Sunday, June 19, 2011

Growing Up

Someone said to me the other day “When are you going to grow up?”  Now I wasn’t sure whether to take this as a compliment or an insult!  Maybe it is because I am about to turn 50 but refuse to let the number of years in my life rule what I do in life!  I was also so stunned that I didn’t ask them what they meant.

I like trying new things!  I don’t tend to do things that are scary or very adventurous and I don’t wake up every morning thinking “Hum, what can I try today?”  I am curious and I question things, I don’t think that is so wrong.

What is “growing up” anyway?  Does that mean that we have to stop enjoying new things in life or are we just supposed to do things of a sedentary nature?

Have you ever noticed, I mean really taken notice of a child at play?  I’m talking about the child who is not sitting in front of a computer or television but actually playing.  They may be playing with others or they may be by themselves, but the joy and the laughter are unmistakeable!  We as adults don’t do that enough.  Children never lose their curiosity but we as adults tend to accept things on face value.

I know we have the world’s responsibilities on our backs, but some of us have forgotten how to laugh and enjoy life.  Happiness and joy must come from within not from external factors that we hope will make us happy.  Nothing should tell us that we can’t keep that child like happiness within our own lives.  Yes we have bills to pay and believe me that is something that I stress over daily.  But I also believe that it is important to have fun in life.

Ursula K. Leguin, an American author said “As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope”.

If growing up means I have to stop trying new things in life, or being imaginative, or being curious, then I never want to grow up!  My body may realise that it is close to 50 but my brain still thinks I am much younger!  I will continue to attempt new things, be curious, questioning and to try to have a belly laugh at least once a week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Next Challenge

I have just come back from 4 days of racing in very cold, wet and windy Tasmania.  I was competing at the Master’s National Rowing Championships and what a wonderful competition it was!  Most of the members of our club, the Melbourne Rowing Club, were female with only about 5 male members taking part.  We had some tremendous success with the club coming 2nd overall!  With 17 gold medals, 7 silver medals and 3 bronze medals we certainly came home with a lot of bling!  
Victorian State Eight Winners

What was even better was the fact that 7 of us women were part of the Victorian State Eight which raced against the other states and for the first time in a few years Victoria came out on top!

We had to unload, rig, wash and put boats away last night and after we had done that a number of us went for dinner to celebrate the end of the season.  Most of the women are taking a couple of weeks off as it has been a long season.  Even though we are Masters Rowers we also compete in the regular rowing season with rowers much younger than most of us, but then have our own season which starts right after that.  So needless to say most of us are extremely tired!  But as they say “There is no rest for the wicked!”  And when I say that I mean me!

World Cup Road Race
I am now embarking on the next challenge in my life and that is Para-cycling.  The World Para-cycling Championships in Denmark in September beckon.  I feel like I am on the cusp of something extraordinary!  It has reinvigorated something in me.  It has given me something new and exciting to aspire to.  Having a purpose and being involved with the possibility of something bigger than myself, this is what gets me out of bed in the morning with a sense of purpose and meaning…challenging myself!

I feel that I have more mountains to climb and to be honest there are times when I think “What will come next?”  I know that once I have conquered this next challenge there will always be another waiting in the wings.

I believe that it is important to constantly challenge ourselves in life, otherwise it can become very boring and mundane.  I think that with the right attitude and determination you can achieve any challenge you set yourself.  And being successful at that challenge is simply doing the best that you can.  I am meeting this next challenge with confidence.

This doesn’t mean the end of my “Rowing Career”, it is just simply put on hold for the time being.  I have come to love rowing and the friendship of the women that I row with.  That will never be taken away!  Who knows maybe I can get some of them on a bike to come and ride with me!