Life can be tough, if you let it.
I guess that is my point. If you let it. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy, healthy and free to do all the things that make you feel good? Living in a house that is only a building where you keep your stuff, being in a relationship that has lost the ‘thing’ that got you together in the first place, having a job that sucks the life from your veins, having regrets of missed adventures and opportunities to be happy again, are all reasons to just stop and take a breath.
What are you doing? Look around. Look in the mirror. How are you feeling? Be honest
If you can’t stand there beaming at yourself in the mirror because you have all that you need and feel completely at peace and happy then you are amongst the vast majority of human beings that walk this earth. Some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life are the ones that we deem to have nothing. Just because you have a big house filled with so many objects they are just oozing out of every surface, this doesn’t mean you have what you need to make you happy. You are just scratching an itch rather than actually looking at what it is that will cure the itch. Going with the flow and buying stuff because everyone else has it or because you saw an advert telling you it is the route to the cure for all your woes, will only keep you spinning in the wrong direction.
The year of 2018 has been my year of change. I was tired of feeling like a failure, looking in the mirror and being disappointed with the way my life was panning out, so I decided to be the change that I needed to make myself feel better. I made the decision that I was important enough to invest some time in and booked myself in for some things that I have always found challenging, scary or made excuses to not make the time. Enough misery, on to bigger, brighter and more beautiful things.
Life has thrown me a few curve balls along the way; illness, homelessness, jobless, abusive relationships, loss of loved ones and that is just in the last 12 months. I have never been one to lay down and accept that the bad stuff is all that is going to happen, I have always stood my ground and fought for what I believe in. It is tough to keep fighting when the shit keeps coming. You sort one issue and another creeps up on you and sometimes a whole load comes at you when you don’t expect it and BOOM you are on your own, everything you thought that was secure in your life is gone in a blink of an eye. What do you do?
Option 1) accept what has happened and do nothing because everything is shit and someone else’s fault and it will get better eventually
Option 2) take control and make it right. You can’t change other people’s opinions or what has happened, but you can make sure it will never happen to you again. You haven’t lost, you have just learnt a really valuable lesson.
Option 2, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Everything that happens to you, is because of the actions or reactions you have chosen. It happened because you made it so. That is a fact. If you feel that someone has treated you unfairly, it is because you let them. If you failed to take action on something that upset you, there is now a new expectation. Only you can make that better or reset it to where you want it to be. No one else is responsible for the shit that happens to you, it all falls at your feet. How you cope with it all, that is what builds resilience.
Life is about learning to survive the storms that come your way, dancing in the rain rather than trying to avoid it or complaining about the fact that you got a bit wet. I have been through some ridiculous things, more than I can begin to describe and I am still here. Laughing, dancing, seeing the sunshine through the clouds. Sure it is hard sometimes, most times in-fact every time, but I know that I will be ok. The ability to recognise the pain, be ok with it, know it can’t really get much worse and carrying on has become my super power. Physically I can handle anything, from 100km walks across the Cotswolds way in 30 degrees to competing in strength events where I can be lifting twice my body weight at times. This isn’t just because I have trained my body to be strong, it is because I have trained my mind to be ok with the pain, because it is only temporary and the sense of accomplishment I will feel last so much longer than the pain I felt at the time.
Women are remarkable creatures, we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for and should be praising one another and lifting each other rather than trying to compete.
- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
“the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”
We all have the ability, we just need to believe.
Being able to recover from times of hardship should be worn as a badge of honour, not a hidden secret. Remember those times, with fondness, because they are the times that we grow the most and learn the most about ourselves.
My most recent race, at the 64km mark I was having a really hard time in my head. I was hot, it was starting to get dark, I had been alone for 54km, I hadn’t been able to eat very much, I was starting to hurt and feel my body complaining, I was entering into a really technical part of the course that was narrow, through woods so littered with obstacles, dark and lonely. I was feeling myself slip into the place I had been before where the temptation to call it a day and just rest was almost too much to bare, but I had a had a flash back of the time I did stop to rest and ended up being medically retired because I had given up. Dealing with the disappointment of that and the shame I felt for failing was far stronger than the temptation to rest. I carried on walking, one foot in front of the other, just concentrate on that one action. The next thing I remember, I am coming into the 75km checkpoint feeling recharged, realised I was one of the front runners and I was doing a great job. That feeling carried me all the way to the finish line, where I am not afraid to admit, I sobbed like a baby. The sense of achievement, pride, self – belief, pure happiness I felt knowing that I had just accomplished something that not many others could do.
The pure determination I had buzzing along in the back ground for the entire length of that race is now stronger in my day to day life. I want to help more people, I want to be a better version of myself, I want to shout from the roof tops that it is possible, you can do it and bring all the people that are down, feeling like I did at 64km, it is ok, you just need to get to 75km and then it will be easy.