Whenever I go running in the morning, I face two choices – run on the road OR in a stadium.
With Trivandrum’s undulating terrain, road running can be hard – the uphill stretches make you feel like your lungs are being torn apart. On the other hand, in the stadium, not only is the terrain flat, it is nicely rubberized.
Naturally, I always go for the easier option – I run on the road.
But why would road-running be easier? In the stadium, I need to do 25 laps to finish my 10 km. Every lap is a decision, and decision means agony. Your mind, replaying the agony of previous laps like a horror movie in a loop, keeps asking, ‘How many laps left? When will this get done?’
On the other hand, on the road, you are running just one big lap, with the scenery constantly changing. There is no horror movie replaying in your head. You take just one decision to start running.
That is why road running is so easy, despite being objectively harder.
This is also a metaphor for life. When facing hardships in life, the physical pain of doing difficult things rarely defeats us. Almost always, what defeats us is our mind.
That is why changing our life has to always start with hardening our mind. Sometimes, the hard way is the only way.