Not yet a Kobayashi Maru

26 06 2011

When Captain Kirk was a mere Starfleet cadet, the Kobayashi Maru drill was a test in coping with a no-win situation.  In the scenario of the 2280s, a distress signal comes in stating that the Kobayashi Maru has struck a “gravitic mine” in the Neutral Zone and is rapidly losing power, hull integrity and life support. There are no other vessels nearby. The cadet is faced with a decision:

  • Attempt to rescue the  crew and passengers, which involves violating the Neutral Zone and potentially provoking the Klingons into hostile action or an all-out war; or
  • Abandon them, potentially preventing war but leaving the crew and passengers to die.
Kirk quite famously took each option once and failed the test, then hacked the computer before his third try and reprogrammed it so he was able to effect the rescue.  Kirk does not believe in the no-win situation.  And neither do I.

As desperately hopeless as I felt in my last post, I did go on to run the Peoria race and did as horribly as I expected.  However, I ditched my timing chip at the first water stop and turned off my Garmin because I was tired of carrying the weight of my own mental pressure.

I slogged through the following week, doing much less than I should have, and confronted the next big test yesterday: the Rock & Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon.  Undertrained, overweight and with a body depleted by 3 days of intestinal flu, I hauled my tired old carcass to the start line and did the race.  Yes, I walked most of it.  Yes, I was slower than I’ve ever been.  Yes, it was a great lesson in humility as well as a testament to determination I wasn’t sure I had.  But it was not a Kobayashi Maru because I feel like I emerged a winner regardless of all else.

A person has a lot of time to think when they’re shuffling along with some 26,000 other people.  And in those few moments when I wasn’t utterly captivated by the beauty of the present moment, I had time to reflect upon the past and plan for the future.  The trip itself was a refreshing break from what has lately been a life filled with chores and stress.  Enjoying the company of  my husband and a very dear friend at dinner the first night was a wonderful way to start the weekend.  Having a burger, a beer and a nap after the race was a fitting way to end it.  Now I’m sitting at the airport awaiting the flight which will carry me home, back to the madness of everyday life.  I’m glad to have had these 48 hours in this beautiful place and ready to forge onward once I return.  It’s been a great weekend.  I worked hard and loved it.  I definitely won.


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