Climbing my taekwondo grading mountain one step at a time

I wake up this morning with some pretty bossy thoughts flooding my brain.

'A few weeks to your taekwondo grading. You need to get fitter. Get out of bed. Get your running shoes on and run up that hill.'



My usual run is along the sand from Dee Why to Long Reef and then up to the top of Long Reef Headland. At the top is a fabulous smooth stone sculpture of a whale.

I love to sit the cool curve of her back, and stare out to sea for a while. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to spot a real proud mother whale and her calf on their way to Antarctica for their summer feast.

Today I rebel. I feel like hell.

'I can't do it not today I just can't. I'm tired and my legs are stiff.
There is no way I can make it up that hill. No Way!
It's too hard and the grading is going to be too hard. And why am I doing this anyway?
Today I'm going back to bed with a cup of tea. I deserve a rest'.

I stare at the kettle as it comes to the boil. Gentler thoughts come through.

'Look it's a beautiful day, why don't you just go for a walk on the beach.'

I make it out the front door but my legs are protesting. I trudge slowly to the beach.

'This sand is extra soft today. It's too difficult for you. Why are you doing this? Go back to bed. You'll never make it up that hill.'

'Ok well that's fine.' say the gentler thoughts 'I'll just walk for a way and look at the ocean.'

I get side-tracked watching the surfers. I think it must be very meditative to sit on a board, and stare out to sea and wait for your wave. And then pounce with fantastic skill and soak up the buzz of riding the curve.

I enjoy the sparkle of the golden sand in the early morning sun.
I enjoy walking close to the edge of the ocean so the waves sometimes cool my feet.
And I enjoy the wind on my face.
I take some good deep breaths and feel my shoulders drop down.

The bossy thoughts seem to have blown away on the wind.

I guess I've gone about half a mile and suddenly I realize I'm running. Just for the hell of it.

A bossy thought makes a brief appearance 'You won't make it to the top. Not today'

'No problem' I think back 'I'll just run a bit more'.

And I do.
I get into a rhythm and go.
And before I know it, I'm at the bottom of Long Reef headland and in full flow.
Nothing is going to stop me now

I take off and power to the top.
I make it and I feel fantastic!

And as I sit on the cool stone whale and gaze at the sparkling ocean I realize that I didn't have to climb the mountain in my head this morning.
All I had to do was take that first step out of the front door and start walking towards the beach.

And maybe I don't have to do my taekwondo grading in my head right now.
Maybe I just need to get to training tomorrow night.

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