To the Limit and Beyond
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I have been struck today with an almost overwhelming need to do something huge - to really push myself to my absolute physical limit.
I started using a new workout app this morning. Only a 5min cardio hit but it really got me huffing and panting in a way I seldom feel from exercise. I realised that I am still decidedly lazy about physical activity. I can comfortably run a 5k in 23mins with little more than an elevated heart beat and really don't push myself any harder to better my time or to make myself work harder. I once read that with strength exercises it is better to do only 3 or 4 lifts at the maximum you can manage than 15-20 at an easier weight - but still I don't push myself; I simply continue doing 'just enough'. I found myself thinking this over whilst recovering from what was actually a quite intense exercise experience but it's only now some other little synchronicities are coming to the forefront of my mind.
* A few weeks ago I bought a new wardrobe. It was only a small one, but being made of wood was quite heavy to get up the stairs. Nevertheless, my 18yo and myself struggled, heaved, shoved and pulled and eventually got it up to my room. The effort of doing this task took me to my limit - but for the shortest time. I actually quite liked the feeling of having pushed myself to the very edge, though - it's quite empowering, thrilling ... I guess that's the effect of the adrenaline, who knows.
I don't think I can replicate that feeling through exercise though - I am far too lazy and will always stop just short of having to do anything like real work.
* I recently read Ellen MacArthur's Full Circle. She is a woman I truly admire - strength of mind, conviction, a truly strong willed, self assured woman. My youngest daughter has taken up sailing, so is looking on her as something of a role model. This makes me happy because there are so many lessons to learn from her - least of all that you never really know just what you are truly capable of unless you try.
* I have also found myself watching quite a few of those survival-type movies that seemed so popular throughout my childhood; you know the type - plane crashes in a mountain and there is a struggle to survive until help comes, explorers get stranded on an island or something and have to fight the elements to return to safety - there are many different scenarios, but they all amount to the same story: a test of strength, the protaganists being forced to give their absolute all until it seems they have nothing left within them.
* Over Christmas I fought through my hatred of Jeremy Clarkson to watch an episode of Top Gear. The regular episodes irritate me, but this was one of their journeys which I generally find more interesting (more for seeing the world than anything else). They were travelling to the North Pole and I found myself contemplating how much fun it would be to take a trip of that type.
You see, all these things have been happening around me as though the universe is reaching out, prodding me to get a message across, yet I hadn't really connected them all until now. It's kind of like when you are making up a cross-stitch picture - you are focusing on each section as you work it, then suddenly you pick the fabric up, unfold it and suddenly see the whole beautiful picture laid out.
So I guess therein lies my mission for this coming year. I would think the task itself will need to be 2016 - not just because of my procrastinatory nature, either - I mean, an awfully big adventure takes a great deal of planning, forethinking and preparation. Those are my tasks for 2015.
Step one: To find my journey...