So last evening at the gym, I did 5 km on the treadmill at my best time yet, in about 37 minutes. I was so pleased with myself because of that. Considering that about a year ago, I couldn’t even jog on the treadmill, or on any surface so to speak, this was quite some progress and I am pretty proud of it.
Fast forward to later at night when my Dad and I were taking our usual post-dinner stroll. We were just talking about how our respective day went when I told him about my 5K in 37 minutes. He replied, “Big deal! I can do that at my age on the track!”, after which I launched into this big argument about how the track might not be as long as he claims it to be, and that maybe he should get his watch checked and what not. After a few minutes of all this hollering from my end at his inability to recognize my supposed achievement, I shut up. Dad hadn’t been responding to my arguments.
He was hinting at something else. He was trying to say that there is so much more potential in me to do longer distances and to do better time and to have a better stamina, and that if I could do this in one year, then imagine what I could do with more time and more focus. Of course, I didn’t understand it back then, and the epiphany came to me only when I was sitting on the sofa after the walk, reading Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer, about George Mallory.
I remember this TED talk about being wrong by Kathryn Schulz. She talks about how it feels to be wrong, and how it feels when you realize that you’re wrong. I know now exactly what she’s saying.