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It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.”  -Mary Kay Ash.It was a sunny, but indefatigable morning. I was prepared to run for the marathon representing my house at School sports day. I bent my knees at the white boundary and no sooner did I hear the gunshot, I started running, picturing the goal in front of my eyes, but all of a sudden darkness captivated me and the next moment I was on the ground with my stamina and determination seeped out completely. Being the only one left behind, I looked helplessly as my competitors overtook me and disappeared out of sight. I walked back to my hostel, short of breath, but full of rage. This was my first encounter with the obstacles where I lost my hopes and thought that I might never run with that spirit again.In this interim, I recalled a story about a man who tried to help a butterfly to come out of its cocoon by slitting the cocoon open. The butterfly that emerged had small, delicate wings, and died soon after. As it needed the struggle to come out of the cocoon, to force the fluid into its wings, to stretch and open them so that the butterfly could fly. Thus if the butterfly would not struggle how can it survive?Framing my future as a weak person enforced me to overcome this obstacle. I started preparation for the marathon, recorded my limits and assessed where I lacked the most and tried to improve every day.  My sports teacher advised me to sync the breath with the steps and keep pushing my limits. Baffled about its implementations but in an attempt to run and complete the race, I started to run an extra mile every day and gradually I was able to sync my breath with the steps which made me feel confident.The next year when I stood on the same line again, I pictured everything around me moving in slow motion. My eyes focused on the red ribbon, blurring everything around. As soon as I heard the gunshot, I ran with determination, commitment, and competence, fueled by my insatiable desire to complete the race. Even though I couldn’t win the race, I finished in top 20 which was a win itself. I vividly remember the moment after completion, I was able to listen to my breath, I was tired but this time with an inspiration to run every race which life can bid and yearning for more challenges.It is said that where there is will there is a way and I realized it when I experienced it, now I perceived that more the obstacles, more the glory to win over it.  Similarly, I improved my understanding of Shakespeare language by drawing inspiration from this episode and learning it every day which in turn improved my grades in English literature from being below the median student to being in the top percentile.Our inner strength and intellect is the culmination of obstacles we face. It compels us to come out of our comfort zones to endure the agony. But ultimately they increase our inner strength, potential, and ability.

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