IT’S ALL IN THE MIND

Vipul pic2

By Vipul Majeji

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD THIS PHRASE ‘’ IT’S ALL IN THE MIND’’. AS A SPORTS LOVER, I HAVE FOLLOWED THE WORDS OF COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF SPORTS STARS AND CHAMPION ATHLETES OVER THE YEARS, ONE THING THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HEARD THEM SAY WHEN ASKED ABOUT PERFORMANCE PRESSURE BEFORE A BIG GAME, OR HOW THEY DEAL WITH THE EXPECTATIONS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN AND THINGS ARE ALL GLOOMY THEY HAVE ALWAYS COME UP WITH ONE REPLY THAT SETTLES THE DEBATE “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”. I SOMEHOW NEVER UNDERSTOOD HOW THEY DID IT AND HOW CAN THEY SAY IT, SPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE PERFORMING IN FRONT OF A BIG CROWD AND EVERYONE IS SHOUTING AND ASKING YOU TO DO WELL, HOW CAN YOU JUST SHUT YOUR MIND OFF AND FOCUS ON THE JOB IN HAND AND MAKE IT LOOK SO SIMPLE!!! I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY ARE CHAMPIONS AND LEGENDS!!

WHEN I STARTED RUNNING I HEARD THIS PHRASE A LOT OF TIMES AGAIN FROM ALL THE EXPERIENCED RUNNERS, WHENEVER I ASKED THEM HOW THEY MANAGED TO RUN THE LAST LEGS OF A FULL MARATHON, THEY JUST REPLIED “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”, WHEN I ASKED THEM HOW IS IT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE TO RUN A 100KMS RACE, PAT CAME THE REPLY “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”. THEY ALWAYS SAID THAT TRAINING FOR A MARATHON IS ONLY POSSIBLE TILL A CERTAIN NUMBER OF KILOMETERS AND BEYOND THAT “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”.

BEING A BIG FAN OF CRICKET AND AN ARDENT FOLLOWER OF THE GAME, MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHRASE BECOMES A LOT CLEAR WHEN WE RECOUNT ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE INCIDENTS IN THE INDIAN CRICKET HISTORY , WHEN THE INDIAN CAPTAIN MS DHONI WALKS ONTO BAT AT THE WORLD CUP FINALS IN 2011, HE WAS NOT IN FORM THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT AND UNDER BIG TIME PRESSURE TO PERFORM, HE THEN CHOSE THE BIGGEST OF THE OCCASSIONS IN FRONT OF A STADIUM PACKED WITH INDIAN SUPPORTERS AND WALKED OUT TO BAT IN A TRICKY SITUATION AHEAD OF A CHAMPION PLAYER YUVRAJ SINGH WHO WAS IN THE FORM OF HIS LIFE THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT, AND WHAT HE DID THAT NIGHT WILL BE SPOKEN ABOUT FOREVER IN CRICKET WORLD AND IS ETCHED IN OUR MEMORIES FOR LIFE. THAT NIGHT, MS DHONI SHOWED US THAT WHEN YOU SET YOUR MIND TOWARDS A GOAL THEN ALL THE OTHER FACTORS BECOME SECONDARY AND WHEN ASKED AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT HOW HE OVERCAME ALL THE PRESSURE , POOR FORM AND TOOK THE TOUGHEST CALL TO COME OUT TO BAT BEFORE YUVRAJ SINGH, WHERE HAD HE FALTERED IT WOULD HAVE ENDED HIS CAREER, HE JUST CAME UP WITH ONE REPLY “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND” AND HE HAD SUCH FIERCE FOCUS AND DETERMINATION THAT DAY, WHICH ENSURED THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE FAILED. I GUESS THIS IS THE MAIN FACTOR THAT DIFFERENTIATES THE CHAMPIONS FROM THE ORDINARY PEOPLE

IT MADE ME BELIEVE THAT THE POWER OF MIND IS BEYOND ANY THING ELSE.

NOW, AS I WAS RUNNING THE CHERRAPUNJEE MARATHON, I HAD COUNTLESS THINGS PULLING ME DOWN, LIKE MY INJURY IN THE MONTHS COMING INTO THE MARATHON, MY SLOW PACE. IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT, AT THE 32KMS MARK WHEN I HEARD MY BUDDY RUNNER SHOUT OUT “STOP THINKING VIPUL, IT’S ALL IN THE MIND, LET’S JUST FINISH IT”. OUT THERE ON THE ROUTE WITH MY MIND CONKED OFF, MY BODY GIVING UP ON ME AND THE STEEP INCLINE AHEAD OF ME, I SEARCHED INSIDE MYSELF FOR THAT MENTAL STRENGTH WHICH THE CHAMPIONS HAVE, WHICH CAN HELP ME CROSS THE LINE AND OVERCOME ALL THE TROUBLES, WHICH WILL NOT LET ME GIVE UP.

NEVER BEFORE HAD I DONE SO MUCH SOUL SEARCHING FOR INNER STRENGTH BEFORE, NEVER BEFORE HAS MY MIND PREVAILED OVER MY HEART, I HAVE ALWAYS FAILED TO COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE PHRASE “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND AND WE NEED TO GET THE MIND OVER MATTER”.

CHERRAPUNJEE FULL MARATHON 2016 MADE ME UNDERSTAND ATLEAST SOME PART OF THE THOUGHT PROCESS OF ALL THE CHAMPIONS AROUND US.

EVERY KILOMETER I RAN AFTER THAT ALL I SAID TO MYSELF “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”, AS MY LEGS STARTED GIVING UP ON ME, I KEPT ON SHOUTING TO MYSELF “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”. EVERY TURN, EVERY CLIMB UP I JUST SAID TO MYSELF “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND”.

I THOUGHT OF THE THREE MARATHONS I HAD DONE BEFORE THIS RACE, I THOUGHT OF THE 50KMS RUN I HAD COMPLETED ON THE HOTTEST DAY RECORDED IN KOLKATA IN 2016, I THOUGHT OF ALL THE FLYOVERS I HAD RUN DURING THE TRAINING FOR THE MARATHON WHEN I WAS LIMPING BUT I  STILL NEVER GAVE UP ON THE TRAINING. ALL OF THIS FINALLY MADE ME CROSS THE FINISH LINE.

I HAD REALIZED ONE THING THAT DAY, THAT THE CHAMPIONS WE LOVE TO TALK ABOUT AND WE IDOLIZE WERE NOT MADE IN ONE DAY, MIND DOES OVERCOME EVERYTHING BUT ONLY IF YOUR MIND HAS EXPERIENCED ALL THAT IN TRAINING, YOU CAN ONLY PERFORM MIRACLES IF YOU HAVE PRACTICED FOR IT.

IT IS ALL SO SCIENTIFIC, WE LOVE TO HEAR STORIES ABOUT HOW THESE GREAT ATHLETES PERFORM MIRACLES IN FRONT OF OUR EYES, WHEN IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO, BUT WHAT WE FAIL TO NOTICE IS THAT HOW MUCH EFFORT HAVE THEY PUT BEHIND THE SCENES AND HOW HARD HAVE THEY TRAINED AND HOW STRONG THEY HAVE MADE THEIR MINDS SO THAT IT SWITCHES ON WHEN ALL ELSE IS GOING DOWN.

THUS I WOULD LIKE TO STEAL A QUOTE FROM A FAMOUS BLOG WHICH INSPIRED ME TO “IF THE MIND HAS TO PREVAIL OVER MATTER WHEN IT MATTERS, IT HAS TO FIRST LEARN TO DO SO WHEN IT DOES NOT MATTER”.

AS A PERSON FOR WHOM RUNNING IS JUST A HOBBY, WINNING FOR ME, IS JUST SIMPLY FINISHING THE MARATHON. I HAVE NOW STARTED TO BELIEVE THAT MY STRUGGLE TO FINISH THE MARATHON IS ALSO WON OR LOST FAR AWAY FROM THE MARATHON WHICH IS DURING ALL THOSE GYM SESSIONS AND LONG RUNS IN THE HEAT.

IT IS ALL ACCOMPLISHED LONG BEFORE I SOMEHOW MANAGE TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE!!!

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5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL IN THE MIND

  1. Beautifully written vipul !!! Hats off to you and others !! Wish u the best in life and may u fulfill all your running dreams !

    Like

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