Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Few Moments in the Mind of Me

One thing I have learned recently is not to take inspiration for granted. Along with socks, chamois cream and chain lube, for a long time I've underestimated the significance of having a sufficient supply of it. Another thing I've learnt is that inspiration should be treated in a way similar to that in which I tend to my corn crops on Hay Day, in that it needs to be carefully managed; use it all up at once, and it's gone. All you'll be left with is some wilting carrots and a half-empty silo. It needs to be used in moderation, so that two weeks down the track, you've left enough out in the fields to have grown some more.

Metaphors aside, I have found myself running on empty for the last wee while. And it's much harder than I would ever have imagined. Thankfully for me though, every once in a while, someone can throw a little inspiration your way. And often that's all it takes to get back on your feet and start working away at things, however small steps may they be.

It's difficult not to overwhelm oneself when our expectations are set at what seems ever so slightly out of reach, and no matter how much jumping and stretching and visualising we do, the bar is only ever 'so close', and we find ourselves hovering there in our aspiration, grasping at our goals and only ever touching them for a second before they slip away again.

The worst thing one can do is kick these disappointments under the carpet; stack them up in the small black box that lurks obscurely, but never silently, in the waste bin of our mind. Of course, this is the simplest option. To wipe the slate clean and start over, look at the upsides. But it's very rarely the most constructive. Sometimes a little psychological spring cleaning is needed.

So that is what I intend to do. As soon as I can rid my mind of the clutter of my exam notes, I'm going to take a step back and make a plan, and hopefully get my thoughts into better order than my bedroom has been of late. After all, in the words of Laurence J. Peter, if you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else.

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Wanganui Sports Awards, and of hearing Shaun Quincy's absorbing account of his fifty-four day, 2200km solo row across the Tasman. As well as serving as an overdue replenishment of my actuation, it also highlighted the distinct similarity in the way that athletes' brains tick, irrespective of their discipline or ambitions. We all have fight. We all have desire to prove to ourselves and the world what we are capable of, regardless of what sacrifices we need to make along the way. And we all have belief, that someday we will be the one passing inspiration on to someone else.



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