Sunday, 19 September 2010

Let Us Race Again

I apologise that this morning my story begins again with a tale of running but I really just had to share this with you. Since my fall I had allowed myself to get so very unfit. I had not realised just how unfit I had allowed myself to get, until I tried to go for a run with my wife. She had to keep stopping and waiting until I caught up. So humiliating for it had always been me do the waiting.
Yesterday 28lbs lighter and a lot of walks and runs under my belt I was at the two mile mark a full minute and a half before her. I have to say it felt good, even to the point that I was feeling bad about just how good it was feeling. It was after all not a competition; it was just an exercising run.

I have though, to admit, always been very competitive. It feels good to be fit enough again that when I see a runner out in front of me I just want to catch up and maybe even pass them.

Now the reason I am sharing this is because this little incident reminded me of another story of a similar incident.

Long ago there was a young athletic boy hungry for success, for whom winning was everything and success was measured by winning.

One day, the boy was preparing himself for a running competition in his small native village, himself and two other young boys were to compete. A large crowd had congregated to witness the sporting spectacle and a wise old man, upon hearing of the little boy, had travelled far to bear witness also.

The race commenced, looking like a level heat at the finishing line, but sure enough the boy dug deep and called on his determination, strength and power he took the winning line and was first. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however. felt proud and important.

A second race was called, and two new young, fit, challengers came forward, to run with the little boy. The race was started and sure enough the little boy came through and finished first once again. The crowd was ecstatic again and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, again expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.

"Another race, another race!" pleaded the little boy. The wise old man stepped forward and presented the little boy with two new challengers, an elderly frail lady and a blind man. "What is this?" asked the little boy. "This is no race" he exclaimed. "Race!" said the wise man. The race was started and the boy was the only finisher, the other two challengers left standing at the starting line. The little boy was ecstatic; he raised his arms in delight. The crowd, however, was silent showing no sentiment toward the little boy.

"What has happened? Why are the people not happy for my success?" he asked the wise old man.

"Race again", replied the wise man, "...this time, finish together, all three of you, finish together" continued the wise man. The little boy thought a little, stood in the middle of the blind man and the frail old lady, and then took the two challengers by the hand. The race began and the little boy walked slowly, ever so slowly, to the finishing line and crossed it. The crowd were ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man smiled, gently nodding his head. The little boy felt proud and important.

"Old man, I understand not! Who are the crowd cheering for? Which one of us three?" asked the little boy. The wise old man looked into the little boy's eyes, placing his hands on the boy's shoulders, and replied softly . "Little boy, for this race you have won much more than in any race you have ever ran before, and for this race the crowd cheer not for any winner!"

This time the people cheer for the event.

This is the way of the Tao.

This blog is linked to my other.      Poppies In The Wind


  1. Good Morning Ralph, I am so glad you are getting stronger, that is inspiration for me! I have never been a runner (I have three vehicles and always get there first!) but I have been strong all my life until now. Your getting back into shape is encouragement to me! I can do it too!

  2. 28 pounds lighter. Good for you.
    I walk daily and always get there on time...

  3. Good for you! Beating your own old time must have felt especially good. Best pick a bouquet of flowers for your wife, though. I'm a firm believer in the application of flowers, even when they are not thought necessary. Flowers, man! And hurry!

  4. I'm glad you're lighter and feeling so well, Ralph! I need to drop some pounds and I know the only way to do it is with work. Exercise is the fountain of youth! I am competitive too--many times when I am just on a walk I feel myself trying to walk faster than the other person! lol--great parable in your post today.

  5. I'm so glad you are feeling better.
    I agree with Katherine- flowers for your wife, perhaps daily. (Big grin!)
    Competition brings up such strong feelings for me. I appreciate your honesty.