Not too long ago, I had a connecting flight from Charlotte to San Fran. The layover was 30 minutes, and to add to the misery the inbound flight from Newark was exactly 30 minutes delayed.

Upon landing, I rushed to the first available ground attendant who declared that the gate was closed. I pleaded and implored, and the lady took pity on me. The only condition was  I had to make it to the gate in 5 minutes.

I was in terminal B and my connecting flight was from the D terminal – about half a mile away. I sprinted like Usain Bolt and after a good 100 meters, I started panting. I pushed myself changing between dashing and sauntering. After another 200 meters, I was gasping for life. I somehow made it to the plane, half dead. Not sure if my checked baggage showed the same courage.

I finished a movie, caught up on emails and still had another hour to kill.  And then the thought of my wretched self after that fatal scuttle engulfed my mind.  I thought about the sedentary life I chose to live.  Things were different in college days.  I was active – Playing cricket, riding bicycles and the long walks in the evenings with friends. I realized, after stepping into the corporate world,  my agility had eroded.

For the past few years, every December while defining new year’s resolutions, staying active remained high on the list. Unfortunately, the results were invariably disappointing. As I pondered, my inner self-reflected with a brilliant stroke – I realized in life either you do things out of necessity or for sheer love. If things do not belong to one of the two extremes we tend to move away from our stated goal; mostly in a subconscious way.

The reason I was more active in college was that I was in love with everything surrounding me. The goals were driven by passion and resolutions was a passing thought.  I guess if staying active was a goal I would need the inspiration to drive it. Freedom to break away from the shackles of an ostensible life.

Copyright © Shantanu Baruah

4 thoughts on “Half A Mile Sprint

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