Apart from common sense, most of us are lucky enough to live by our senses, experiencing the world through the commonality of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. But, I reckon we all have a sixth sense, a powerful and unique characteristic that guides our destiny. My sixth sense is the innate ability to believe in myself, or moreso believe that everything will work out for the best. It’s based on the simple logic that if I work hard and have fun then pleasing results and contented bliss will follow.
Well, it’s now time to come to my senses! I’ve had a good hard look at myself, given myself the stern ‘snap out of it’ talk and have decided to soak in the sensuality of my very lucky life. In the last few weeks, when asked how my training was progressing, I have been appalled (in hindsight) at my responses. I have made honest remarks, which reflect the disappointment I have been feeling with myself. My sixth sense has been knocked from my own pedestal and my previously confessed delusions of grandeur have been tainted by the reality that I may not be as good as I thought I could be. This whole being honest, realistic and having mediocre expectations of myself is not the fantastical palace of dreams I usually live in. Really, who aims to be just average? So, while my sixth sense has been wimpering deep within, for fear of proving myself wrong, it is time to release it from the shackles. I don’t want to be disappointed with my efforts because they haven’t met my expectations. Sometimes, if you aim for the stars and land in the mud, you can still sparkle (a muddy induced glow) and be happy with the achievement of trying your best. The best way I could un-ground myself and rediscover my sixth sense was to focus on how lucky I am to have my other five senses in decent working order and enjoy the little joys they bring.
I’m a little fascinated with the sight of my virtual character on Zwift (an online indoor-trainer riding app). I keep expecting her to turn around and poke her tongue out at me, or worse still, give me a taste of my own medicine and launch a snot rocket back through the screen at me.
My Aussie kit (racing outfit) arrived and it is certainly a sight for sore eyes. There is no hiding any ‘bits’ in this little number, but I must admit that I think I may start wearing it out dancing as it truly sucks everything in and accentuates my little lady lumps, making my boobies appear a whole quarter size bigger (a massive B cup ). I gave it a trial run, and felt comfortable and flexible, so despite the look, it gets a massive wink from me. The iconic green is growing on me and the gold (c’mon, we all know it’s yellow) shines like high beam headlights, however I am completely honored and immensely excited to parade this fashion on the field in Mexico at the World Champs in just a few short weeks.
Some sounds are soulful, others sinful. The songs of encouragement from my fellow athletes (still feels weird to encompass myself with this term) or even the little murmur or grunt to acknowledge you despite their breath being stolen by their own strenuous exercise hits the highest crescendo and deepest chord with me. The harmony of cheer helps me beyond belief, it’s literally music to my ears, which pushes me (for that moment and sometimes longer) a little harder than I would/ could have by myself.
The sound of flapping wings of a magpie swooping towards you like a missile, launched to seek and destroy, causes me blood curdling terror. That is, I literally screech so loudly that I’m sure passing cars’ windscreens may have actually cracked. The stealthy, black and white menace got my helmet three times, plucking my hair like a trendy new plumage, despite my waving and screaming as I rode past. On the up note, my average speed for that ride jumped dramatically during that stretch of road.
I sometimes feel that the kindness ratio between my friends and me is out of whack. I certainly get the better end of the deal from so many people, especially when often all they get in return is my sarcastic stirring (delivered with love of course). My heart has been touched with benevolence on so many occasions recently. After many, many months of our planets orbiting different stars, I finally got a fragment of time to train with my mate Steve. He so graciously reduced his normal training speed to pace me on the velodrome (obviously noting my struggle to maintain my desired pace). When I started to reflect on all the kind-heartedness bestowed on me by friends and family, I was truly overawed. I need to touch up the ratio stakes and start being a more thoughtful friend!
The taste of friendship comes in many flavours. In this instance, it is choc, cherry, coconut flavoured macaroons. My friend Mick, who I run with (ok, well I start running at the same time as him, but rarely keep up as he is a super dooper runner) gave me a gift that went straight to my sweet spot, and probably my butt, as they were full of sugar. Although I did strongly suggest he spend his birthday money on me, I’m almost sure my friendly threats had nothing to do with his thoughtfulness. It certainly gave me a spring in my step and the lasting effect of a sugar high!
Ahhh, that syrupy smell of success is in the air. It’s amusing how fickle my thoughts can be. I can stew forever over a pot of training numbers that are missing a hint of aromatic spice but one little success in training can overcome a myriad of bland performances. This week, although I didn’t complete the 9km tempo run-off-the-bike I had planned (mainly because I got to 8km and didn’t want to run uphill), I felt like I was floating on perfumed clouds instead of floundering in the stench of sweaty lycra by finally hitting the numbers I wanted!
Another whiff of success is the flock of friends taking flight to the World 70.3 Ironman Champs. It is pure sweetness to the olfactory system to know that there are some amazing mates ready to seriously contend a world champs finish line. I have every nasal hair crossed for each of them to achieve what they desire and deserve.
Upon reflection, I aim to touch others with my gratitude and probably real touching, like hugs (not the indecent assault sort of thing), sniff out the positive in each day, slurp up every opportunity that affords me a taste of something new and have the insight to realize where I’m currently ‘at’ and where I want to be, is all about listening to my sixth sense. Always trying my personal best.