This is my personal truth.
When you find yourself sitting in front of your journal at 1 am, merely hours from driving to the Sky Run training camp, you know that you had better dig deep because your Soul is trying to get through to your mind.
Ever since I had faced my demons at Sky Run 2014, I have been preparing to conquer this particular beast this year. I have sacrificed rest to train, stayed focused and dedicated all this time, and I was ready to go go go!
Yet life has the amazing ability to continuously change and bring new wonders and adventures. And this has been one of the most exciting years of my life – EVER! I have up-skilled myself through an international academy, taken my business from local to global, and the cherry on top: manifested a move to New Zealand! All of this whilst staying on top of being a mom, wife, daughter, athlete, full-time entrepreneur, kick-ass woman…
But sitting with my pen lightly flowing over the page and seeing the words appear, I am reminded of my balls.
Approximately ten years ago I came to the conclusion that this life is all about juggling balls. Most people only have a couple of balls, and they juggle mindlessly in robotic fashion. Some people have lots of balls and look completely frantic and out of control. And then you get the master jugglers: the elite performers who have mastered the skill of juggling numerous balls at any given time, looking relaxed as each briefly touches their hands before being guided back into the air. And as you become more skilled, you can start adding balls, touching each for a slightly shorter time. As dynamic warriors we become used to juggling at high speed, and it becomes our norm so at times we’re not even aware of exactly how many balls are in the air at any given time.
Thing is: all master jugglers still drop balls. Like all elite cyclists still fall off their bikes. All pro trail runners still fall and scrape their knees. Shit happens.
This brings me to the next insight: We have rubber balls and glass balls.
Rubber balls are colorful and add variety and spice to life. You can drop rubber balls and they will either roll away and go lie in the corner, ready to be picked up again at another time, or bounce and you can catch them and continue the motion.
But glass balls are perishable. If dropped and you are lucky, they will crack. You can pick them up and continue juggling, but they are forever changed and you know if you drop them again it will be the end of them. In my experience though, when dropped, these balls shatter and no amount of glue can put them back together again.
In my life I have 3 glass balls: my marriage, my family, my health. My three most treasured balls which take priority above all else! And when life gets super exciting and I am juggling numerous balls and find that there is even a remote chance of missing a beat, I will drop those rubber balls like hot potatoes and refocus on my glass balls first.
On the 23rd of October 2015 at 1:30 am, I realized that the SkyRun is a rubber ball, and my family needed me now!
Let me first explain how amazing my family is: they support me in my crazy endeavors NO MATTER WHAT. They never ask me to give up on any of my dreams, and they never share their concerns about me with me. Yet the response when I let them know that I was staying at home was an extremely audible sigh of relief. That was when I realized that right now, my boys need me to be at home and hold them at night. They need to not worry about what happens to me in the mountain whilst they are studying for exams and packing up to move. My husband needs me to stay in one piece and get the family across the ocean safely so that our little unit can be whole once again. My folks need me to relax with them on the remaining week-ends, eating good steak and drinking beer.
Make no mistake! Putting a rubber ball down is NOT easy. Especially not one that you have been keeping in the air for 11 months! However, my glass balls need my unwavering attention right now, and that is what they will get.
I am truly a believer in the fact that we can have our cake and eat it. We can have anything we desire in life. But I have also learned along the way that I’m not a sprinter – I’m an endurance athlete. And in the race we call life, I’m quite happy to go at a slower pace and really enjoy the journey. I will get to everything that I want to – I will even become a Sky Runner one day. It might not be in the Drakensburg, it might be in another mountain. But this particular rubber ball will stay by my feet until one day I am ready to pick him up again.
When last have you taken the time to look at all the balls you are juggling? When last have you named them? When last have you identified rubber vs glass? When last have you taken stock?
Don’t wait until 1 am! Because when you drop a glass ball and it shatters, you will regret expecting all balls to bounce back.
Walk with honor.