Someone recently asked me to describe the single most profound experience of my life.
The question made me think long and hard about my life. One experience, in particular, stood out from the rest. It was something that left me amazed and lost for words.
I was active in athletics when I was in school, and this incident happened when I was in the 11th grade (Junior year) when I took part in the 800-metre finals.
That year due to some reasons, there was only a half an hour gap between the 1,500 meters race (which I ran and got 2nd) and the 800 metres race. (Usually, there would be at least a gap of a few hours between these races).
I was so exhausted after the 1,500 metres race that I could barely walk properly, and I felt it would be almost pointless to compete in the 800 metres because I wouldn’t be able to do well.
Anyway, eventually, I decided to run the race.
During the first three laps, I somehow managed to stay slightly ahead of everyone else, but I was exhausted, and everything in me screamed that I wouldn't be able to keep up the pace or accelerate for the last lap.
I could see my friends cheering for me and expecting me to go all the way and win it, and in my mind, I couldn’t help but think I was surely going to disappoint them.
But then, during the last lap, seemingly out of nowhere, I suddenly got this boost of energy, and I was able to sprint the last lap and win it quite comfortably in the end.
Strangely after the race finished, I wasn’t even tired anymore. In all my years of running, I had never experienced anything remotely like this before.
I couldn’t believe what had happened. For me, it felt like a “divine intervention” like Jules experiences in the movie Pulp Fiction, when the bullets miraculously go through him without hitting him.
Since that day of the race, I had never heard of anything like this until I recently came across a passage in the book, Power vs Force by David Hawkins, which resonated with the experience I had.
“High states of consciousness are also frequently experienced by athletes. It’s widely documented that long-distance runners frequently attain sublime states of peace and joy. This very elevation of consciousness, in fact, often inspires the prolonged transcendence of pain and exhaustion necessary to achieve higher levels of performance. This phenomenon is commonly described in terms of pushing oneself to the point where one suddenly breaks through a performance barrier and the activity becomes effortless; the body then seems to move with grace and ease of its own accord, as though animated by some invisible force.”
During that last lap, it truly felt as if I was animated by some invisible force, and since then, many times I have wondered and found it difficult to believe if it was actually me who ran that last lap.
All these years later, when I look back on that incident, I feel that sometimes we are capable of a lot more than we can imagine and give ourselves credit for.
That year I was focused on winning the individual championship for athletics (which I eventually ended up winning by a single point), and it would not have been possible if I had gotten anything less than first in that race.
When you focus on achieving your dreams, sometimes mysterious forces, whether you want to call it God or The Universe, can come to your aid and help you in the most remarkable ways when you least expect it.
That's me with the individual championship trophy
Special thanks to my friend, Steven Pace, for asking me the question that gave birth to this post.
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