Sunday 26 May 2013

To Aspire...

I think to aspire is to do something great. It doesn't matter how big or small our dreams are, but to be able to have a dream and to aspire to achieve it, gives us meaning. I sometimes wonder if the one thing, the one luxury taken away from people who want for nothing, is that they don't have the excitement, the trials, the tribulations, the agony and the ecstasy, of endeavouring to achieve even the smallest dream.

I suppose I say that, because I wonder, like most people do, what it feels like when you achieve all your dreams? I wonder even if you can say, what a dream even is to aspire to and what would just be merely a target to achieve? Well, I suppose it's incredibly personal, I suppose the more you have achieved, the less you have to aspire to and one persons dream is another's nightmare - take children for example. I suspect that there are many women to aspire to reach the top of their dream profession. I think there are many others who dream of spending as much time as they have watching their children grow and helping them flourish.
I certainly would think that in order to aspire to a dream however, you have the ability to make it happen yourself, or at least, contribute to making it happen.

I'm not sure I could write this post, in the context of explaining this properly without mentioning one of the greatest dreamers of modern times. Not an athlete, but a preacher in the USA, Martin Luther King. I supposed what he aspired to, was so incredible, that when he said: "I have a dream..." he aspired to achieve it by galvanising people of any race into action. He did achieve it.

My dream isn't as big and I certainly don't think is something I can aspire to achieve myself. It doesn't mean it is less important than another dream though.
I dream that one day people with epilepsy will be looked at as equal to someone who doesn't have a disability in a job interview, in life, that people would know if they saw an epileptic seizure and know what to do when they saw it.
The specific aspiration for the next few years is that I will achieve the honour of being the first British woman to finish Race Across America Solo, that our Mixed 4 team break the Race Across America record and that I am able to break the women's track cycling WR.

But dreams change too.
If I achieved all of those things, I don't think I would be as happy as if our cycling club, Epilepsy Forward, grew into something that people, even if it was just in the cycling community, recognised, respected, was aware of and that the riders would go on and show their abilities on the national, maybe even international stage.
I think the biggest aspiration I have in my life is to help create even something as small as a sports team, but one that was strong and encompassed more people that had the same dream as me.

I guess then, what we dream for epilepsy is a big dream to aspire to after all, but if many people have that same aspiration to achieve it, then it is won't seem quite as daunting.

...and maybe one day we will make it happen.

1 comment:

  1. Katie, I've just been diagnosed with Epilepsy and am an avid cyclist but not as ultra as you. Ride 12,000 mi per year, ridden two US transcontinentals in under 30 days with PAC Tour, will be shooting for 200 miles in the 12 hr World Championship this November in CA. Trying to learn from others with Epilepsy who have lived with it longer than I. Could you email me? I'm at or friend me on FB at Susan Walcher Reed. Many thanks.