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What Really Happened In My First Marathon






It is in consciously choosing to do the impossible things (tasks that you think you will never be able to accomplish at a certain stage in your life), that truly puts your soul to the litmus test. It is akin to baptism by fire, the outcome of which can be transformational and illuminating!


As a person who has never truly been a fan of fitness, exercise and the gym (until these last 5 months, believe it or not) when I started training for my pageant competition; Being able to run a 4.5 miles relay marathon with some incline was an incredible personal feat. Something that I will forever claim as one of the greatest personal success I have attained in my life. Yet this is only the beginning of my fitness journey.


Why? For one, the entire experience from training, mental prep and actual execution required all of my might and passion to prove to myself that if I ‘will’ myself to achieve it, I will succeed. Second, being a first-timer in a marathon relay, I experienced several bungles and lessons that I now know, and will be able to do better next time. I believe that you never really lose in life… Because you either succeed, or you learn something. Third, among all the many realizations I encountered in this race, perhaps the greatest lesson I can take home is the fact that when you are in a competition, even when you are competing against other people; your greatest contender is no one else but yourself.


I say this because as I was running, I saw several people (well, actually I mean constantly many, many runners) just run past by me. They were just breezing through and meanwhile, I felt so behind and almost discouraged, to the point that I thought it didn’t make sense to run faster anymore in this race. I let my team and myself down… If only I had longer legs (hahaha), I felt so sorry for myself and thought, I’m not going to make it faster than they can, anyway. All these gush of negative thoughts popped in my head as I struggled for air in between my sprints, with my thighs feeling more heavy as I take more strides.


However, the ‘Yvonne’ in me quickly took over and turned my own defeatest thoughts and reprimanded myself, reminding me of my original goal, my true purpose in this race. My goal is to beat my own personal record of 14 mins per mile. My purpose is to prove to myself that I can start and commit to finish this marathon in order to build personal record, confidence and success in attaining my goal in the first place. Winning would be the consequence of being authentic to myself, by working hard, staying persistent and committed to my original goal. I silently thought to myself, as I looked at all those runners speeding past me, that It is not in receiving the trophy that makes you the winner. Rather it is in knowing that you have truly done everything that you can, to push yourself to accomplish the impossible! At the same time I realized that in any competition, your greatest enemy is truly yourself. You are your biggest contender, and therefore you must do everything to win against yourself!


Picking up my pace as I hit my mid-mark and going through more incline, I took a deep breath and cleared my mind and my heart, focusing on whatever strength I had left in my shuddering body. So after a dire episode of me choking on a cup of peanuts that I chugged on dry throat while running (yes i'm glad I didn’t aspirate and die); and the white stuff (powder gatorade) that I inadvertently spilled all over my body (hence I had to remove my jersey top), I finished the race in record time (meaning my record time), and my team placing second in the company race! Tada!


For me, that is what ‘victory’ truly means. This experience is beyond transformative. And that’s how I knew I won my race!


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"Where there is a dream, there is a way"- Unknown.

This quote matters to me because it perfectly defines what drives my passion and desires. Click the button below to read more about who I am and why I believe this! 

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