The exhaustion is setting in with the limbs being slowly drained out as they move in tandem motion. Suddenly a spurt of energy like an electricity bolt charges through the tired muscles giving them a new life for what may be perceived then as “the minutes that may make a difference to reach the finish line.”
The above emotions may be experienced by many from a wide variety of genres with variations. Consider a first time runner preparing for a long distance marathon, new time jogger or cyclist trying to cover more ground, racing for the train or bus about to leave the station or even worse, running to reach the airport departure terminal before the boarding gate closes. Add to the list, the daily event of running behind a toddler especially when he is racing towards the main road from the porch, taking part in an endurance challenge as a bet with colleagues, old time friends or the “eternal rush against time” (although the internal batteries are near empty) for the next planned event to start.
While some of us may fit into one of the above or similar scenarios, the rest of us may have many more to add to the growing list. On scientific terms, all these instances correlate with the phenomenon of “second wind”. Most common as an exercise phenomenon or a sleep phenomenon, both involve the sudden increase in energy during a period of fatigue. Similar to the runner’s high (happens after the race is over), second wind is a occurrence in distance running or similar sports whereby an athlete who is out of breath or too tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. While science relates second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles; endorphins may also play a role to it.
Descriptions of second wind go back centuries old, found initially associated with strenuous exercise. Metaphorically speaking, second wind often translates as “continuing on with renewed energy past the point thought to be one’s prime, be it in sports, careers or life in general.”
We all need to gain our own second wind in life, especially during the low points in life. While the trigger may be from within or from those around us directly or indirectly; finding the “energy to move on ahead” is important to come out of the dregs that life sometimes throws at us. The best part is that each one of us has “that second wind within us”. All we need to do is to gain the will, faith and courage to bring it out and charge through to get to the “better side” of life that each one of us secretly harbours within. As the adage proves time and again, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”; gain one’s own second wind to reach the “temporary finish lines” and breakthrough the barriers and obstacles that each journey has. Each road is one’s own.
“The fatigue of the climb was great but it is interesting to learn once more how much further one can go on one’s second wind. I think that is an important lesson for everyone to learn for it should also be applied to one’s mental efforts. Most people go through life without ever discovering the existence of that whole field of endeavor which we describe as second wind. Whether mentally or physically occupied most people give up at the first appearance of exhaustion. Thus they never learn the glory and the exhilaration of genuine effort…” Agnes Elizabeth née Ernst Meyer