It’s All About The Journey and Who You Have By Your Side
Written by Beck Horne, Tribe Leader
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller
I love this quote so much!
Why do we try and do things alone?
Why do I sometimes say, “No I’m ok thanks I don’t need help” when actually I need help like I need oxygen!
These were some of the musings I had recently while participating in a 60km walk to raise money for women’s cancers. Walking this distance over two days provides plenty of time for listening to my heart and soul’s whisperings.
What showed up for me centred on having a goal and what it means to achieve it as part of a team.
I entered the walk as a member of a team, the rocking Red Hot Chilli Steppers. An eclectic mix of my mum, an old friend, a new friend and yours truly. The mission of the Weekend Walk was to raise money for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and every walker had to commit to raising at least $2,000 to enter the walk. It would have to snow pink snowflakes for me to enter an event like this on my own. The thought of walking those long, arduous kilometres solo had the same appeal as going on a girls’ weekend without any girlfriends.
It got me thinking. If I didn’t want to enter a 60km walk alone, why would I try and manage so many aspects of my life alone?
The more I started thinking about the journey I was on, the idea began to float to the surface that this walk was really a metaphor for the journey through life.
The first day was sunny and filled with promise. Beautiful photo opportunities presented themselves around every corner. The Opera House as a backdrop for a team shot. The sparkling harbour dotted with sail boats skipping along with joy. The picturesque cottages in Balmain with pink ribbons tied to their picket fences in support of our journey. Families in the inner west neighbourhoods gathered to wish us well, hand out cold ice blocks and shower us with encouragement and cool water from the garden hose as we passed by. When times are good it’s easy to see the beauty and goodness that surrounds us. At the end of day one, with 30km under our belt, we walked into camp with tired feet but happy hearts knowing we’d reached the half-way point.
After an evening of great food, entertainment and a not so restful sleep in a tent, we set out the next day to complete the remaining 30km of our walk back to Darling Harbour. About two hours into the walk the rain came down, a lazy wind blew through us and the going got tough. With enough water in my trainers to operate a dual flush toilet, it became a case of just putting one foot in front of another to keep going.
Isn’t that what we do when life gets tough? Just keep going, head down, eyes focussed ahead, hanging onto the belief that perseverance and determination will get us there in the end.
As a team we were able to get each other through these low points. Our visits to struggle town never coincided. When it was my turn to feel wretched, a team mate would produce jelly babies. When her turn came, I did what I could to lighten her load.
In the walk, as in life, when you’re feeling in crisis along comes another test. Our test was a guy in a taxi, roadie in hand who yelled out the window, “Hey girls you should lay off the pudding”. Yeah funny mate. Coming home from a night out through the streets of Leichardt and we’d been walking for three and a half hours that rainy Sunday morning to raise money for charity. “You should lay off the beer and the asshole tablets” someone from our ranks called back.
Laughter is a great tonic when the soul is feeling soggy and the fear of failure threatens to overwhelm. When you are searching the deepest corners of your heart for a reason to keep going, having a team by your side, pulling you through when you’re down IS the reason to keep going.
As we neared the finish line Ernest Hemingway’s words popped into my mind, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
The walk was all about the journey and very little to do with the finish line. Doing it as part of a team of fabulous, fun, hot steppin’ chilli chicks is what made the journey for me and despite my blisters and aching muscles, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
What areas of your life could you do with a bit more team? Where could you do with some more support and encouragement?
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