This morning my alarm went off at 4:50am, and I pressed snooze. It shattered my sleep once more ten minutes later and that time I recalled that at 5:30 I was due at Sydney Park to help with the Spartan Race Hurricane WOD. I lay in bed for seven more minutes, trying to think of valid excuses to not go. Perhaps the constant, dull thud of an emerging wisdom tooth was enough, or perhaps I could claim I slept in.

With a groan, I knew excuses weren’t good enough. I spent the next three minutes acknowledging what was actually happening. Shame. I’m no further along than I was this time last year, because too often, I let my bad leg be an excuse to not train, and mutter “just one more treat” before imbibing food that does nothing good for me. The next ten minutes were a rush of getting dressed before my mind could realise what it was what I was doing.

At 5:13am, I was out of the house and on my little Razor scooter, rushing along King St in an effort to make it there on time. Switchfoot kept me company for the trip and as I rode along the deserted streets, I reminded myself of the changes that have come about. Sometimes they happen so slowly that we don’t even realise, but they do happen. I remembered how far there is to go, but for those eighteen minutes, it was a matter of focusing on what has been done.

I didn’t participate in the WOD today. Knowing the location, and knowing the state of my calf muscle, I knew it wouldn’t be wise to participate when it would only do damage that could set me back a long way. Instead I filled people’s water bottles between the brutal blocks, and admired their determination as they did more burpees than anyone could count. The atmosphere was alive with enthusiasm and life. These people battled through a lot to finish the WOD, and each and every one of them deserves an epsom salt bath, and a high five. I was inspired by them. I will be for a long time.

Where does that leave me? Am I disappointed in myself? No, strangely not. If life is about a journey, then losing weight and being fit cannot be a short term goal. I need constant work, and the last 12 months has been a long work of the mental kind, where the battle was more about shutting down the negative voices in my mind and pushing on in spite of difficulty.

These 12 months, I’m not going to pledge anything mad. But I learned today that 5am isn’t such a bad time to be breathless from hard work, and that when you’re surrounded by a community of people who are engaged in the same activity as you – that is, living well – it becomes much easier to do.

And so, I’m going to see more sunrises; I’m going to step away from the junk food and eat the good, tasty fresh stuff; I’m going to train in ways that make my heart race and my lips curl into a grin. In the end, it’s all about living for more than just survival.


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