Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Don’t Settle.

Last Sunday was the Stanchart Marathon. I signed up for the half marathon and it took me about two and a half hours. I had hoped to also do 1.59 like Kipchoge but alas. Maybe I would have managed if I had those pink high heels looking Nike running shoes those guys wore in Vienna. So, for now let’s blame the shoes, not my lack of practice. I was also proud of my Baby shark who ran the 10kms for the second time and finished. May her long legs carry her faster and longer in future. That might just save Daddy university fees and I can finally build my log cabin in Nyanyuki facing Mt Kenya sooner rather than later.

There was a story by Biko doing the rounds. It was describing how many of us respond at various stages in the run. The 15-kilometer mark is hell. That was around the museum hill over pass as you join forest road. My feet felt like I was running with my youngest Baby shark Bobo clamped to my feet. Despite running at less than my ideal speed, I was determined to keep the pace I started with and maintaining it to the end. The other baggage was the half liter water bottles they gave us along the way. 500ml of water felt like 500 kgs in the hand when running. Next time give the smaller 300ml bottles. Some feedback to organizers. It reduces wastage too. But we survived.

Earlier from the University way roundabout I started noticing some runners jumping the tape and joining runners ahead of them running in the opposite direction. Basically, taking shortcuts. I must admit it was tempting especially at that 15 km mark when the tarmac seemed to be revolting against me and my running shoes felt like slippers because my feet were on fire.

It felt so much easier to jump the tape and cheat. Afterall I was not running for any prize so why was I punishing myself for nothing. That was the dialogue in my head, but my internal police couldn’t allow me to do it. I kept to the track and ran the full 21.2 kms. I even added ya kutoa hehe.

That made me question how many times we shortchange ourselves in life by taking short cuts so as not to struggle much. Many times, shortcuts end up being long cuts. Look at the so-called government deals that have led people to fighting for their lives literally. Although some funny Kenyans encouraged us to run like we have stolen NYS money. That was hilarious

I have said here before that past success is the biggest threat to future success. I settled in my comfort zone for many years when my tent business was doing well instead of seeking blue oceans (new opportunities) when things were good. By the time I realized it’s time to do new stuff my ship was already sinking slowly. It’s much harder learning and trying out new stuff when struggling to stay afloat at the same time. The best time to test new ideas and explore options is when we are doing well in life (especially financially) because you have a cushion of sorts. I have just described the sigmoid curve here.

I think what kept me from giving in to the temptation of cheating in the marathon was that I fixed my eyes and mind on covering the kilometer at hand. I would pick a point ahead and run to it then when there pick the next corner or roundabout and run to it.  I was pleasantly surprised to get into central park and see the 17 kms mark on the ground.

Folks I believe it would be a good strategy to do life being fully present on the task at hand. That way you maximize that season. At the same time try to keep an eye on future possibilities that await you. It may feel awkward initially especially for men who struggle to multitask but its definitely worth the effort.

I find this balance a strong antidote against settling at the earliest and slightest measure of success. I’m determined not to make the same mistake in my second half that I made in my first half. I stayed too long in one place and missed opportunities. No point crying over spilt maziwa mala now. I’m keen to change my settings now

I’m excited to seek new interests and invest in them like photography, board directorships and coaching. This have potential to grow big and its all dependent on the effort I put in. But I’m constantly reminding myself that this one thing is not it. It’s a part of the bigger IT that will complete the jigsaw puzzle that is Lucas.

I’m a strong believer that we are not made for one thing only. While I agree that we shouldn’t be hustlers doing many things averagely, we can have a number (few) of things that we do that build on each other to get us to our destiny in life. Jim Collins says that if we have more than three priorities, we don’t have any. And for every priority we pick up there should be a corresponding one we drop. Allow me to adopt that as my definition of not settling because it makes a lot of sense. Folks don’t settle for the sky is the limit. Perhaps the sky was picked as the limit because we can never get there. It seems to keep moving further up as we rise.

Friday, November 1, 2019 | Reflections |

One thought on “Don’t Settle.”

  1. MG says:

    First, hats off to you for finishing the marathon 👏. I will restrain myself from commenting on those people who took shortcuts. But life is like that. We’re constantly faced with the temptation to take shortcuts because it appears easier and faster. And when you’re running your race, as you were, it is disgruntling and discouraging to be running and seeing those around you taking panya routes to get to the finish line quickly. This life is like a marathon. You have to pace yourself for the race ahead. It’s ardous. It’s difficult. But you keep going. Each kilometer you finish, you leave it behind so that you can focus on what lies ahead.

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