Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Am I Tough Enough?

It feels like it was yesterday that I was preparing myself for a trip of a lifetime; finalizing my train itinerary, booking tickets to museums & galleries, trying not to over think and listen to that little voice in my head that said 'what exactly do you think you are doing?'

Well, it would appear I'm back in that place again. Although this time the focus isn't on a trip abroad but a physical and mental trip leading up to the toughest event on the planet; Tough Mudder.

While this was an event I broadly heard about through friends and colleagues, it never once entered my mind that I should, would, or could do it. I hated PE in high school, I dislike playing any kind of sport, and was far from - what one would call - athletic, so why the hell would I have any business or interest in such an event? As time passed though, I got a little more curious about it and realized this was not only an event to test ones physical abilities but mental ones as well. In essence, this was a challenge people took on to push themselves and face fears rather than do it for sport or to win a trophy for being the best. This fact, alone, intrigued me.

Could I train & live up to the challenge? Would I be disciplined enough? Would I face my fears & do it anyways? So...I registered! Now I have no choice.

Taking my trip last year was one of the best experiences of my life. Leading up to it, there was a lot of doubt & fear swirling about in my mind like a bad storm on the horizon. People around me said, 'Wow, I would never do that. Scary!' But, despite the voices, the fears, and all the reasons not to, I kept on. That, in itself, was a challenge. Actually being in Europe and living in the moment...that was the easy part!

And that's what it's all about isn't it? The expectations and anticipation are generally more scary than reality. If only we could hush those voices, doubts, and fears more often and listen to our hearts more. Where would that take us? How different would our lives be?

Well, I will find out eventually. A month into training for this new adventure, I am already wondering what it is I got myself into. After almost dying in my very first training session, having an unpleasant encounter with a trainer who thought I had no place being there, and friends who wonder why I would put myself through such torture, I have every reason to believe the little voice in my head that says 'Ok, enough. Time to get back to reality.' But that other voice says 'Keep going!'. And each time I do, it gets a little better. Surprisingly enough too, I'm actually enjoying the process of training, working towards something, and physically seeing the change in my body in the meantime. I can see why some get addicted!

Despite my optimism, I know training will get more intense and I will have many more reasons - I'm sure - to be discouraged and quit. But knowing what great things came from my trip abroad, I will carry that knowledge with me through Tough Mudder - or atleast leading up to it - and push through. This too shall pass so, again, it's time to make the most of the moment while it's here and peel back yet another layer of the onion to find out what lies just beneath the surface.