Apart from watching a few select sports on TV, I don’t have much of a relationship with sports. I don’t worship a sportsperson or a team; I usually don’t take sides (with the one exception of any Indian team or sportsperson playing any sport); I don’t armchair comment; I don’t follow any controversial news about sports; I am not glued to any device for scores. Also, I don’t play any.
In high school, however, I was an athlete. End of the school day, we used to head out for practice; Track & Field events. I never tracked, I only fielded. But our PT instructor made us run around the ground before we could begin practice. Warm up, it seems. Once on the far side of the ground, we field guys used to cut corners — convert the 400m track to 300-350m — if were only to throw medieval weapons as far as we could, running and getting tired didn’t make sense to us. All the stretching exercises that we did before the run should suffice, we argued — in our heads i.e.; never in his presence.
One of best friends then, and now, was a track guy. He used to run long-distance events: the 400m and the 800m and the marathons and other similar events. He is in the Merchant Navy now, and I asked him once, if he still ran. Apparently he does. In my head I have this aerial view of a large rusty coloured merchant vessel in deep blue waters, and I see him in white, running around edges of the ship.
I’ve, however, stopped throwing things around. Not tantrums even. Of all the sports I was involved in, I’ve never played any that involved continuous activity. I’ve never experienced fatigue, in that context.
For my challenge, I am to write six more posts for the next six days. And I am beginning to draw blanks.
This must be fatigue.
My question to my friend, when we meet next will be this: what goes on at the instance when every aching muscle is ready to fall out of your body, and you have only a few metres left to the finish line? It has to be a little more than inertia that takes the athlete to the finish line.
How do you fight fatigue?