Category Archives: Athletics

To Emulate a Hero


We have heard a lot of heroes till date. Some in the sports field and some as leaders in critical times.

Here we have a collegian Harry who has always looked up to the great athletes of the past Olympics.

Harry was of medium height. He had well toned upper arms and chest, short cropped hair and sturdy limbs, well equipped to do middle distance running. He trained regularly and dreamed of making it to the Olympics.  He also read a lot specially about the renowned athletes of our times and even of the past.

He trained sincerely and tried to learn new techniques to do better.

Harry heard about Michael Johnson and then recently Usain Bolt. He dreamed of becoming like one of these athletes.

Now  the college athletics were a few months away. He trained even more. Every morning he woke up , whether in rainy weather or not. He left early mornings with a few fellow athletes, to train at the University Grounds. Joe was a good friend but also a good competitor. Friendship never came in the way of their races.

They both trained for the 400 , 800 and 1500 metres . Their timings were quite closely matched. Harry was the stronger. Joe was lanky and tall, and had elegant strides. It was a contrast of styles.

Harry very determined and focused, whereas Joe was casual and aware of his natural talent.

Harry dreamed of whipping all the others in the his events. He quadrupuled his training efforts. He sacrificed all his time and energy only in this direction.

Joe once teased him: “ So, are you trying for a clean sweep of the 400, 800 and 1500? Oh yes, you have your heroes in mind: but it requires a lot more. Lets see how you do it ?  Don’t forget , I am also in the running.”

Harry quite nonchalantly replied “ I will do my best”

“Oh! I really mean to win”,  retorted Joe.

Ten days before the  University Athletics,  Harry caught the flu. He was down with high fever and had to take prescribed treatment from his doctor. Dr Bratt, believed in heavy dosage of medicines, with the prime purpose of reviving Harry back to health and the upcoming Athletics.

“Harry , ensure that you take these medicines thrice a day and rest enough. I think in 4 days you will be okay”, assured Dr. Bratt..

Joe trained in his own quiet way, without any pretensions of winning as Harry dreamed.

In 4 days Harry recovered from the flu . He had lost weight and was a little weak. However he resumed training and was ready for the final day.

The usual tests for dope were conducted and Harry and Joe were given the green signal.

The three events  were held over two days , and both Harry and Joe reached the finals of all three events. Their timings in the heats were quite good, Joe’s  a little better than Harry.

In the 400 metres finals, Harry was not fast enough and placed a distant third. Joe came in 1st, smashing the meet record by 0.4 seconds.

In the 800 metres,  Joe again ran a tactical race and came in first, with Harry in second place.

It seemed that Harry’s dream of 3 in a row was going to be a complete washout, without a single win.

He got ready for the 1500 metres. This was his favorite  event. The race started at a good pace. Harry ran  to  keep up with the pack. At the end of the first lap , he was in third place. By the second lap he moved to second place and maintained this until the end of the third lap. Before the third lap ended  and the last lap began, he burst into his best speed, overtaking Joe and the rest . However 20 metres away from the finish, Harry tripped over and sprawled onto the track.

Joe  overtook him but then stopped to look back. He was overwhelmed with pity for Harry. But before Joe could do anything to help, Harry stood up and ran like a gazelle to finish in first place. Joe failed to catch up, to finish second.

Joe and Harry hugged each other, and could not believe at this sudden turn of events.

Harry tried to emulate the great Johnson and Bolt , but then struck his own mark by winning the 1500 metres in this fashion.

And Joe….. he was as casual as ever. Notwithstanding his loss in the 1500 in such a dramatic way. He was happy to win the two other events i.e. 400 and 800 metres.

Can I pretend to be someone who I am not?   Is it okay to strive to emulate my heroes ?

Think about it…..we are all gifted in different ways; each given in different measure, which highlights the  motto  “  strive to give off your best”. I think Joe and Harry both did that, each a hero in some way.

The Star Athlete

The Star Athlete

The February morning looked gray and drizzly through my window
So why would I venture out? It would surely rain cats and dogs. . But then it was time to catch up with my training. Any athlete worth his salt trains cum rain or sunshine.
After all who does not like to win the  Marathon. Rather why should I lose out on training that much harder, to overwhelm the others
Don’t get me wrong. Today a person will use any means to win a medal even by dubious means.So why should I not train honestly to win , or be ahead on my training.
Despite the downcast weather, I forayed out into the gray weather.
Next moment I saw a fellow athlete lying unconscious by the roadside He seemed to be frothing at the mouth. Diverse thoughts strayed through my mind  Either he had an epileptic fit due to congenital epilepsy, or he had a seizure due to some dope being administered for enhanced performance.
This is the story of the star that fell. Peter was tipped to win the  marathon based on his recent timings which were much faster than any other.  All along I doubted his sudden good timings in recent meets.
Now was crunch time. I lifted him up and took him to my cabin; called the doctor . He drove down in quick time. Dr.Sombre  seemed to know Peter’s ailment and helped to revive him
However he remained quiet on this matter, and  passed it on as if it was of little consequence.
Much as Peter was my rival,  I was concerned about his seizure.  On persistent questioning he revealed that his doctor was well aware of  the latest methods of doping and had been
administering this substance to improve his performance. Peter realised this was serious and
that more than winning, his very life was on the line .
Peter decided to start afresh. No more dope but from now he , would live on  hope and a prayer . Even though winning still seemed important to him, now the now the means to achieve
victory was even more important.
So ” forgetting the things behind we strive towards the goal”
…The most important of all ….The Crown of life which awaits each of us who run the race of life with great fortitude and courage.