As I looked at the assault course in front of me all I could think was this:
‘It’s total wipeout NI edition and I’m going to die.’
Yes I was being melodramatic, yes I could swim and yes I was thankful that if I weed myself in fright the water would hide the evidence.
At the same moment as being nervous I was also excited. It’d been a while since I took on a challenge that I wasn’t sure I could complete. We do that sometimes don’t we? Avoid the things that scare us and take on other things that we know we can accomplish with at least a little bit of confidence.
In my borrowed wetsuit I lined up to jump the 10ft drop into the icy water and with my brain telling me ‘nope!’ I told it to ‘shhh’ as I flung myself in.
Shortly after that, somewhere on the north coast of Northern Ireland on a huge inflatable assault course, I was doing my best beached hippo impression. My legs refused to propel me anywhere and my arms were far from cooperative as I tried to lug my not so petite frame onto the first actual obstacle! At that moment I was unsure what to do. Do I carry on, or do I maintain that I’m happy bobbing here in my life jacket with a cheery ‘you guys go on ahead!’ attitude?
My Upper body strength was non-existent, turns out my training schedule of writing and eating cake had not fully prepared me for the challenge. Note to self: get back to the gym!
But do you know something? I laughed so much! I learnt so much. I overcame a little bit of that voice in my head that told me I couldn’t and was helped along the way by two extraordinary women who loved me enough to drag my behind onto the inflatables and wouldn’t give up until I’d completed a circuit with them.
‘You can do it!’ became the phrase of the hour!
Confession: In moments of challenge I struggle asking for help.
My two crazy NI companions taught me something – that I should ask more and be unashamed to do so!
Doing things solo doesn’t always make you strong, it makes you alone.
Ironically I have a saying on my wall at home that says ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’
Even more ironically my last blog post was on the same topic!
… for so many of us asking for help comes with a cost, the cost of our pride. Since that experience on the doorstep I’ve learnt that asking for help isn’t a failure, it’s an incredible strength. Allowing someone into your life to help you achieve something outside of your gifting is far from a weakness – it’s wisdom.
When will I learn to read signs (or re-read my own blog posts!)? Turns out I’m a slow learner!
The literal obstacles in front of me meant I couldn’t go alone or fast, but with help, I could get further than I imagined.
And after I’d achieve the goal and jumped off a giant inflatable cliff hand in hand with my own personal cheer squad I felt awesome!
Some people possess the amazing gift of making you want to be a better person.
Not in a competitive sense but in the sense that you want just a little more of what they have. Whether it’s that extra capacity to love, their generosity, their optimism, they make you want to be more and do more in life.
These are life’s loving motivators. They’re rare, so if you find one, don’t let them disappear. No matter the distance or the time not speaking, check in with them again. (I mean it, get on it now!) As I’m proving in the blogosphere – we all need constant reminders and support to carry on through this life.
Our loving motivators in life are the ones that ‘bare with’ when you’re stuck, they hold out a hand to pull you through the next obstacle or become your biggest fan club in the moments that you face your own hurdle.
They’re not afraid to share their vulnerability with you, helping you be brave enough and strong enough to share your own.
These are the kinds of people that I want to be more like. I want to love more, have more patience, coach more, be one of life’s loving motivators.
Let’s face it, if there were more people who loved in the world there’d be less to fight about, more goals conquered and more lives transformed.
This work in progress girl has had an epic week.
She’s walked llamas, body-boarded for the first time, drunk her bodyweight in tea, had heart to hearts in power cuts, eaten cheesecake the size of her head, seen sunsets and rain storms, been challenged, loved and treated like family, walked the story of CS Lewis, enjoyed chicken with old friends and played boardgames with new ones and she’s been to Barry’s. (She’s also regained her NI accent in places!).
All in a weeks work when you’re friends with this amazing girl!
Thanks Morrison 😉 x