I’ve been glued to the TV for what seems like, ooooh, forever, watching the Olympics and then the Paralympics and I’ve loved it. Every second. The Men’s Wheelchair Basketball match between GB and Turkey had me pacing the sitting room and bellowing at the tv. I’ve screamed to encourage, berate, celebrate and vent. I’ve cried tears of joy and admiration and sadness. I’ve watched athletes achieve success beyond their dreams or expectations and some who, on the day, simply didn’t. I’ve witnessed elation and heartbreak on these superhuman’s faces.
I’m in complete awe of the one legged high jump athletes ( by in awe – I mean I shout out loud ‘WTF?’ and cry) and all of the other para athletes because they could so easily have given up; given in to their disabilities and lived a life wallowing in self pity, but all of them have chosen not to. Many of the athletes this year actually cite other athletes as their inspiration having only taken up sport since London 2012.
The road to Rio must have been long and tough and full of times when it would have been easier to refuse to go on, refuse to take a step further and simply sit by the roadside and watch others stumble along the path. There may well be those we shall never know of who may have done that, but our GB team did not.
By the way, I don’t mean to imply that if you are disabled and are not a Team GB Para Athlete that you live your life in self pity. Not at all. What I am saying is that actually, being honest with you, I spend MY life wallowing in self pity, decrying the lack of time and energy that I have and my perceived work life balance – imbalance as reasons for not going for a run or swim. I have all of my limbs and my faculties (well, may be not ALL of my marbles) and although I’m not going to be a GB athlete, I could be doing more to enjoy my life – even with yo yo-ing hormones and a fear of having to eat creepy crawlies. I recently accidentally drank my other half’s urine (which, let me tell you, was not the worst thing I’ve ever drunk – quite pleasant really), so I don’t think that I have any real excuses for not getting OUT THERE.
We don’t all have to be climbing mountains. Everyone’s OUT THERE is extremely personal – but we owe it to ourselves to do what makes us happy when we can. I don’t fancy Repentance that much. I think that feeling miserable because you haven’t achieved something for yourself is a form of repentance; and yet, its the city that I live in.
I have just read my first two posts…its like deja vu or groundhog day. The simple fact is that I don’t believe in myself. I don’t believe I’m capable of doing the things I want to do. I’m scared of failing and I’m scared that I look like a pale-ish sort of oompa loompa in lycra and my outdoorsy kit.
(link to my first post here: https://ordinary2extreme.com/2013/11/24/starting-out/)
I think its about time I changed my post code. Repentance isn’t winning me the post code lottery of fulfilment thats for sure. After swimming the English Channel in 2014 I didn’t get back into the water properly until this year. Why not? Well, it wasn’t sharks. It was a simple realisation that I’m not Wonder Woman. It was HARD. REALLY HARD. I was scared of being too close to the boat as it pitched and rolled in a six foot swell. It was like being in a washing machine. All those pictures you see of calm seas as people swim in lovely flat water are gorgeous but aren’t always the reality. It certainly wasn’t for us. Instead of this adventure being a springboard to other adventures, it has limited me because I still feel like a failure. I feel like I failed even though we made it to France. I feel like a failure because it was hard and I had expected to feel confident. I admire amazing ladies like Anna McNuff and Lucinda Bayliss and my incredible friend Angel Paterson because despite being talented, they are human. Unlike me though, they’ve used their negatives and turned them into positives. (its my gorgeous friend Ang on my cover page with me, by the way, and here is a link to the video we made of the day)
English Channel Relay – Sivota Sharks July 2014 – YouTube
In Anna McNuff’s words, its time to get out my Pants of Perspective. I need to learn from the fear and use it to grow. Its time to pay those solicitors fees for moving out of a Town called Repentance….