As many of you know, last Sunday I completed a mile and a half sponsored walk for Lincoln Drill Hall and Lincoln Samaritans. I’d spent months training to get my dysfunctional, uncooperative limbs ready for the challenge and I’d be lying if I said it all went to plan; it didn’t. It took me five hours which included one very pivotal moment when I thought my life was going to come to an abrupt halt. But I live to tell the tale.
No one quite prepares you for the almighty thud that comes after such a life-altering, eye-opening experience. For weeks I’d gone backwards and forwards to Elite Fit, where Lee put me through my paces. The feeling that the world was going to run out of oxygen on a twice-weekly basis became normal. I got used to the fact that Skegness is home to a never-ending pier and those hills weren’t going to get any smaller. It climaxed with The Walk which is still something I can’t put into words, other than to say it was beautifully horrendous and I never want to do it again, but I’d do it again tomorrow. And then it was over.
Last week was pretty rough. I’m not saying I was expecting it to be plain sailing because I had just put my body through hell, but I didn’t think it’d be as bad as it was. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and exhilarated which apparently manifested into a hot mess of emotion. I woke up at 5am on Monday morning with an unexplainable desire to apologise to everyone for the length of time the trek took and for their potential broken backs as a result of them dragging me around the course. Then, a second later, I was desperate to publish our fundraiser’s grand total (which I’m still calculating). I went from not wanting to see or deal with anything to do with The Walk, to wearing my medal, gifted by my fabulous Dutch friend, with pride. I think ‘mentally frazzled and a tad unstable’ is an apt description here.
I’m an all or nothing kinda gal who is, for the most part, determined and focused. But with every ‘all’ there’s an inevitable ‘nothing’ which in this case meant that I was lost without the necessity of training and I had no idea what to do with the excess oxygen at my disposal. On top of this, my genetics dictate that I’m prone to craziness and sometimes I’ll have to make a conscious decision not to rock in the corner.
The one thing you need to know about me and my fabulous Dutch friend is that we have multiple conversations at the same time. So somewhere amidst the exciting discovery of Lidl’s giraffe-labelled wine, the discussion about hot chicks in Irish bars and the realisation that we both a have dark and twisted sense of humour, she happened to mention she was grateful for the sunset. Now, I’ve always had a hippie attitude to life, but this made me think.
Gratitude has to be the way forward. Even if it’s finding that the cat hasn’t dismembered a mouse on the bedroom floor or using the last dregs of milk for a morning cuppa, there’s something to be thankful for. I’m not dismissing or belittling the fact that people have valid reasons to hate the world; it can be shit. However, if we appreciate the little things, then perhaps our day would be slightly brighter. So, I guess the message from your resident Hippie Grinch is to take time to bask in the sunshine, lie under the stars and fall in love with the glorious creature that is the giraffe.