Sunday 22 July 2012

7 days

It's amazing the difference a week, 7 days, or 168 hours can make.

Last week was a low point for a number of reasons.
I felt down, defeated, like I couldn't face things I had enjoyed as normal and in essence I felt like karma wasn't looking kindly on me, that things just weren't going for me.

Many of the things didn't and haven't changed, but none of them were in my control, so I also felt helpless. I believe sometimes you just have to go back to your default setting to pick yourself up again.
But I also realised something this week. Something I had never thought of before when I tried to cheer up others, who were down or upset.
When someone is trying to pick themselves up from what they are feeling and where they are, it doesn't work for people to tell the individual that everything will be okay, that they're doing a great job etc.

That individual has to find whatever it is that makes them believe in themselves.

Had it not been for one tiny thing, I think I would have completely written myself off that weekend and sometimes you just have to look back and laugh, otherwise you'd just end up in bits.
The one thing for me, it probably won't surprise you to know, that helps me believe in myself again is my bike. But I know I've had a really bad weekend, when I get attacked by a bus and end up tearing into my shin with the teeth on my crank-set, after flying onto the pavement.
- This was on the way back from a ride to clear my head!
I sat on a wall in Trafalgar Square with a British Cycling jersey on, re-hydrating myself and there was a little boy who couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 sat across from me. What he did not only made me smile inside and out, I was having a fair giggle to myself too. He beamed at me and gave me a thumb up. It was the sweetest, best timed thing I'd seen. But it was also very funny as, no sooner had he done it, than he promptly stuck said thumb up his nose!

I guess you take the good with the bad and it was a day of ups and downs, but very much like life really. Karma only exists if you look for it, life is never perfect, it wasn't meant to be.

To those who said to me: "Saying it will all be okay - doesn't help!". I understand why now. It doesn't mean we shouldn't say it, give support and any insight we can to comfort people.
But I would just say one thing to anyone who has a patch it their life that is rough or if they feel down in any way.

When everything becomes locked up inside you - tension, anger, frustration, fear, upset... the best way to release it and get back to who you are is sometimes just to scream.

But it doesn't involve going out into the street and yelling at the top of your voice. I was incredibly lucky that I found, my way to get back to normal, was for my legs to scream at my bike pedals and keep going until my legs went numb. That feeling of racing along a road freed me inside enormously.
For someone else who is a dancer, their 'scream' might be to put every inch of feeling into the movement in a routine, for an artist it could be to let out all their emotions on a canvas in paint, for a singer it could be to hit the highest note they can possibly do, for an academic, it could be to lock themselves away and write, for a musician, it could be to play their instrument like they've never played it before.

I think if you can find the way you best express yourself, however that is, going back to that and driving all your feelings in that direction, can give you back your strength, even give you strength you did know you ever had.

I think when you get that strength back and can give your head space to think, you get perspective.

I look back on last week and laugh at what happened in hindsight. It did work out okay, so I look forward and I'm sure I'll have more periods where I feel I haven't the strength to do something and need to go back to my bike.

As for the bus...
Well I held onto my bike for dear life so as not to damage it and ended up taking the lump out of my shin instead.

But the scars healed quickly and I got back on the bike and rode it the day after...
... and every other day since.

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