126 days down
18 weeks have passed.
8260 burpees performed (thanks in part to an inclination to round up)
Over the last couple of weeks this post has started and drifted away again in my head, several times. Not altogether unlike my love affair with burpees over the same time really!
At one point this piece was going to be titled "Because...". I decided against that, partly because I doubt anybody really wants to read me wrestling with angst (again) and partly because "because" is the answer to the question "why?".
I know and accept that disappointment takes preparation. For newcomers to the concept, let me explain. In order to be disappointed about something you need two conditions: first, an idea or an image however vague and cloudy, of how you thought it would be. Second, what you are actually facing to be different to that expectation.
Often we have the bitter taste of disappointment in our mouth without ever having been conscious of what we were expecting. A good coach is there to help you clarify that at the front end as much as they are there to help steer you to achieving it.
I guess that I hadn't really thought about what this challenge business would be like and disappointment is a strong word! Earlier this year I completed the 100-day challenge and I know that the end of that was not greeted with fanfares and ticker-tape parades! I also know that it was a bit drudgy in places. So what was I expecting? I guess the last month of the 100 days was completed with the finish line looming. There was also the daily escalation in numbers so that I could ramp up the total. But still, the way I have felt at times was not what I expected from the year.
I have pondered the "why" question in the last week or so though. I'm on a family holiday, visiting family, so I have had plenty of cause to ponder, and discuss, the reasons for this tomfoolery. For example, 17 weeks down and with the temperature in the high 30s centigrade in the shade, I was staring down the barrel of a two-for, catching up with my missed transit day burpees. I'm pretty much a Celt [just to clarify for those people I have trained, that's not a spelling mistake]. I'm very definitely Northern European stock and these temperatures put a different slant on my view of our erstwhile tropical burpeurs and burpeuses. Somebody suggested that I should just call it quits now. That moment was the spur I needed. I'm such a dick sometimes!
Actually, some of the melancholy is probably down to some of the boys and girls dropping out. Some of those I thought would sail home, dragging me in their slipstream. Better coaches, better athletes and more dedicated people. They are still that, but this thing we started is not everybody's priority. And that's right. So why mine?
Still because! I think it's a two fingers to everybody who underestimates the fat kid. A defiant fist in the air of support for the average people. Before I get too triumphant on that, I should say that I have struck a deal with myself that I can discuss quitting when we get to six months. Only then.
However, two things strike me:
1) On the down days I think I might have been hoping and waiting for inspiration. Now I have a little more of that...from my own doing of it.
2) That as much as I bang on about the importance of knowing your why, knowing what you have to do is enough for momentum...and sometimes, just taking one step after the other is enough. It'll certainly get you where you're headed.
So yes, we're in uncharted waters. We're four weeks past my longest straight run of doing anything in my life (yes, I have bested 36 years of apathy and indolence scuppered ventures!). From here, who knows what might happen. Maybe something. Maybe nothing. Either way, I'm filling in my own map at this point. Well, me and the one or two remaining nutters out there! It feels a bit like a scene from Blackadder II
"Melchett: [giving a scroll to Blackadder] Farewell, Blackadder! The foremost cartographers of the land have prepared this for you!
[Blackadder unrolls the scroll] It's a... map of the area you'll be traversing.
[Blackadder inspects the apparently blank scroll] They'd be very grateful if you could just fill it in as you go along. Goodbye!"
For now, I have a little of my mojo back and have a sense of momentum. And that will do.
So, if you'll excuse me, these burpees won't do themselves you know.
Until next time.