November, for some reason, has become a big month for me.
I completed the 50 km route of the Big Walk which, to many people, may not seem like very much at all. Either they’re already really very fit, and so figure it’s a breeze to do, or they think it’s a truly idiotic way to spend a day. Both perceptions are true, I suppose.
For me, it was amazing. By doing the walk I managed to gather, through BackABuddy, R3050 in donations towards the Childhood Cancer Foundation. This in itself would have made the walk worthwhile, even if I didn’t manage to complete the walk, and even if I crawled across the finish line.
I didn’t think I’d make in through the gates before the cut-off time, which was near ten hours. Instead, I finished the walk in 7 hours 53, and came 136th. I don’t know how big the field was – this is a spot of informationt that I would love the organisers to provide – but there were a few hundred of us crazies who had ticked that block on the entry form.
But it wasn’t where I came or what time I did that was momentous. It was the realisation, again, of the power of the mind. It wasn’t fitness that got me through, because I knew I was underprepared for the event. It was pure grit, determination to not give up, to keep pushing even though I could feel the fluid swishing around in the many blisters on my feet, and even though my breath was stuck in my throat like a giant sob. And it’s in taking part in events such as these that one learns ones own strength and where one learns about courage.
Courage isn’t only tackling the big things, slaying dragons and fighting wars. Courage is just putting one step before the other, even when every cell in your body is screaming for you to lie down.
And so, since the event, I’ve been looking at the world a bit differently. A client doesn’t pay, I feel unhappy about the way an image has turned out, business is a bit slow for a few days, and I think: that’s nothing. I can fix this. I can get up and keep going. And it’s only by pushing on that we win in the end.
Another reason why November is a big month is because I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Another one of those endurance things, but one of a different kind. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Well, really, it’s international, because people all over the world are busy doing it. The idea is to smash 50 000 words down during the month of November. Basically getting your novel out of your head and onto your computer.
How many people are always talking about that book they’re going to write? How many people ever sit down to do it? How many people sit down to do it and finish?
NaNoWriMo cuts through all the excuses. Just do it. Just write 1 700 words a day and by the end of the month you will have the first draft of a 50 000-word novel. It will be mostly gibberish, and will need a complete rework. And then another. And probably another. But that’s for December, January and February. In November you get the words out.
And today I reached the half-way mark. Twenty-five thousand words. Again: something I didn’t think I could do, since I have never written a novel, and have probably never written more than about 2000 words.
So, today I feel like this:
… and I hope you do too!
Have yourself a happy Monday and an awesome week … and maybe try to do something that you just know for sure you can’t do!