Friday, March 28, 2014

Sprinting to the Batu Caves

Beads of perspiration dripped off my brow as my legs propelled my body forward with force and celerity. My brain must have stifled the part of my nervous system that detects pain in order to focus solely on my end goal, because the only feeling it registered was the rush of adrenaline coursing through my veins.

I had already dashed through a Malaysian airport and raced passed the Petronas Towers, allowing myself only seconds to marvel at their grandeur. As I did, visions of visiting this landmark in another life flashed through my mind.* I immediately pushed them out, not permitting daydreams of past memories to cost me precious time in this race for a million dollars.

It had been a grueling journey to get here, but I was now in the final segment of this leg of the race. After hurling myself out of a taxi cab at the entrance of the Batu Caves and throwing some ringgit at the driver without bothering to retrieve my change, I poured every remaining morsel of energy I could muster into my final sprint.

As I neared the entrance of this monumental shrine, I spotted Phil Keoghan standing on the familiar mat. Its bright red and yellow hue beckoned me. Were my competitors nearby? I didn't look behind me, for fear of slowing my pace. Moving my legs as quickly as I could, I watched the distance between Phil and me decrease until finally, my feet jumped on top of the mat.

I waited in anticipation for sweet, congratulatory words to flow off of Phil's lips. My heart hammered against the walls of my chest with such force that its beats echoed in my ears.

"Congratulations, Jet and Cord, you're team number one!" Phil announced.

Wait a minute. Jet and Cord? Hearing these names, and not my own, jolted me back to reality.

I looked around me. Suddenly, the awe-inspiring scenery of the Batu Caves had vanished, and in its place were rows upon rows of treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals. My eyes returned to the small screen in front of me and The Amazing Race credits scrolling across it.

It dawned on me that I hadn't been sprinting through the exciting metropolis of Kuala Lumpur as a contestant in a million-dollar competition, but had merely been watching one of my favorite reality TV shows, completely engrossed, as I ran alongside scores of others at my gym. Disappointment ensued.

My brain released the hold it had temporarily placed on my nervous system earlier in its deceived state, and suddenly the flood gates of pain opened, my body feeling all of the effects of an intense 50-minute sprint.

Anyone else like to make indoor exercise more interesting by letting your imagination run wild? Maybe it's just me...

 *The visions that flashed through my mind while running on the treadmill came from my trip to KL in 2012. Check out some of the beauty of the city! 
The Petronas Towers by Day and Night 
The Entrance of the Batu Caves


  1. Oh, this was a great slice! I was wondering, "Wow, I didn't know she was on the Amazing Race! That's so cool!" And then reality shook me too. Hey, do whatever you need to do to get through a great workout! Love it!

  2. You totally had me going....I kept trying to picture you on the program. I wonder if it is really a personal dream of yours. I could really envision it. Terrific writing!

    1. I would absolutely love to go on The Amazing Race. My husband and I have talked about it several times and have even gotten an application out before. My big hang up is being on TV, though. Every time I seriously consider being filmed for basically ever waking moment, I back out. If I could be part of a similar competition that wasn't televised, I'd definitely be in!