Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sticks up, look sharp

It is not until you are without something that you value it to its true measure. I don’t know why we, as human beings, are unable to fully appreciate what we have when we have it. I feel this is a weakness that I, as well as many others, suffer from. Lacrosse was always a bit of light-hearted fun that occurred twice a week and got me out of the house and away from the normal library-home-library routine. It wasn’t until I developed an injury that I realised just how much it meant to me.

A few weeks into term I began getting pains in my ankles, I chose to ignore it, but it only got worse. Eventually, I had to give myself a break from my normal exercise routine until I could get them looked at by a specialist. Those few months in between, I like to call, boredom.

Lacrosse was no longer an option, neither was the gym, or running, or any form of exercise that included my feet. This doubtlessly left me feeling rather sorry for myself and in turn, rather frustrated that I had no output for the ‘wall climbing’ state of mind that my history degree routinely put me in. I would love to say I handled this phase of my life with bravery and dignity, but that would be a slight exaggeration of the truth. There were many teary phone calls and gym attempts that ended in more frustration than they began with. I was lost and it was not until this moment in time, that I realised how much I had taken my health for granted.

It reminded me of every time I got a cold, flu, or a bad headache. I cherish the memory of good health and promise myself that when I get better, I will achieve greatness. The truth is, most of the time I barely notice my illness lifting. It drifts away slowly without me stopping to even think about it. At that point, I find myself back to square one, in perfect health and unappreciative of it.

My ankles were diagnosed and support was put in place to ease the problem, so now I am back to lacrosse every week, I’m back to being able to run, I’m back in the gym and I am trying my hardest to fully appreciate how lucky I am. I played my first game for the Women’s Second’s team on Sunday and loved every moment of it. Frankly, I have never been so exhausted, but I have also never felt so utterly accomplished. It was amazing to be part of a team, to play a sport that I love and succeed in pushing myself to where I want to be. Needless to say we lost… badly, but this was not the point of the game. We played a team that were a lot stronger than us, who had clearly been playing for years, yet we gave it our best shot and by the second half managed to keep them from scoring a single goal… considering I play defence, I rank this as an achievement!

It is important sometimes to take a step back and relish in the almighty greatness we possess. I think it’s definitely crucial for me to fully understand how lucky I am. Health is most certainly a gift in life and one that hopefully I can appreciate for as long as I am lucky to possess it.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Live in the moment

It is scarily easy to make the focal point of your life a calendar. Constantly planning the next trip, the next catch up with friends and the next break from work. I find myself always counting down the days to ‘something more’. Sometimes, something more appears for a fleeting moment and then there I am, counting down the days again. First it is Christmas, then New Year, followed by reading week, Easter, summer and before you know it, you’re back to Christmas again. I become so immersed in the process of counting, that I almost forget to enjoy the moment I had been counting down to. I forget to cherish it with everything I have. It is such a famous saying, ‘live in the moment’, yet I so willingly ignore it.

At twenty years old I can see myself wishing my life away, as I have done for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t wait for school to be over, or A Levels and now I am dreaming of a day when university work stops being the bane of my life. I forget about the little things, the small events that make each day amazing. Starbucks dates with my friends, evening phone calls from my boyfriend, or a good grade in an essay. These are the things that can make my day, yet they can easily go unrecognised, mainly because I am too preoccupied waiting for the next big thing. 

I have come to the conclusion that this is an important lesson to learn in life, to appreciate the moment and stop wishing time away. Life has begun and sometimes it is easy to let it pass you by. Anyhow, I am studying history, not maths. There is definitely no need for me to do all this counting.

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