Leap of Faith
Sometimes you need to take a giant leap of faith and hope the ground you’ll land on will carry you. When this shot was taken, I was just starting to look for a new challenge to sign up for. Something that would beat the Outback Marathon and Half Ironman I did last year. Why? Well, because I like to push my physical and mental boundaries. It’s fun.
So I signed up for Tough Mudder, an extreme half marathon that has teams scaling massive walls, run through fire and swim through ice cold rivers – or so an article in The Good Weekend seemed to promise. But with the event not being til September and me really liking endurance challenges, I ended up signing up for Norway Ironman in August (one of the most extreme ironman events due to the course) and for Comrades in June as well – that would be an 89km ultramarathon and no walk in park. Why? Well, I thought I wouldn’t get into Norway and then I’ve always wanted to go back to South Africa. With only 13 weeks to go, I got struck by what I’d call some seriously bad pot luck. What thought was an innocent but rather persistent flu turned into a feverish chest infection and nasty cough, then I injured my shoulder during a yoga session (an old injury that still niggles) and the day that got better, my foot started playing up… And I hadn’t even started training properly yet!
As it turns out, the new shoes I had gotten fitted with as part of a Nike She Runs The Night event, Nike Lunar Fly model, were not quite right for my foot and twisted the second metatarsal – the long bone attached to your toe – in my right foot so badly it almost cracked and I was left with a serious bone bruise. (The inside of the bone looking like a swiss cheese on my MRI scan. And an expensive cheese at that: $600 and 6 hours at the doc’s that day plus numerous treatments and cancelled classes since. That’s not to mention the intense pain in my foot I’ve had since.)
But before you think I am writing a woe is me blog, here’s what I’m learning and what I’d like you to take away from this: no matter how well-intentioned our actions and how well we insure ourselves against all eventualities, sometimes life has other ideas. Sometimes, you take a leap of faith and land in shit. And then it’s really up to you what you do with that.
Sure, I’ve had a few moments – generally when my foot has had setbacks and the pain has felt unbearable – where all I wanted was to cry or go back three weeks or beg the universe for an easier lot. But I’ve finally just come to the realisation that this is not only about smiling and working my way through it but also sitting in acceptance of where I landed and surrendering to it. Peeking behind the door that I landed in front of and checking out what’s behind it. Without fear or doubt. And before you’ll know it, I’ll be running and leaping in good faith again.
P.S.: Yesterday I had my biggest setback yet when I did a jump of joy – involuntarily and literally – and landed on my foot, cracking it loudly. Somehow that moment and this new setback brought me the breakthrough – youch! – acceptance I had been lacking. Life will always throw you curveballs. Perhaps we don’t even have to juggle them. Just take everyone as it comes and don’t attach too much meaning to it. Stick with what works for you and makes you happy. On that note, I’m off to do a healing meditation. Here’s a link….
I’d love to hear your stories.