How often do we push ourselves out of our comfortable limits or support someone while they do? I know the answer for me is rarely. Over the last few years I have been pushed to (or maybe beyond) my limits, but this has been due to circumstances outside my control. As a result I started of having a “motto” for each year. I was never any good at New Year’s Resolution but I remember an article that if you wanted to stick to them, make your email password something that connects to your resolution – you type it so many times a day that it will reinforce it.
This led me my yearly mottos, the first year was “Survival” (yes it was a tough year), then “It’s ok to say no” and for 2019 it is “Live while you are Living”. Yep my goal for this year was to get back my lust for life. I put myself out there for things (like Homeward Bound), I have read more books, started (and stopped) park running, pick up the guitar. So how does this lead me to testing my limits?
My youngest daughter is a Scout. In order to get the top award, you need to lead a group of at least 5 scouts on a minimum 30km, 2 night hike. Now whilst my daughter is not yet at this stage, one of her other peers, also a teenage girl is and it was important to me that we supported her quest to get her Scout Medallion. My daughter was nervous and they needed parent helpers, so we signed on together.
It pushed us both to our limits, I carried 17kg, my 12-year-old carried 14kg. It rained and rained, it was cold, wet, isolated, 3km in I rolled my ankle, tents leaked, it was awful, but it was wonderful. When one of the kids (or parents) had a moment, the others all rallied around them, sharing food, carrying weight, motivating, singing, supporting. We were all physically pushed to the limit, it was one step and one moment at a time, but we were doing it for a greater good – and one Scout Medallion was secured.
I had lots of time to think over those three days, about overcoming fears, about pushing through, about believing in your own abilities, about the value in letting my daughter see me struggle but keep going. I signed up to support her test her boundaries, I didn’t think about testing my own, or her role in supporting me. It was physical for sure, but it was mental.
We all need to be brave more, and we need to support those around us being brave.