I was out for a walk whilst on holiday and was a little overcome by the combination of heat and terrain. The route I’d taken was tougher than I’d imagined from the description in the book. I’d stopped for a breather (or ‘to admire the view’ as I like to think of it) when I spotted a cyclist making their way up the track. Surely they’ll get off and push the bike up the next bit. Which was a sharp bend and then an almost vertical track to the top. I watched as they dropped a gear or two but kept going, slowly and steadily, up the track and over the crest of the hill. Presumably to enjoy the free-wheel down the other side. Watching that cyclist made me think. Instead of turning round at this point and heading back to the car I was persuaded to keep going. And I made it. Up there. To the top. With even better views. I was so pleased.
It didn’t matter that it had taken ages to get to the top, that I was puce and a little out of breath. I’d got there. Slowly. I have no idea what it would be like to be quicker, less sweaty, not so out of breath and I am unlikely to ever find out. My reality is that I am not very agile at the activities I choose and I can’t be bothered putting in the time to try to improve. Who’s even to say that I would improve. Improve what? Why? Is there a prize?
Perhaps I have been worn down by the years of not being very good at most sports, never being the fastest, the quickest, the most agile. So that now I am unable to find that competitive spirit, that need to better my personal best, that desire to challenge myself to improve performance. I just don’t understand. I don’t think it matters.
Alternatively it could be my rebellious spirit refusing to participate in what seems to be an ever-present pressure to improve. Not that I think I am perfect but really, do I need to justify my existence through a constant striving for better. Can’t I just be. Enjoying what I am doing.