On December 05, 2019, I, along with four other daring and inspiring individuals, set out on Addu Marathon 100 — the first-ever 100-kilometer race that was held in the Maldives. In addition to delivering on a promise I made to myself a little over two years ago, I ran it as an experiment to satisfy a curious inquiry that stemmed from my foray into human psychology and philosophy. (After all, a promise made to self is a sacred thing and where else to experiment with your geeky inclinations than on your own self?)
Can I hack my mind to overcome a seemingly insurmountable goal? Can I visualize success and will it into existence?
Turns out, it is possible. Your mind is a hotbed for creating magic. A sense of déjà vu here, and a feeling of strange familiarity there, it can, in a very crude sense of the word, create a caricature of that which you most desire and help you recreate it in full as your base reality.
And for anyone who dreams of big, hairy, and audacious goals and imagines immensities for themselves that others dismiss as crazy or beyond the realm of your abilities, I have nothing but the utmost respect for your desire to go chasing after something that is surely several bubbles away from the bubble that you are in today. And from one dream-chaser to another, I have no doubts about your ability to realize them as a fact of life one day. And guess what? It’s going to be a fact of your life.
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But having the right mindset alone will not be enough. Just in the same way that you cannot simply grow some wings and fly yourself to the stars no matter how badly it is that you want it, you’ll need people who’d push you towards them.
You’ll need a ground (read: run) crew who champions those outward ambitions. Champions of what you believe in; of where you are headed. Champions who will give their all to help you get there, help you achieve them. Your goals. Your aspirations. Your “Just Cause.” And owns it as though it’s theirs, too. Their goals. Their aspirations. Their “Just Cause.”
And from the moment I set out on that long and somewhat all-over-the-map endeavor, I had the privilege of having a smorgasbord of such champions cheering me on, sharing their insights, and going out of their way to help me cross that finish line.
Beginning with my run crew who accompanied all the long miles and kept me well-hydrated, injury free, and in a peak and caffeine-induced state of mind; to the police officers who escorted me; to the rest of my running cohort and those followed us and cheered us on along the way; to my team who affords me the peace of mind to always free myself for all my practice runs and for the race itself; to my coach who helped me prepare and to prepare well and introduced me into the running community; to the sponsor who unhesitatingly backed me in my bid to make such a huge leap from my previous longest distance I had ever run to a new longest distance I had ever run; to the runner extraordinaire who accompanies me and helps with my pacing during our practice runs; to the colleagues who never tires of seeing me running like a madman around the island; to the Doctor who took a personal interest in helping me understand the complexities of the human body and how to keep it fit and healthy and well-nourished as a runner; to those friends who might be far away but somehow manages to always keep near; to the naysayers who doubted me at every turn, and; to my family (especially my mother) who cannot quite understand why the heck it is that I find solace in running myself to the oblivion but supports me anyway — thank you!
I might have run one hundred kilometers. But without you all in my life, I might not have. And because I have you all in my life (naysayers included), who knows how far it is that I’ll dare go.