Ran’?

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I finished a half marathon couple of months back. All finishers get a medal. To show off my endurance skills, I shared the medal with some ten WhatsApp groups. I drowned in the appreciation I received and was thrilled with my achievement.

But the silent voice in my head said

What did you achieve? You set a target of two hours and twenty minutes to complete the half marathon. You completed it in three hours and ten minutes. Why are you so thrilled?”

I countered that voice saying

I am obese

It is a trail marathon

In my last month of preparation, my knee had a problem

and …..

It took time, but the reality slowly sunk into me. I was piling up my load of excuses on why I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve, and it finally stuck me

I had a sense of misplaced personal accountability.

It just hit me that while I hold others, whom I interact in my daily life from personal to professional, accountable for their commitments, but when it comes to my commitments, I am willing to allow a discount.

Nike did the famous experiment of completing a full marathon under two hours, and when the world’s top marathoner just took twenty-five seconds over two hours, they considered that a failed experiment.

I attribute my failure to lack of deliberate practice. I ran around 1800 KM in the whole of last year, but I seemed to have run without any sense of incremental progress.

Well, I am not going to rue about that now, but this made me wonder

Why did I show off my medal? Was it to inspire others to finish or the haughty see ‘What I can do?”

Why everyone was decent enough to congratulate, and no one said ‘Three hours and ten minutes is a lousy finish time.’

and the most critical question of

Why do I have different levels of accountability? One for the self and one for others.

What about you? Have you experienced this with your self?

As usual, none of what I write will give a specific actionable answer. I just figured out yet another aspect of my glorious inconsistent self!

Well, the lighter side of me thinks that the whole wording of ‘Finisher’ medal is a marketing gimmick to maximize participation. If they want runners to run better, they should change the wording to ‘Also Ran.’ But then, the profitability and fun of conducting a marathon would go away!

Enjoy Maadi . (Have Fun)


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Discovering my own uncertainties, shallow perspectives and glorious inconsistencies.

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