Sunday, April 22, 2012

Win Mumby 2012: The real meaning of it??

47-42 Woodstock boys won ANOTHER Win Mumby tournament title!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BACK-TO-BACK baby!!!!!!!!!!:):):)  Girls made it to the semi-finals but Modern girls proved to be too much this year, but they gave it one heck of a fight!!!!!:)  The atmosphere was ELECTRIC once again!!! Almost every Woodstock game fans filled every seat in the gym, plus standing room only!!!  All in all both Woodstock teams played awesome and it was a very fun and exhausting 4 days!!!!!!!!

Those were the positives...........and what I'm about to write, please do not let it take away, at all, the effort and success of the teams that were playing.

But what is Win Mumby and all of these sporting tournaments purpose?? Is it only about the material outcome of winning it all and leaving with a trophy??


Is it about the spirit of competition, bonding with teams from other schools, and having fun in still a competitive nature??

Either way you view tournaments, that is up to you!!  All I know is these past 4 days, there is one pending issue that upsets and disappoints me and some of the other students from Woodstock/other schools!!  That is the behavior of some of the fans from Woodstock, mostly from today's Championship games!!  Booing, swearing, making loud noises during free-throws, clapping for injuries, etc.!!  What are we, the host school, showing other schools who come to compete when we behave like this??  We show them that all we care about is winning at all costs, and if we have to be rude and unsportsmanlike we will so we can "win it all!!"

I was told today by one of the lead referee's that this is one of the most "prestigious" tournaments in all of India.  If this is true, then luckily they don't take in account for the behavior of our fans.  Now yes, for the most part, cheering was positive, energetic and fun!! But sadly what you take from most things are the negative, and even if a couple of negative incidents happen then that will stick in your mind the most.  And what is even more sad is those who do have pride in Woodstock and behaved themselves during the games, what should have been a proud day for Woodstock, with winning the tournament, now turned negative because of the rude and nasty behavior of some of the fans.

Now yes, in high school I booed as well (which I now know is wrong), but thinking back at those times I remember what that booing turned in to after most games and that was fist fights between rival students, vandalism on schools, arrests made by police, etc.  I never did any of that, but I know that definitely went on, and it's sad!! All of those came from the nasty comments and negativity that came from the game.  Which is why I ask the question again, what is the real purpose of sports and tournaments?

It should be for the healthy competition between 2 schools and enjoying socializing with friends and other students from different schools!!  I've noticed that a person's true character really comes out during a game!! Are they a respective fan, which more than likely they are respective to people everyday in life, or do they swear and boo, which probably they are disrespectful in life as well!!  One may think, oh it's just a basketball game, who cares if I act completely disrespectful, it doesn't mean anything??  Does it mean nothing? Showing disrespect to another human being means nothing?  People must think just because they're on a court, field, etc. that they are impervious to hateful comments and actions!  Wrong.  I guarantee a hurtful comment during a game, will hurt just as much as it would if that person wasn't playing a game!  We have to remember that these are regular students playing a game, which is supposed to be fun and competitive at the same time!! Somewhere along the line that was lost, with behavior similar to monkeys throwing poo!!  They don't care what comments are yelled, just as long as their team wins!!

These are not professional athletes who get paid millions, they are regular students in high school trying to have some fun with a sport they are passionate about!!  Who are we, as fans, to take away from that and RUIN their experience!!  All I can say is in the future I hope Woodstock, as a whole, shows a lot more respect and sportsmanship behavior!!  As teachers we need to be the positive role models these students can look up to for guidance!!

Congratulations again for both Woodstock teams on a fantastic effort and the Boys winning Win Mumby!!! I do hope next year, our fans will be under control and a lot more positive than negative!!!! Happy smiling and cheering!!!!!!!!!!:):):)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Failure or Growing in Corbett?!?!?

This past quarter break was my big checkpoint marathon in Corbett National Park!! My first marathon in 2 years, Turku, Finland in the summer of 2010!!!  I went into the race feeling confident, knowing that if I can run 21-22 miles up at altitude of 7,000ft. and with giant hills, 26.2 miles down at normal, flat altitude should be nothing!!  Of course the factor I NEVER EVER considered was heat!!!  It was beginning of April and I thought that the heat may be warmer than Mussoorie, but nothing than what actually happened!!!:)

The night before is where the troubles started!!  Since Minnesota, I have not had a "regular" marathon pre-race dinner and that for me is huge psychology!!  Every little aspect of a marathon has to be perfect, including pre-race meals!!  The more confident you are going into a marathon the more at peace your body is and less tense your muscles are!!  Pre-race dinner was Maggie pasta, which is nothing really to salt in a bag with some sauce and noodles!!  Not what I was hoping to find or eat the night before my first marathon in 2 years!! Soooooo feeling nervous at this point!!  Getting sleep was not a factor because pre-race sleeps average maybe 5-6 hours, so no big deal there if I went to bed at 11pm and woke up at 4:30am!!

Morning of the race, woke up to a warm morning in the tent and had my usual granola bar, 2 bananas and lots of water and gatorade, so that felt normal and fine!!  Had butterflies in the stomach which is regular, because as one knows who is about to run a marathon, ANYTHING can happen at any race!! You're never guaranteed to finish a marathon, which is the excitement and thrill that makes up the marathon!!!:)  I leave camp at 5am, with my Shuby, and get to the starting line at 5:30 ready to run this race!! It was warm but nothing like dying heat!!

6am and BAM starting pistol shoots and the race has begun!!  There are, in total, 50 marathon runners and I jump out to the lead for the first couple of miles!! I hear footsteps behind me but nothing in front yet!! Around mile 3.5 finally the man behind me passes me and gets about a 2 minute lead on me!! At this point it was 7am and the heat and sun start to warm the Earth!! Not significantly but surely warmer than I've ran in to this point in Mussoorie!!  At the checkpoint I was exactly where I wanted to be at pace, 1:28:43 (my goal was between 1:27-1:29)!!  Back out again for the 2nd 21km everything was still fine!! I was in 2nd and now about 1 minute behind the leader and about 2 minutes on the 3rd place runner!! Feeling confident and normal!! All of a sudden I see the first place runner stop and start walking a bit and then started to run again!! Which for any runner keeping a solid pace you know is a good sign!! So even though he was still in the lead and running, I knew if he's starting to walk he's in trouble!! I kept pace and sure enough 3-4 more times he would walk and run until finally he walked for the 5th time and I passed him at my solid pace!!:)  I only had about a 20 second lead on him coming up to the last 12km stretch!!  My mind was on the lead now and possibly winning a marathon, not even noticing the growing heat around me!!  One red flag that should have popped up immediately was the fact I would pour water on my body at a water station and within 2 minutes I would be completely dry again!!  My body was begging for water and salt!!  And with a water station only every 5km (3.1 miles) that wasn't helping!!  Even in the final 7 mile stretch, which usually has a water station every mile, there was only 1!!

At the 35km marker I noticed my pace dwindling and felt fatigue all of a sudden!! My breathing was harder, there was slight tingling in my arms and hammies were starting to cramp up!!  I pushed forward another 2km, thinking I'm so freakin close I can't quit now!! However, at kilometer 36 my body said enough and my mind said push through it and keep going, so I slowed down pace immensely and was about a 10 minute mile pace at this point!!  Almost walking, but still lightly running!! Then my mind was working in every kilometer, just make it to the next kilometer point, and the next, and the next!! At the 37km marker my body said enough!! I stopped running, started walking, and within a minute was down on the ground sitting!  Arms tingling and complete exhaustion has taken over!!  Mentally my mind was gone, but still trying to say get-up and go!!  The hardest decision was yet to come!!

I was sitting there at the 37th kilometer when another runner came up and said just around the bend there's an aid and water station!! I immediately got up and walked to the aid station and again sat down, eating oranges, drank some salt water, and poured liter after liter of water on me!!  If felt like heaven!! However, after all of this the decision came to me of shall I push myself and walk the rest of the marathon or throw in the towel!! I got up and started walking contemplating the decision!!  Wishing while contemplating the kilometers would fly by and I would finish!! Sure enough I was slow and it was taking forever!! Which at this point I thought, okay I could risk dehydration and more severe injury by pushing it through the heat to finish or sit down and wait for a vehicle to drive by and catch a ride back!!  I was torn on what to do!! On one hand I've NEVER quit anything I've started but on the other my ultimate goal is Grandma's Marathon and I want to be 150% for that race and this is a marathon yes, but it's not the end of the world!!  Plus, during this decision I was later told it was 37 degrees celcius, which is 99 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, at 9am!!! Plus humidity!!  What to do.....

Well luckily I met up with my wife and Lindsay and even they told me I look like crap!!  I tried walking with them about 100 steps, but I just couldn't go on!!  So I sat back down, told them to continue and I'll catch a ride!! At that moment a vehicle was coming so Shubhra stopped them and asked if I could catch a ride! I got in, put my head down in shame and rode all the way back to the beginning where I got dropped off and Bendix was right there waiting with his camera, expecting me to finish running, not riding.  I felt ashamed and a huge amount of failure was on my shoulders.  Bendix asked what happened and I told him, the heat.  I just couldn't handle the heat and didn't want to risk injury.  I was about 500 meters from the finish line so no one saw me get dropped off, so when I walked to the finish line with Bendix, I kept my head down turned down any medals or congratulations and went to a secluded space and cried for a couple of minutes.

With the feeling of failure all over I couldn't bare looking anyone in the eyes, but I started talking to the others on their races and hearing what they said made me feel a little better!! Jay WON HIS RACE which was awesome, but he also said it was so freakin hot!!  All the 10km runners in the group also agreed it was so damn hot!!  That's when Mark told me, Rahul (race director) told him the temp was at 37 degrees (which wasn't until I got home figured out that was 99 degrees Fahrenheit) , which I knew was up there but not 99!! Then I really started to think about this race!!  Any race back in the states with temps like this would have been red flagged, meaning stop running immediately, and possibly cancelled!!  My pre-race meal the night before was crap and I was lucky to get as far on that as I did!!  I made it 23 miles until my body finally shut down because of heat and dehydration!!  No matter how badly I wanted to finish this race, I kept the future in mind and Grandma's as my ultimate goal and not do anything stupid at this one that could possibly damage my chances at Grandma's!!  At mid-afternoon my muscles were a tiny bit sore which is a HUGE positive for just running 23 miles at pace and feeling fine, which means I can push this tempo at Grandma's since I still have 2 more months of training!!:)

In the end of it all, I truly thought about Saturday on the train and today as well and realized what is failure in life??  My mom wrote me an e-mail saying everyone needs failure in life to learn and grow from it!!  Here's what I learned from this!! I know I am now OFFICIALLY retired from any jungle, tropical heat marathons!! I am a Minnesota true and true and frankly I was born a cold weather runner!! My prime runs are either extreme cold or nice 70-80 degree weather!! NOT 90+ degrees!! I think I'll stick with half's in India if it's in the plains and leave the marathons to Minnesota or other cold places!!!:) Also, no matter WHAT I will always be eating my spaghetti and french bread before any marathon!! If I have to pack it then I will pack it!!:)  Finally, here's how I see failure in life!! Quitting sucks, BIG TIME!! You don't feel good, you feel you've let yourself and everyone else around you down!! If you're a teacher or coach and you feel you feel you've failed your athletes who look up to you!! But here's where someone's true character comes into play!! You have two choices: you can sulk give up entirely OR learn from what you've quit, try harder and next time SHOW NO MERCY!!!!!:):) I choose OPTION B!!!!! TRAIN THE CRAP OUT OF EACH DAY FOR THE NEXT 2 MONTHS AND DOMINATE GRANDMA'S LIKE NO OTHER!!!!!!

So here you go blog readers, who are you?!? Are you a true quitter?? When you find your marathon in life, do you give up overall or fail, but get back onto the road and continue to improve!!! Yeah I failed Corbett, but in life, nah I got fight in me still!!!!!!:):):) NO PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY SMILING AND HAPPY LIVING!!!!!!:):):):)