SL Marathon 2013 – Update – We’re here!

27/05/2013

The first post coming to you from Sierra Leone! Yes, I actually made it out here… not that I didn’t expect to… it’s just it suddenly seemed to have come round really quick!

First up, a shout out and much gratitude to Niron Noel of activatepluspt… he’s been the one who has been there every week for the past 3 months, not just helping me get fitter and build my core strength to cope with the endurance running, but also kept me encouraged me when my mental and emotional states have been battered… I cannot recommend him enough, so look him (or his colleagues) up of you’re in London and need some personal training/coaching! I will be doing a separate blog post on their company at a later date.

So yes, we’re finally here and the run a reality! The British Airways flight was good from London, only 7 hours to Freetown and ours was probably over half full with runners alone, a very friendly bunch indeed. Getting from Freetown to Makeni did take a few hours… and while there is the sweet Salone time you quickly get used to, this was also due to distance and the state of the roads… not all of the main road there has been built! Remember, this isn’t just the poorest country in the world… but its’ civil war ended in 2002… and is still recovering from… the infrastructure building is slow… but it is coming…

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It was hot and humid. Just reading and knowing that doesn’t quite prepare you for the blanket of heat and sweat that envelops you as soon as you get off the plane… Thursday night was 82 degrees to sleep in (no air con here, but fans do cool the room for a few minutes if there’s electricity and you’re not charging your phone or camera). The humidity… it was high, probably higher Friday due to a fantastic thunderstorm and downpour we had very late last night. As for running in it, at the time of drafting this, I didn’t have a clue.

… best get this published as it’s been sitting in the draft box while I’ve been trying to get enough battery power to continue drafting!

More to come…

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Affirmation of the Week

03/09/2012

“I ALLOW MYSELF MOMENTS OF ESCAPISM”

I’m very much all for the being in the moment (or rather, constantly working on or attempting to or hoping to be in the NOW) yet sometimes, in this heavy sense-driven physical world that we inhabit, I think we need moments of escapism… moments where we can let our minds open to all possibilities, however fantastic… let our fantasies take over, daydream (admittedly so long as they don’t take over our entire life of course).

Sometimes real life can be excruciatingly painful… when we undergo spiritual, emotional and mental challenges, lessons… and losses… in my opinion, they can then bring in the psychosomatic effects in the physical world.

Just to make sure I was understanding the word correctly I googled it… this is the context of my understanding of it and in which I am applying it to this post…

“It is well known that the mind can cause physical symptoms. For example, when we are afraid or anxious we may develop: a fast heart rate, palpitations, feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, a ‘knot in the stomach’, and fast breathing. These physical symptoms are due to an ‘overdrive’ of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body, and to the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream when we are anxious”.

So in times of such stress, such pain… how do we keep a balance? How do we cope, especially if there is physical pain that accompanies the problems we encounter?

A few years ago (almost to the week actually) I read all of the Harry Potter books, yep all 7, one after the other… loved the first four films but had never read the books until that point. As it happens my mate’s eldest was clearing some books out, Harry Potter included, so I had already brought them home, very synchronistic!! I love the books even more than the films… how I wish Hogwarts was real (yeah yeah I know, it’s not ;))… wouldn’t you just love to have gone to a school like that? Not to battle demons or anything, but to be able to practice magic like that? To ride on broomsticks & dragons… to make potions, to have wands… etc. etc… pure fantasy (well I haven’t yet seen a broomstick flying across the sky, the “Dog in Sky” episode… well that’s another matter ;)).

Reading this kind of fiction at that time helped me to escape from the physical, emotional, mental & spiritual pain of the *real world* that surrounded me then… from worrying and stressing, from hurting… it gave a few hours respite just when I have needed it the most… not because I wanted to hide away permanently, not because I wanted to construct a fantasy life and try to live that, because I didn’t (well there are certain things I wish I could wave a wand at, hey… can’t blame a girl for wishing ;))… but to help me cope, to grieve, help me start on the new path that I then had to walk… and which would ultimately help me to eventually heal.

Escapism and daydreams can also help us forge our way through to the future, they can help to bring about realities that we wish for… by visualising the best for ourselves, our families and our friends… we can then see something that may be possible, that we can strive for, can turn into reality.

Reading then was the escapism that I not only needed, but a gift that I gave to myself. So my question to you this week is how can you best use some escapism to help yourself, and what beneficial effects will it bring to you?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne


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