Everything is temporary

It was more of a pop than a ping but it didn’t feel good. I realized that I had a sharp pain on the right side of my lower back. Should I move forwards or backwards; stand up or sit down? Lying on the floor seemed to be the most comfortable position, but this was not where I wanted to be.

I had almost a clear week in my diary and a plan of how I was going to fill it with lots of creativity and new ideas. I had an easy week on my running training schedule and this was going to be a week of self- care and indulgence.

Once I had established that this was more than an uncomfortable twinge, I settled down to enjoy the day on the floor. When I hadn’t had a miraculous recovery by the next morning I booked an appointment with an osteopath and started working on some limited stretches and mobility.

A week passed with some improvement and a couple of meetings that I didn’t want to miss.  I stocked up on painkillers and survived a traffic-filled journey. Perched on the edge of a seat, I think I got away with it. As I always try to maintain my sense of humour, when I caught up with a friend afterwards I couldn’t help but laugh at the predicament I’d found myself in the previous week: How I’d feared being stuck halfway down the stairs; my waddle-walk and my full on obsession with whether this position hurt more than that. I found myself sharing that I could barely remember what it felt like to not be in pain. As I was saying this, I knew I was over-egging my situation, but the thought still ran through my mind.

And now a week later still, after tentatively going for a cautious jog today, I can finally see the light and I’m reminded, once again, that everything is temporary. As per all the information on the Internet, my back pain will recover and in another week hence, I’m sure I won’t even be able to remember what it felt like.

When we’ve made grand life plans and something turns them upside down, it’s only temporary. We can adapt to the situation or sometimes we have to wait it out. We need to listen to our bodies – do we need to rest or move; sleep or get active? We need these temporary flips to punctuate the story of our lives – what might feel big at the time may not even make it to the final edit; what you’re least expecting may propel you to take the action for a new chapter.

Whichever way it goes, you sometimes have to sit (or lie flat on your back) with it and feel for the next step.

My training schedule is to help me run, walk or cycle 3000 miles in 2017 to support the good work of Cricket Without Boundaries. If you would like to encourage me in this challenge and donate to CWB you can do so here.

A New Year’s Resolution

Have you made resolutions but have no faith that you’ll stick to them?

Now, we all know that new year’s resolutions are doomed to failure, and I’m not about to argue the case for the resolution, nor give a list of “good” resolutions and “bad” ones.  This is a piece about taking time, not going into a panic, but also about recognising that the start of a new year is a good time to review and reflect and an opportunity to make positive changes.

Here in the northern hemisphere we’re at our darkest time of the year where my natural urge is to adopt a state close to hibernation, when I physically and mentally feel the need to slow down, sleep and feed up on wholesome food. And yet, without fail, I set myself a long list of things to do to get me set up for next year.  Inevitably the twixtmas period passes with a feeling of dissatisfaction due to not making maximum use of my time off work.

This year was no exception.  I returned home from my winter sun holiday determined to be refreshed and recharged and ready to get going over the festive period after a week back at work.  However, the wind down to Christmas kicked in, the nights were longer, daylight sparse and this is where I took a different course of action.

I let it go. I tuned into what my body wanted and relaxed into it.  That isn’t to say I’ve been completely idle.  I’ve been reading, puzzling, running and even done some decorating.  I’ve been doing what I need to do for myself so I can be there fully for family, friends and clients.

And what’s the rush to get things done now? There’s 12 months coming up; 52 weeks, 365 days to be busy.  And now I feel ready for it.  I’ve set my intentions and am collating my list of what I want to do in 2017.  This year is all about exploring my limits, of committing to the things I want to do and probably needing to be creative about how to achieve them.

I use a few tools to help me reflect, review and plan for the year ahead and they can be used at any time, please don’t feel like you’ve missed the boat because you’re reading this at the end of February! It’s perhaps convenient to do it now, when everyone else is doing it, but 1 Jan is just an arbitrary date, so why not take the whole month to get stuck into planning your actions? I like to summarise things into some sort of visual reminder that I keep visible – a cross between a mood board, vision board and list of things to do.  That way, whenever I get the feeling of why? or what was I thinking? I have something to refer to.

If you want to do this but have no idea where to start, or have been staring at a blank piece of paper for too long, get in touch: I can help you to put things in perspective, prioritise things and create an action plan with built in accountability so before long you have some progress to review.

Do something today, no matter how small to kick this off and you’ll be one step along the way towards doing not dreaming.