As I sit here with my tiger balmed feet up, I am reflecting on a walk I did this morning training for New Zealand. I am not gonna gloss over it and say it was all roses as this morning was a massive challenge and I may or may not have sworn a bit! I am nursing an ankle injury and soonish into the walk tripped and let it be known once again which put a hault to feeling like I could do this.
I am so frustrated that each step was full of pain and that it was slow, agonising stroll. There were what seemed like millions of steps and the mental battle to get through them was quite the trial.
Then there is the physical aspect, feeling like I have regressed with my fitness due to not being able to train as I would have liked (and lets be honest, never really having exercised as part of my life since school).
But despite all this there is also a sense of achievement as we faced those challenges by stepping one foot in front of the other (or shuffled at times!) . Its also feeling the support and patience of Lisa our leader from Big Heart Adventures who truly demonstrated what this is all about. Its not the race that we have in our mind – its moving toward something else and challenging ourselves to discover something new. Its about getting out there and giving it a go even though there are thousands of reasons not to do it. There were moments where we needed to sit for a while and just take in the view but it’s also about making that decision to get up again and keep walking those bloody steps. It is also about looking back sometimes and recognising how far you have come and celebrating that you have got through that tough path. There are so many metaphors that I could talk about but one thing that I really liked about this morning is the little surprises along the way, including bumping into one of my friends.
I can get all insecure around all those super fit people just jogging up and down the coastline as I am certainly no size 8 fitness model but what I have notice is a culture that is far from what I imagine in my head. It is not actually the exclusive, we are too cool for school type thing – people say ‘good morning’ to one another – something society rarely does, its like there is a connection not only to nature but in a brief moment acknowledging that each other exist, with some taking an interest in what we are training for. There is also the fact that so many of these super fit strangers offered encouragement to ‘keep going’, ‘you are doing well’, ‘this is tough’, I am coaching you as I run past sort of comments that really helped. I loved that I didn’t feel like there was judgement, it was quite the opposite, they acknowledged that we are all giving this a shot and that its tough but that we can all do it no matter how long it takes. It makes me question who was actually doing the judgement – yep, when you point your finger at someone else there are three pointing back at you – certainly the case in this instance.
Then there is the conversation that happens along the way, the thought processes and the recognition of how this trek is so much more than a trek. It was awesome chatting about the realisations that have happened so far about what we are getting from this as the deeply personal process unfolds with each step. I have to remind myself that we are pushing our comfort zone and that doesn’t come easily but also to take notice of the numerous insights that continue to inform. I still wonder how it’s all going to pan out but one things for sure, there is so much to this and having to nurture myself through this might be the biggest lesson of all.