Alice was not happy….to the world she had everything….a well paying job, a husband who met all her worldly needs….two lovely children…..a warm and well-kept house…..regular holidays to exotic places…decent social life…..but somehow she was empty from inside ! The killing dullness of her job…. the incessant and never-ending demands of the kids….the inevitable waning of her good looks….expanding figure….waning attention from her husband….the monotony was soul sapping and killing her self-esteem ! She could do so much more, she wanted to be so much more, but lately she had the dreaded sinking feeling that time was running out ! She needed to do something….quick !
‘You used to be much more muchier. You have lost your muchness… Go run a marathon’, said her slightly crazy friend whom we shall call the Queen !
Alice shook her curly head and retorted, ‘Are you mad…..I have not run for years’. But the Queen stood her ground and imperiously stated with a flourish of her beautifully manicured hand, ‘Yes, you’re mad, bonkers, off the top of your head…but…I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Alice generally gave her herself very good advice…but seldom followed it ! And so she ended up signing for a Marathon! A daunting, seemingly unsurmountable and fear-setting 42.2 kilometres !
Her husband and friends thought that she was being incredibly foolish. But Alice was secretly amazed, impressed, thrilled and scared of her own audacity or stupidity (?)…..it was like being the rebel who everyone secretly admired. She reminded herself that, after allll, THE Alice in Wonderland took a leap of faith and went down the rabbit hole ! LIFE begins outside your comfort zone…Keep calm and follow the white rabbit !
Fast forward one month later ! Alice was filled with a murderous rage as she huffed and puffed after the sleek and tireless Queen….. ‘I will kiiillll you for getting me into this madness’….the initial euphoria and visions of becoming an effortless and graceful doe-eyed gazelle had vaporised into thin air….to be replaced by sleep deprived cold and dark early mornings, breathless running sessions, aching legs and a constant reminder that 42.2 Kilometers was a long… looong distance ! Thoughts of giving up filled every microcosm of her being! Then the Queen did a very sneaky thing….she posted about Alice’s moment of indiscretion…. her marathon dream….on Facebook and Instagarm ! Damn and double damn !
‘One more month….one more month….and you will become a run addict,’ said the Queen.
‘IMPOSSIBLE !!!!’, thought Alice. ‘Only if you think so’, said a voice in her head.
Then one day the intrepid Queen introduced her to a runners group. Alice was surprised to know that such a tribe of fellow crazies existed. People who woke up impossibly early…went for a run before the world woke up…who behaved normally on the outside but were actually mad about running on the inside….always thinking about running shoes, running watches, running gear, running routes, running events, running this, running that…ad infinitum….fellow kindred souls which every runner needs !
Inexplicably to her….she began making progress….her speed and stamina graph took the high road….the single digit kilometres and double digit speeds became vice-versa….her friends jealously started eyeing her reducing waistline…the men started coming up more often to chat with her ! From hating her runs she found herself changing her life-style to make her runs happen !
She began liking herself more and more. The secret…she realised…. was not what the mirror told her…. But how she felt about herself !!! CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER!!!
The big race day arrived. Long runs done, gear sorted out….her runner friends told her that she was ready….but Alice had butterflies, the size of rabbits, in her stomach ! The starters gun and it all began…one step, then the next and then the next….the steps became miles….Alice was in her own zone…..no kids, no husband, no society, no deadlines….just her breathing, the energy around her, the sound of her feet hitting the ground….and finally she crossed the finish line ! A marathoner !
A medal, admiring friends and family, pictures, facebook/ instagram posts ! Congratulations flowed in and how.
But to Alice it was much more than that. The purpose, the plan, the perseverance, the perspiration, the pain, the progress and finally the triumph was a victory over her own demons….she had found her muchier self again !
Alice had arrived in Runnerland ! Let the adventures begin !