Do we really have an impact on our battles ?
To say that each of us finds ourselves in our current circumstances because of our choices is to look at a sphere and call it a circle. If our decisions are part of the battles we fight, there is much more.
In a world of social media and photos, it seems that everyone else is running or training more than us, playing more, thinner, having more friends. We want to be the most we see. The battles behind the images – whether some are posted days or weeks later, or come from a 30-minute getaway, etc. – tend to make us feel like we are missing out – we can’t achieve what we see.
Some of our battles are invisible – some of our battles are internal – depression, anxiety, abuse, parents or family members who require our constant care. Other battles are visible – chronic illness, injury, lack of money, single parenting.
As athletes, we are passionate, driven. Often our time in the mountains is our therapy, our social life, our refuge, our playground.
So, when the snow covers our slopes and we can’t play the sports we love most, what happens? When we prioritize children, work, family, adult life over play, and we can’t spend the hours in the mountains we’d like to have every day… what happens?
I’ve been struggling with this issue a lot lately. I rarely have more than 45-60 minutes (including travel time) to exercise. If I can’t train appropriately for Barkley, should I bother? I could complain and wallow in this lack of time, mostly due to chronic health issues. “Could.”
I can go green on the treadmill while my kids do their homework. I can squeeze in a 20-minute strength training session between lunches at work. I can take my battles, and I can fight.
We can face the storms of the night and know that whatever comes to break us will make us that much stronger. We can train to be stronger and faster than last summer, so that when the sun melts the snow, we can fly down the slopes. We can learn from our circumstances and learn to speak the language of vulnerability, of relating to others, and find new perspectives and new levels of kindness to understand how we didn’t know we could do it before.
Even if we are outnumbered in our battles, we can be smarter, stronger and win.
I didn’t plan to apply for Barkley this year. I gave up, lost in the struggle with health issues, tired, knowing I wouldn’t be able to train, not seeing how to do what I did last year.
But as the clock ticked closer to the date I was supposed to apply, I started thinking about my place there. I didn’t choose to have the health issues I’m struggling with right now, but I can choose to train.
I wouldn’t have chosen to have some of my friends’ burdens, the burdens of life that I wish I could lift. so many of these burdens, we can’t share. but the battles we fight strengthen us. sometimes we lose… the other day, I was sick on the treadmill and only made it a mile full of tears (and bloody coughs) before I had to stop.