Running or winning or …both?

I’ve recently read somewhere the UBUNTU legend and I felt like sharing it with you:

An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.
When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad”?

I was thinking about it because I have my first 10k race for this year on Saturday… starts here:
Medieval city panorama!

Do I want to win?
No, not only, I have this gigantic urge to win, not just to win a medal, not just to win but to pulverize the other competitors into the space and let the aliens take their bodies and worship them as gods!
I actually already know I am not going to because I saw in the list of participants, the name of the 22 years old professional runner that is always showing me her back in races… lovely one I have to admit, but for once I’d love to show her mine too, some say is lovely too!!!

But maybe her car breaks down on the way… I hope!!!
Now please stop, stop all blaming me for thinking like this, is not entirely my fault!!!
Actually everything started when I was around 6, wasn’t it, when I was put in this school building together with another bunch of creative, fun, energetic little creatures like me, and they started to teach us to be quiet, stand in a straight line, and sit still, and they were giving us grades and taught us to compete! Happiness— I don’t think they’ve heard the word; they were preparing us for SUCCES!!!
And actually it felt easy then, I was almost always first and I liked it, I was rewarded, I was trained into this alpha winning bitch ready to conquer the world!
But sometimes I have to agree I did not want to keep pace because I was hearing a totally different tune and a totally different drummer.

But after I achieved in life almost everything that can be achieve and to be qualified (for me at least) as successful, what is there left, they did not teach me that!!!

So I had to learn on my own that life is not a competition but life is a journey, and an opportunity, and you are not succesfull because everyone else fails but satisfaction always comes from knowing you did the best of which you are capable, because:
There is enough for everyone,
There is enough joy,
There is enough happiness,
There is enough energy (more you use more you get),
There is enough good, there is enough love, there is enough more than enough, of everything we need in life!

Do I still want to win Saturday; of course because that is a race, and I will put in my best effort for that, but the big joy does not come from that, the big joy is in the process, when I feel the wind through my hair, brushing away in the cadence of my stride, the sense of achievement when I cross the finish line, and the feeling of winning over myself!
Keep you updated!
Mahatma Gandhi

93 thoughts on “Running or winning or …both?

  1. hotsouthernmess says:

    Yes, good job with this post good luck on Saturday . I have somewhat of a competitive streak in me too. But not so much physically because I have no real agility in that way. SO winning is out of the question there. Although I did win the presidential award in middle school for situps. I can also walk for miles, and have really good eye/hand cordination. lol I am a BAD AZZ shuffleboard player. Smiles. BUT for me, challenging myself IS what matters. Yes, the process and the follow thru! FINISHING! 🙂 Have a BLAST!!!!!

  2. Barbara says:

    So true, we were taught to compete in school, not so much today. Everyone deserves a trophy… Go get ’em Saturday!

  3. Vinny Grette says:

    I know what it’s like to compete without a chance on earth of winning – my first half marathon was when I was 63. But I got such joy from participating and competing! Keep it up and continue getting lots of fun from life 🙂

  4. Bruce says:

    So when you get there on Saturday, tell your competitors the Ubuntu story and asked them to hold hands and go together to the finish line. That will be a site to see :D. Anyway there are a lot of situations whens sayings are going against each other like now: “the journey is everything” and “nobody remembers the second”. So which one is it? Some will say that to enjoy the journey was said by the ones which couldn’t come first. But winning doesn’t mean to come always first. Winning is also for some to finish the race, to improve there time, to get better and so on … like you said … winning over yourself. Good luck on Saturday … you’ll be a winner!

    1. H! says:

      :)) Thank you Bruce I will try to convince them 😉 and you are right …sayings can be ….confusing and contradictory sometimes!

  5. kiranchaturvedi says:

    Love this piece. You are writing such wonderful real stuff. And seem to be so young to have realised all of this about life, success and happy living. Would love to meet you for real one day. And you should think of speaking assignments- do you, already?

    1. H! says:

      Thank you so much, you are too nice! I’d love to meet you to… who knows maybe one day we will 😉 No I don’t do speaking assignments, maybe I’ll consider… thanks to you 🙂 Thank you for you nice words!

  6. Dianne Aquino says:

    I like this… And i like what you said “So I had to learn on my own that life is not a competition but life is a journey, and an opportunity..” I always learn from you… 🙂 Good Luck… you’re a winner already!

  7. busydarling says:

    Ubuntu isn’t a legend, it’s a very real vision of life in Africa. ‘I am because we are’. It’s the spirit of togetherness, rather than the spirit of induvidualism which is rampant in the Western world.
    Even as a white South-African I’ve grown up with more Ubuntu (without actually calling it that) than my European counterparts, and of course it was a massive part of MAndela’s campaign if you want to call it that. Ubuntu is the reason why I went to med school instead of art school. Ubuntu means aksing yourself how you can use your own resources to enhance those around you. Modern day Ubuntu is the African explanation of ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’.
    Ubuntu in a race may mean encouraging your contender, and helping them up if they trip. IT may even mean allowing someone to win who really needs it.

    1. H! says:

      I was reffering to the specific story, and I did not know all this, thank you so much for sharing this with us! It is amazing and I absolutely love what it means and we should definitely find or do MORE …ubuntu in our lives!!! Now I will definately try to do that in my races!:) Thanks&love!

  8. mgibbon2 says:

    Wow! What a cool outlook on life those little kids have! Just think of how different the world would be if more people (myself included) thought like that! Thanks for sharing ad good luck on your race! I’m assuming you’re a professional runner….any tips for someone just starting out? 🙂

    1. H! says:

      A great outlook indeed 🙂 should definately inspire us more! No, I am not a professional runner, just doing it for pleasure! And if you just started the best advice I can give you, keep on doing it, no matter how slow or how often, or how hard it feels, keep on doing it, I promise you it will give you a lot of joy in the end! 🙂

  9. JPF Goodman says:

    Thanks for liking my post “The men waiting for Spring”! Not sure how to negotiate your comment settings and hope this is the right route. Happy to report that I like the way you wrote this article and look forward to reading more!

  10. yizhivika says:

    Interesting post :). I did a lot of road-race running in the early 1990s, and because I was never going to win a race, I was happy enough just competing against myself, my previous times over the same distance. In the end though, the times, and the positions in the race were secondary to the experience of the race itself. The different locations: running in the countryside, running on city streets. Running in the rain, running in the wind, running in the sun, in the heat, in the cold. Therein lay most of the pleasure of running for me…but all that said, good luck in your own race on Saturday :).

    1. H! says:

      So you DO understand! “The different locations: running in the countryside, running on city streets. Running in the rain, running in the wind, running in the sun, in the heat, in the cold” Thank you! 🙂

  11. Dagny says:

    There is enough. How difficult it is to understand… to accept. The scarcity mentality… this ‘me against you’… this ‘if you get more I will get less’ mentality is bred into us. As if life’s blessings were a finite cake in which when one person gets more he naturally takes a sliver of my share.


    1. thesacramentofthepresentmoment says:

      i think the trick to abundance is knowing that our higher power who i choose to call Father for a good reason, owns everything and it is all available to us “son you are always with me and everything I have is yours” spoken by the Father to the oldest brother in the parable of the prodigal son somewhere in Luke……..and you are flat out gorgeous but hopefull you know that lol

  12. imarunner2012 says:

    Great post. We are always competing with ourselves. I am always looking for my next PR and I always know that even my PR will not get me to the front of the pack. But that is okay.
    I am thrilled that I am getting better as a runner. I have people on my team who always finish ahead of me. At some of these races they finish before me, but I PR and I am the happier person on the ride home.

  13. Mike says:

    I too want you to win! Win! Win! Win!

    I might point out that the “moral” of the legend is the primary reason why the UNBUNTU children are often starving.

    You never get faster unless you get tired of seeing someone else back…

    Good luck.

  14. Jarrett Rusnak says:

    I recognize the photo. That’s Piatsa Sfatului (sp?) in Brasov! I shot part of a film there. You can check it out on my demo reel.

    Thanks for checking out my site. Take Care!

  15. funnyphilosopher says:

    I was playing an older professor at racketball once (he wasn’t from my dept.) and I couldn’t believe that he was beating me. He wasn’t that good and he was sick. I later told one of my best friends that I was thinking at the time, “I don’t care if this SOB dies from a heart attack; he’s not beating me.” My friend, a psychology guy/social worker, told me that my reaction was pathological.

  16. DivineSpark says:

    That was a fab proverb. Oh that we could all think and live like that…sigh. In the meantime, may the dust rise behind you as you keep running your race…doing great things and thanks for liking my post.

  17. Philip Wardlow says:

    Love your fire!…Wish I was running with ya there…(perhaps behind ya…:) – uh oh did I say that say that out loud…would say good luck but its already past the time of your race…so good luck with the next one…:)

  18. amypeacelove says:

    How did it go? Did you take Bruce’s advice and tell all of your competitors the Ubuntu story? 😉

    By the way, Bruce, if you see this comment, I just want to say thank you. Best giggle I’ve had today.

  19. anka says:

    I like reading you, I will follow you, thanks for your comment on my EcoMarathon 🙂 I suggest you also to run CINDREL on 3rd of August, see the link with the race report & pictures by clicking my name (but not in English 😦 this time).

  20. Pingback: My Homepage

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