In 2016 I wrote a blog about letting life get on top of me. I wrote about missing training, loosing myself by taking on too much, and how I was going to generate a plan to sort it out.
#30for30 was meant to be that plan. It was ‘meant’ to help me get ‘fit’ again. *eye roll*
Today is the 13th March 2018. It’s been a while since I wrote that very first blog, life is very different. It’s weird to look back and realise that things that I had envisaged doing one thing in life haven’t actually transpired like that.
One thing isn’t different – the idea that things can always change.
It was probably always naive of me to think that by challenging myself to run thirty obstacles races in a year would only help me regain my figure from summer 2015. That is an ideal that now seems very far away. It’s not something I am continuously striving to achieve, which is just as well given the fact that it’s probably never going to happen. The fact that exercise, as an entirety makes up a massive part of who I am will never change. I am fully immersed in a lifestyle that involves physical activity, and weight lifting and eating well. However, I am also human. I have three children and work numerous jobs. Sometimes (like now when I have a million other things to do) I don’t exercise a lot. It bugs me out and I’m very aware of my declining self-perception. Sometimes (like now when I’m on my period and a bit hormonal) I will eat my entire body weight in pudding and sweets mostly so I don’t kill anyone. Coming to terms with the fact that sustainability does NOT mean 8 workouts a week and an entirely processed food free diet has been mentally liberating. Holding yourself to such a high standard is not only unachievable it is fundamentally harming to your mental health. I eat pizza, I don’t have abs, I wear jeans a size bigger. So what. The world hasn’t ended and I am happy. Having said that, once my dissertation is finished and I’ve moved house and the hormones have fucked off then I will very much be back to running and lifting and generally moaning about the fact my children doesn’t eat kale for breakfast. But it won’t kill me if I don’t for a little while.
It was probably always naive of me to think that one blog in 2016 was the answer to all the mental trauma of 2014/15. That is an ideal that now seems very far away. It is not something I was ever in control of being ‘over’. It has changed me in indescribable ways, it made me harder. Harder to know, harder to become close to, harder to impress, harder to hurt. It made me better, it made me stronger, it made me more protective, it allows me to dictate who I want in my life, and ruthless about who I don’t. It made me realise that regardless of when you think you’re ok with an event, you are only truly ok with it when you wake up one day and realise you haven’t been taken off guard by it for a while. I have made peace with the fact my third child doesn’t know, and will never know, her biological Dad. I have made peace with the events that happened. I have made peace with the fact there are somethings that will send me into a momentary panic before I come back down earth again. I have made peace with the fact that I no longer think about it a lot, that in fact the only time I really do think about it is when Facebook reminds about something or I get an unexpected delivery, or when I need to shower in an empty house. Feeling guilty for being done with the whole bloody thing isn’t something that concerns me any more, it happened. It’s done. It only has power if I let it and I don’t choose to let it.
It was probably always naive of me to think that the #30for30 challenge would, or in fact should ever be superseded by another. That is an ideal that now seems very far away, thankfully. There was a strong feeling in me that I had to do something bigger than #30for30. It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t want do something bigger than it. That to do something bigger or more challenging would in fact diminish what I achieved in 2016. It is a memory, a part of my story that is defining in what I am achieving now, in the work that I am delivering, in the business that I have created. It was a huge part of my life and as such my children, and myself have all been exposed to life changing events and opportunities that wouldn’t have presented themselves otherwise. It will never be surpassed by any fitness challenge I ever set myself, and nor should it. And if I ever get around to finishing the damn book then it will be something set in actual pages forever.
It was probably naive of me to not assume I would change. I think that’s life though isn’t it. I have grown a lot, maybe significantly more in the last three years than at any point previously. I am aware of myself in a way I have never been, emotionally, mentally, physically. The choice to not crumple is one we all have. The choice to stand and say actually this is who I am. This is what is important to ME. This is what I want. This is what I love. It’s a very powerful thing to be aware like that, and yet it isn’t gifted, it isn’t taught, it isn’t in a book. It is inside you. It’s NOT how you look. It’s NOT the people who treat you badly. It is NOT what anyone else thinks. It’s all you.
It was probably always naive of me to think that life wouldn’t change. Life always changes. Sometimes you can trudge through wondering when things will be better, different, more exciting, less controlled by children and routine, and then you look back three years and realise you are so far removed from the life of old that you don’t even recognise yourself. Things always change, they are always changing, minute to minute. Sometimes the change isn’t what we want, it isn’t what we expect or what we had anticipated. But it is how we deal with that change that allows us to grow. I have learnt that I can take on too much, it is a way to mask the fact I feel like I’m drowning. If I’m not sitting still then I cannot think, I don’t have to deal with whatever is bugging me. I have learnt to sit still. To do nothing. I have learnt that I cannot single handedly run the world, and actually I don’t want to. There are more important things happening much close to home that I want to enjoy. And I have learnt that that is ok, better in fact.
Some things don’t change. My kids continue to be the axis on which my world spins. I am convinced that at some point in the near future I will have abs again, albeit maybe just by looking at old photos. I am continuously saying yes to things that leave my poor Mum and business partner shaking their heads at me in despair as I declare that things will be ‘fine’ and that will absolutely pull off the next crazy thing I want to try and do.
Time is a funny thing. It passes in the blink of an eye and yet at any given point we can choose to stop, and start again. We can chose a different path, we can choose whatever we want. Just because today isn’t the same as yesterday doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t be.
2016 was meant to be the start of the change…maybe it was…maybe it just hasn’t shown itself in the ways I imagined. Sometimes what needs to happen and what we want to happen aren’t the same, but you can guarantee that what is meant to happen will.
Oh 2018, you’re shaping up well…