Sunday, 6 January 2013

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay 2013

It's 4am and that detestable sound of the alarm signals  the dreaded approach of the simple yet difficult act of waking up. Waking up for me is like declaring a cease fire when one is seconds away from an ultimate and undisputed victory. After half an hour of snoozing my alarm, the thought of starting the year on the wrong foot eventually gives me enough reason to painfully pull down the covers and drag myself to the shower. Once the cold water preceding the warmth of our solar heated geyser hits my face, my body becomes more co-operative as I go through the small rites of a runner.
Only as I hit the N1 do I realize that ahead of me lies a 30km journey that could either be a painful experience or a pleasurable one depending on how the odds play out. The journey from the Northern Surbubs of Cape Town to the Atlantic Seaboard is without much activity at that time of any given Sunday morning. Drifting away in thought as I ponder upon the words of a Josh Groban song playing in the background, I am reminded again of the cliche that inside of me lies the power to do extraordinary things if I so choose. Not necessarily mount physical wings and soar the skies (though I wish I could) but the kind of power that makes one's spirit become so resilient that defeat ceases to exist in one's diction.
With the holiday weight and half-hearted  determination of a person who has been on a break for way to long, I make my way to the start. After moments of wandering around and running after anyone who looks like they know where they are going, I eventually get the courage to ask someone where the start for the 30km race is. 
I am quite chaffed when they ask me if I am a professional athlete from another country coming down specifically for the race. As they say, it is the little things that matter and this small maybe careless statement, mattered this morning. With this borrowed confidence booster I settle at the start, doing what I do best...think.
When the gun finally goes off, like every other athlete I set off with only one thing in mind, to finish the race regardless of how things unfold.
Along the way there are moments I feel like a cruise-liner, then there are also moments I feel like a deflating tube, doing everything possible to stay afloat or risk becoming debris at the bottom of what I call the "ocean of what ifs"

2 hours and 48 minutes later, I hobble my way across the finish line. Proud of myself for having finished what I started but longing to have done more. Every mile I ran, I realised that there was another who was lying in a hospital bed, hoping to have had enough strength to walk across the room to small the flowers that grow in the garden below. For every step I took, there was someone in the very moment, trying to salvage the remnants of a relationship that seemed to be in ruins. For every hill I climbed, another never got to see the view from the top because they were blinded by pain and anguish from one loss or another. For every wave that crushed against a rock in full view of my mind's eye, there were many who wandered aimlessly for life had ceased to have meaning. While crossing the line for me was something of a personal victory, it was a reminder that not only should I live more but let live and help live.

I suppose getting myself a Paul McCartney and Wings number from the 70s would be in good order.  
To all who did the Bay to Bay, hats off to you for a job well done! For those who would have wanted to but did not, may desire get the better of you so you may "Just do it!". For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, the Ocean Basket Bay to Bay may just very well be one of South Africa's best kept secrets waiting to be discovered by you!

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay

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