I was looking at my friend Jane's Facebook page last week. I wanted to look back - probably in the vain hope that I could glean some meaning from it. On her timeline I found the following quote, which she attributed to Hugh Laurie:
“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something - I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
I really like this. I have been getting stressed wondering how can I ever be ready for the Arch to Arc? It is too much and too far. When I look back there hasn't been a single endurance event that I have ever undertaken that I have felt ready for. The weeks before each event I becoming increasingly stressed as I realise that I can't be sure I will go the distance. With a full time job and a family and a keen interest in procrastination there is never a chance that I can have fully prepared for these big events. I think the thing I have learnt to do is get to the start line. If I get that far and start to run/walk/cycle/swim/skip then there is a chance that I will finish. I don't always succeed, (see previous post "Failure"), but more often than not I seem to muddle through. So Hugh Laurie is right; "You may as well do it now...."
I am going to remember that, Janey. I have put so much into this Arch To Arc. I am as ready as I can ever be. Sure, I haven't done much cycling this year, but if I get to Calais, I'll make a good stab at the 180 mile cycle. I have run 100 miles in one go, as well as a number of 30, 40 and 50 milers. I have swum upwards of 12 hours a week for a year and have managed a 10 hour swim, several sixes and I have some seven hour swims to come. I can't do any more. Eddie Ette, coaching me, has told me to rein it back in now. No need to leave my best swimming in Dover Harbour. So, yes, I am not ready, but as ready as I can be, and I will be able to set off on the Arch to Arc knowing I have given it my all. Thank you Jane for that Facebook post.
Jane died last week aged 50. She leaves two young children. 5 weeks ago she decided to take the top off a bottle and drink again. There can be no greater tragedy than seeing someone claw their way back to life, only to watch the power of their addiction drag them back down. I am sorry to use her death as a reason to blog. I don't want to be crass. But you should know how powerful and incomprehensible this stuff is. You should know that in recovery we can walk a very fine line.