It’ not a race

It’s Monday and I like to publish my blog on Sunday so I’m late, again. And trying to not punish myself for it. Part of me wants to just give it up because that is easier but really deep down I want to do it so even if it is a day later, I’ve done it.

This is a very apt introduction to the topic that has been going around in my head for the last week but I had not had taken time to jot down, as I spent every spare moment polishing a short story I was writing for the Choc Lit Short Story Competition.

A few weeks ago, Kofi, my husband and keen cyclist, took part in a ride from Mesaieed to the Corniche, as part of  Qatar Chain Reaction.  This was in advance of the professional riders who were doing the last leg of the Tour of Qatar Tour of Qatar.

We left Sealine Beach Resort, shortly after Dhur and lunch. Kofi was riding with his friend James who let me drive his Porsche Cayenne!  James’ partner, Nora, Kwame and I formed part of the support team of vehicles: carrying all the gear, stopping every so often to cheer them on and protecting the riders from the other less aware drivers.

One of the riders did not set off with the bigger group. With a massive whirl of sand, his driver pulls up several metres behind the peloton (French word meaning little ball, like the English pellet which refers to the pack of main riders in a cycle ride/race) and with a lot of flourish pulled out his pimped bike. He’s all colour co-ordinated from helmet to shoes in Trinbago colours  – I know that Egypt’s flag has the same colours.  He mithers with the peloton for a several kilometres and then races off ahead of the others and is the first to arrive at the Corniche.

Later, while we were sat on the specially constructed bleachers cheering on the professional riders, this rider who we’ll call Ahmed starts chatting to Kwame. And my son machine-guns him with the following,

“Why does your helmet funny shaped?” (He had one of those aerodynamic helmets)

“Why didn’t you leave Sealine with daddy and Uncle James?”

“Why did you zoom past and leave the others behind?”

Ahmed was all over the place trying to answer all these questions but he could only stammer and stutter in response to the killer,

“You know it’s a ride, not a race?”

Ahmed works with the Qatar Aspire Football Academy, so I may have lost my chance of Kwame being discovered by Barcelona talent scouts and with it my Aston Martin. Maybe I need to teach him some tact, as soon as I’ve learnt some.

I so admire my son’s directness and on reflection it held a profound life lesson. As I struggle with living in the desert, I feel like others are zooming past me because I often fall prey to the lie that life is a race and feel as if I must react to keep up or win.  However, from the perspective that it’s a ride not a race, I can choose to wait on Divine directions and I will still finish the race… I mean the ride.

Do you live life as a race? Would you rather see it as a ride? What’s preventing the mindshift?

5 thoughts on “It’ not a race

  1. Well I just had to catch up on your last 3 entries, fantastic….. You do know that your may have to give Kwame his own writing column very soon? First of all it is ok if you are late with your post, it is not ok to give up all together on something so wonderful and I am sure your writing is thoroughly enjoyed by all who read it. Keep up the good work.
    The weight issues is so real and one that i can relate to myself and the dark force exist in all of us. I am trying something different and came across “Peaceful weight loss through yoga” by Brandt Passalacqua, there is a book and DVD series. He says that eating is an act of self care rather than a reason for guilt, accepting this can help us to make healthier food choices and listen to our body cues about how much is enough. “When we are nourished, like a plant, we can grow and thrive”. I think there is something in this and it might be worth us looking into.
    Concerning it is a ride not a race, what perception and depth of thought from one so young. When you have been in the race as long as we have it is not surprising that we often feel burnt out. I guess what Kwame is saying is that we need to slow down and listen to what is inside each one of us. To do this we need to make time to observe silence, we then do not need to react to all the things that happen around us but just let life unfold. sometimes the best reaction is no action.
    All very interesting topics looking forward to next week instalment x

    • Thanks for comments Sharlene
      Don’t think we are ready for a full on column from Kwame – besides I have to mine that seam a bit longer!
      Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll be looking into it

  2. I love the way you take simple every day situtations for the basic of your topic. I agree life should be taken as a ride and not a race.But even as we take it for a ride, the ride will not always be problem free one.The divine one who we put our trust and faith in will make it possible for us to finish the ride and meet him in the pavillon.

  3. Maybe age and experience have something to do with it. I can remember the days when I too wanted to be the best at what I did and saw everyone else as a potential competitor or someone who was standing in my way and/or my place. Gradually I’ve come to realise that as long as I’m satisfied that I’ve done the best that I can do, I can get on with the rest of my life because my job is not who I am but what I do. There is more to life than the jobs we do, so we stop and spend time with our loved ones, we watch some mindless rubbish on the TV or even an award winning movie, we listen some jazz, go for a walk, write a poem or read one, call a friend and put the whole education/health service to rights, sit back with a glass of wine or simply just be.
    Then my epitaph can read “She really enjoyed her life”.

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