ATHLETE WELFARE & PREPARATION FUND

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Christ­mas! Christ­mas! It's Christ­mas time in T&T. For many peo­ple, noth­ing beats a "Trin­ba­go" Christ­mas. It is the best!

Alas, since Christ­mas 2014, the sea­son and all it en­tails - good, bad and in­dif­fer­ent - is more about dis­ci­pline. Not mod­er­a­tion or in­dul­gence, dis­ci­pline.

Pri­or to 2014, Christ­mas for this writer meant to eat, drink and be mer­ry. A veg­e­tar­i­an/ve­g­an for a few decades, well there has been a di­et adap­ta­tion for quite a while now, the search for meat­less, egg-less and milk-less presents a chal­lenge but has got­ten bet­ter as the years have gone by.

But be­gin­ning in 2015, I took on the chal­lenge of start­ing and com­plet­ing the T&T In­ter­na­tion­al Marathon (TTIM) in an ef­fort to raise aware­ness and funds for the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) #10golds24 ath­lete wel­fare and prepa­ra­tion fund. The marathon is usu­al­ly held the last Sun­day in Jan­u­ary which in re­al­i­ty means the 26.2-mile en­durance event is run off ap­prox­i­mate­ly a month af­ter Christ­mas. Whose bril­liant idea was it again to do the marathon walk? So much for think­ing things through.

Yikes! That means a to­tal lack of self-dis­ci­pline will come back to haunt you any­where and at any time be­tween mile 12 and 26. Un­re­strained en­joy­ment at Christ­mas time will re­sult in a dif­fi­cult marathon jour­ney.

Yes! Eat, drink and be mer­ry will mean en­ter­ing the tor­ture cham­ber be­tween the Ca­roni plains, the South­ern Main Road, East­ern Main Road, South Quay, Wright­son Road, Colville Street or Ara­pi­ta Av­enue and the fin­ish line. Make your pick!

So what's the al­ter­na­tive? Con­sid­er the stark re­al­i­ty that eat, drink and be mer­ry isn't your friend. Add in Christ­mas day and New Year's day train­ing ses­sion and all of a sud­den the marathon be­comes a test of re­solve.

Last Sat­ur­day, a 12-mile train­ing walk with Robert Du­mas of CNC3 sports an­chor fame, the ver­dant and lush Chan­cel­lor Hill be­came a re­quired rite of pas­sage ahead of TTIM day. Clar­i­ty of thought, the TTOC marathon walk crew em­brace of the 26.2-mile marathon walk is dri­ven by a sense of mis­sion and pur­pose.

In the height of jin­gle bells, parang, Ponche de Creme, sor­rel, gin­ger beer and black cake and all else that makes a "Tri­ni" Christ­mas such a won­der­ful time of year. The shad­ow of the 37th edi­tion of the TTIM to be held on Jan­u­ary 27, looms large.

Marathon day com­ing, push aside that ex­tra serv­ing of pastelle and yet an­oth­er glass of sor­rel. Marathon day com­ing!

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