I could see the finish line at far – the flags flowing wildly with the wind. I pushed at the pedals further, pulling all I had in my reserve, every last bit of it. And the wind started whooshing past me, all my sensations narrowed down to the blurred wheel in front of me, and the blurred-out white line of the road.
It all got fuzzy.
One year ago from this day, when we all started our preparation for one of the toughest hilly race of the country, which lasts for three days, and nights, we started with pure energy. It's not a very easy task to keep the same momentum for an entire year, and the year passed by with highs and lows, and we flactuated between energy and apprehension. But the one thing that was constant throughout this preparation phase was the determination.
Someone once said, you can not be motivated every day, and in those days, discipline takes you forward.
It's the same discipline that made us going while the unexpected happened.
Nothing goes all planned in life, and sports is part of life. That's why it was purely shocking when I toppled with a fraction of second's decision of braking, and ended up in a thorny bush, dangling 10 meter from the diving edge of Sahyadri. That's why Tamal went into an asthmatic attack with the tension of that incident.
Life never goes planned.
But a true sportsperson's spirit is to refuse to give up.
We never know what's lie ahead of us, what's our future. But then, why not create it, if you want to be certain. And that's exactly we had to do at the moment of crisis. Bravery was the only option at that time, and oh boy, bravery was what all showed. The rushing crews, the fanatic co-riders, and the human spirits all around, we were ready in the next 15 minute.
15 minute behind the race, and an unfathomable amount of psychological uphill to climb.
We raced on.
Days were hot, burning the scratches from the thorns, and the nights were cooler, providing reliefe – I told you, life is all ups and downs.
It was a race against time, a race against our own mental barriers. But we fought together.
I refocused on the road, wheeling like a rocket.
A few more meters to go – a hundred, two-hundred? There was no one in front to chase, it was just me and the finish line.
I looked back.
And then I was home.