I’m still not sure which experience offered me more ‘character-building’ … running my business using Instant Messaging during my time in China (due to no internet access which I hadn’t planned for) or the Great Wall Marathon! What I do know is that life definitely begins at the end of your comfort zone and the Great Wall in itself, offers a wonderful synergy for how one can live a joyous, successful life. Each step to me presents taking one day at a time, taking baby steps or big steps slowly and consistently every day until you achieve your dreams. Each brick that forms the mammoth Great Wall is an example to lay one or two bricks of progressive tasks completed onto your foundation daily so that eventually you have built a solid structure that is indestructible. Having suffered with chronic back problems for much of my adulthood until 5 years ago, this challenge was a celebration of exceptional health because when we are healthy an entire world of possibilities opens up to us and we have the strength to deal with whatever crosses our path. I also realised how important it is to face and embrace what is considered difficult, treacherous and a challenge. The more you tackle it, the less intimidating the obstacle becomes. Regardless of what everyone else is doing, run your own race, at your own pace and eventually you will be where you want to be smiling.
Ice cleats, gaiters, off-road snow running boots, balaclava and three layers from head to toe makes for a vacuum packed transformation from sun-baby to ice baby. These adventures are teaching me not to waste time overthinking them, because on race day nature decides which spontaneous curve balls she’ll throw my way. Wind chill on the ice-sheet reached -37 degrees to the extent that even my eyeballs froze (yes it’s possible). I did not take any no makeup selfies because my camera froze and so would my hands had I exposed them. I’ve realised how most of us give very little acknowledgement to the extreme adulting challenges that we all face daily and so perceived out of reach experiences are allot more doable and tangible than we may think. #IcicleOB