From the time, we were told on 30th May, that we would be the first team to run and to report at the venue at 6.30 AM, the stomach had already begun to feel queasy. The fact that I was fighting a severe stomach infection a couple of days back did not help at all. I was already tired but skipping this event was something that just did not cross my mind. I just knew that I wanted to do it!
When I woke up at 3 AM on D-day, 31st May, there was this single butterfly fluttering about in my stomach. We had to start early as my other team mates were coming from Noida and Delhi. They had a long drive ahead of them and we decided to get together at our office area. Once there, we would have to drive another 20 Kilometres to reach the venue at Farookh Nagar and the dust storm that came about that morning did not help either. But yes, we were all pumped up.
We reached the venue, saw other teams come in and got the feel of the place – the butterfly in my stomach had somehow multiplied to about ten of them, by then. Watching the videos of how each obstacle was to be performed set the heart racing too. The first obstacle was to be my ‘Nemesis’ – if I could do that, then the rest would be a ‘piece of cake’ – that’s I kept telling myself.
By the time I went up to the starting line-up, those ten butterflies had turned to about fifty. I thank the DCSC team for starting the race without any delay so that I did not have much time to think and calm those butterflies.
When the race started and I crossed the first hurdle, it was more of a surprise to me – like a ‘Yayyy!’ moment, really. What ran through my mind was ‘I did it! I did it! I did it! It wasn’t so difficult after all!’ Just goes to prove that we should never be intimidated by looks! I walked rather than run to my next challenge, as I was already very tired and the challenge did require a certain amount of skill and strength.
The second challenge required us to climb an inclined wall and come down using a pole or a rope provided. While coming down the pole, I let go of the pole before my feet touched the ground, resulting into a fall. I was doing this the first time in my life! I mean learning ‘Pole dancing’ was always in my to-do list, but never got around to doing it in the last ten odd years.When I fell, all the butterflies disappeared and I became myself. I could think clearly, I felt fine, no twisted ankle, no broken bones and I needed to rush.
That brought me to the first mental challenge – the jigsaw puzzle, which absolutely saved my life. I was breathing hard and gasping for breath, and that gave me respite and I could rest physically. For a moment, I thought – ‘My 7-year-old nephew could do this in under 10 seconds!’. I took my own sweet time in completing it! And as the day progressed and I saw people skipping this challenge to save the time and completing the race, I thought to myself, if given another chance would I have skipped it as well, and the answer was a BIG ‘No!’ I liked doing jigsaw puzzle too much. So I guess it was ‘To each his own!’
I sailed through the next three physical and the mental math challenges, but in the end, I just wasn’t ‘SWIFT’ enough. My six minutes were up and I was timed out by the hooter just as I was about to get into the ice pool. But they were challenges I could have easily done. I mean, who can’t open locks!
The two young women running along with me must have completed the challenges aeons ago, but I did not feel dejected. I may not be right at the top, but I am sure I am not at the bottom of the pool either – and it felt nice when they walked up to me and said that I was a source of inspiration.
Our team’s overall timing was at the No. 2 position for quite a while. However, as the day progressed and our team was pushed out of the top 2 position, we decided it was time to treat ourselves to a nice good lunch, and talk about our experiences till the next DCSC happened again.
So, thank you, Adnan, and to each and every member of your team for making this happen.
I wish you all the best and success wherever you take this event to. Best of Luck!
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