5 Things Running Taught Me About Life

Nabin went on to achieve great things like winning a bronze at the ASEAN University Games. He clocked in a record timing of 9 minutes and 37 seconds, making him the fastest steeplechaser in Singapore while representing SIM.

6 Jun 2019

5 mins read


By Nabin Parajuli

Some of us run to maintain our physical fitness, others for health reasons. Then there are some who run competitively because it makes them feel alive while doing so.

When Nabin first joined a Campus Road Run with a few friends during his time in Nanyang Polytechnic, he didn't realise that his life would take an important turn in a meaningful way. He came in fourth in the race and was approached to join the school's Track and Field team afterwards. Nabin went on to achieve great things like winning a bronze at the ASEAN University Games. He clocked in a record timing of 9 minutes and 37 seconds, making him the fastest steeplechaser in Singapore while representing SIM.

Somewhere in between the hours put into intense trainings and the distance logged, Nabin finds plenty of rich life lessons that the sport can teach us.

#1 Tread Your Own Path Prior to running competitively, I was someone who would follow the crowd - often going along with the decisions that was made for me. It was an easy path to tread on. All I had to do was go with the flow.

Running changed that. It gave me a purpose in life and taught me to never settle for less than what I want to achieve. It spurs me to aim higher, have larger dreams and purpose.


Leaping hurdles at the ASEAN University Games on barefoot.

#2 Discipline Is Key
Never giving up is the key to achieving our dreams. The student-athlete lifestyle in SIM required me to be discipline in both academics and sports. Since I had classes 5 days a week with equal or more training sessions, it would mean that I had to carefully allocate my time for studies, training and rest & recovery. This lifestyle instilled a strong sense discipline in me and paved the way for me to reach my desired goals.

I was also a huge fan of the McDonald's McSpicy burger that I could have it for lunch for four times in a week! But running required me to be healthy so I had to be disciplined in my dietary habits, training programme and even sleeping habits in order to excel. Essentially, you get what you put in.

#3 Be Open To Changes To Grow
Often, we fall into the trap of repeating the same mistakes because we don't take the time to review what isn't working out for us. It is important to be disciplined but it is just as vital to improve your strategies as this will bring about a different and better outcome.

What I have learnt from this sport is that there is no single secret formula to achieving something. The key to excel is to do things right and have an open mind and heart to embrace changes and learn new ways of doing things. That's how we grow - through embracing changes. Be dynamic as rigidity will only break you.

The environment and circumstances that we are in has an impact on our growth. The SIM Student Development Department has been key to my running achievements. They paved the way for me to compete at a higher level by giving me opportunities to take part in competitions overseas in Myanmar, Malaysia and Qatar. These experiences allowed me to grow and become an even stronger athlete.


I try to abide to my routine of training every day. Sometimes, this means that I have to sacrifice time spent with my friends.

#4 Learn To Prioritise
This is perhaps the most important lesson I have learnt through running. Being a student-athlete, we often face the pressure to excel in both sports and academics. Lucky are the ones who are gifted and have natural talent in both areas. For those who are not, it all boils down to hard work and commitment.

Having a right balance between academic, sports, family and friends is a must as they are all fundamental for us to progress holistically. However, the key to being our best self is to prioritise them according to what is of utmost importance. #5 What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger Running taught me that struggles and obstacles are only there to make us stronger. We may not like the excruciating journey as we go through them but it readies us for bigger challenges in the long run.
As an athlete, there is always an endless stream of difficult days but having the resilience to be committed to your goals and having faith in the process will get us very far in races and in life.

Read more about Nabin's story here.