It is quite a challenge writing a blog whilst sitting on a bag of frozen peas. To coin a phrase used by many British MPs, a few weeks ago, in a “moment of madness”, I entered the Shakespeare Hospice 100miles in a day cycle event. This took place on Sunday, hence the need for a bag of peas.
You certainly learn a lot about yourself during such experiences – not least the need to invest in a more cushioned saddle – and how these events mirror life. The race could be broken down into 7 ‘emotional stages’.
– The 1st involved a mixture of excitement and nervous anticipation that I was involved in something that would be a genuine challenge.
– The 2nd was the realisation that to complete the challenge would actually involve more pain that I first imagined.
– The 3rd was when my mind and body started to argue with each other about who was in control – this was the first time when the option of ‘dropping out’ was considered.
– The 4th was when the decision was made that to complete the event was the only option.
– The 5th involved an increased feeling of energy when the end was in sight.
– The 6th was a release of emotion once it had been completed!
– And the 7th stage was sharing the experience and sharing ‘battle stories’ with the fellow competitors.
What was the most important stage? Stage 4 – making the decision to carry on regardless!
So what made the difference? The vision of how I would feel crossing the finishing line and also a refreshment stop at exactly the moment I needed it – 2 bananas and 2 bottles of water at 55miles was all that it took to breathe life back into my legs and mind.
Like so many instances in life, we reach a point when we want to give up. Our energy is low and all we can see is more pain and discomfort, with the desired destination a ridiculously long way away. What can help is to remind yourself of why you are going through the pain and what it will feel like when you reach your goal. And what can feed us on this journey? Words of encouragement from others and from yourself.
So, if you see someone reaching the point of giving up on their dream, offer them a kind word – it might just be the ‘mind banana’ that they need.