20 kilometers in a day, 24 hours without sleep, for the cause that was Trilympics. It was a fund raiser-cum-awareness event for disabled athletes in Singapore, who are heading out soon to Beijing for the Olympics. In support of the cause, Trilympics aimed to get people to run / spin the distance equivalent to one round around the world within 24 hours. A distance of 40,000 km, from 1 pm on Saturday to 1 pm on Sunday. The turn-out was decent, and in total, we accumulated a distance of 36,000 km! I did my .06% by running (and partially walking) 20 km. It took close to 5.5 hours and I couldn’t do it again. Instead of sleeping away the Saturday night, we were out on the track at 5 in the morning. Insanity really. Even more insane was the number of people out there with us. Not just Trilympics volunteers and participants, but regular runners / joggers / walkers. People in the age range of 40 to 75! Old, stooping, frail. Yet motivated. I wonder how. I wonder why. At 5 in the morning? Every day? I don’t know whether to call it impressive, compulsive or just insane.

I do believe in the cause, I guess. But that’s not why I volunteered or participated. I did it to clear my 80 hour requirement at college, to serve the community. Noble and all, but to me it’s sillier than even all the other stuff they do. First up, the only reason behind community service should be self-satisfaction and the desire to help. Nobody that I know would volunteer for Trilympics out of pure choice. I didn’t. I don’t even deserve the 80 hours I clocked from it. Other than the running and some ushering (as an organization liaison officer!), I spent 3 hours playing cards at Coffee Bean and another few watching a movie. I think that’s the core of the problem with such requirements. It does not even close to motivate you to do something for the causes you believe in. If you really want people to contribute to the causes they believe in, you have to lead by example. It’s not the stuff that should be looked for in a resume. Or as part of your degree requirement. It’s what should stem from inside of you. It’s the stuff of all action and no talk. How much longer are we going to score in the name of those who really do suffer?

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