Today I got a taste of what the next better part of 2 years are going to be like. While shedding half my body weight in sweat, I realised that pushing yourself beyond the known is really hard to do by yourself. When it’s just you and your brain alone in a small gym, and you are asking more of your body than you ever have, there comes a tipping point. It was a hard session, but my no means the hardest that I will face, yet for some reason my head just wasn’t working. It was like I was caught in a whirl of the exhaustion I was facing at the time, and the wonders of what the next 2 years would hold. I wondered at what point I would look back and think that this session was easy. A tear almost slinked its way out of the corner of my eye, as that feeling of the unknown boiled up inside me, threatening to burst out with the force of the great geyser in Iceland (in case that makes no sense, it’s like a really angry volcano erupting). It was an odd feeling.
I wasn’t sure why I had suddenly felt like this, but I did know that it couldn’t continue its residency in the grey matter of my brain. With no one around to drag the little parasite out, I was left to my own devices to rid the gremlin from my mind. Sure, it’s totally logical that I would think about just how much harder training will get, and that the Running for Bums challenge is bigger than anything I could have ever thought I’d do – but at the end of the day, the time is going to pass anyway, so why not have it pass doing something wickedly fun and adventurous.
And with that thought (and ok, a little bit of incoherent cursing under my breath), I started thinking about how easy my life will be. Barring an unfortunate mishap or illness, in the next two years all I really have to do is get up, train, eat, do a little work here and there, sleep, and repeat. So when I started thinking about that, I was drawn once again to the point of this whole thing – and that is that it’s not for me. It’s for those who have battled and who will battle bowel cancer, it’s for the ones whose early detection wasn’t early enough, it’s for the children who have to watch this disease take the lives of their parents, and for the parents who can do nothing but sit back and watch their children taken from them. It’s for those who are under constant surveillance because they know their history, it’s for those who fought the battle and won, it’s for those who have sat next to their loved ones as they fought, it’s for the future generations and making sure that they never have to tell someone that their mother, father, sister or brother died of bowel cancer. We may not ever be able to rid Australia of bowel cancer, but we can certainly have a crack of making sure it doesn’t kill as many people.
So when it came to starting my second set on the machine, when my body was already a little (aka very) exhausted, I realised that I’m actually not alone. Even though I may go through this entire year and half of training without ever having a training partner, and have to face up to every session with nothing more than my mind for company, I know that every strong or wobbly, fresh or fatigued, straight or sideways step that I take, will be with someone beside me – it will be with those who this is for beside me.