Sunday, 2 July 2017

Head above water

Over the last few weeks it feels as if I've just about been able to keep my head above the water just by thrashing wildly around and trying not to drown. I've had a lot of commitments to keep but problems with my neck have made everything about fifty times harder. It's made it difficult to keep up with updating this blog, so the next few posts will be fairly brief and just deal with one thing at a time.
Flowers for sale at the RDA lunch
First off, the RDA fundraiser lunch!
This was a big event at the beginning of June in aid of RDA East region. I'd helped to plan the event and it was quite a big weight off my mind when it was over! It was a brilliant occasion, though, and we raised around £10,000 which was far beyond what I had expected.
The best bit was that Clare Balding came to give a speech and do book signings. She spoke about her own experiences in sport, and the challenges she's faced throughout her career. She also articulated something that I agree with very strongly: that one of the strengths of the RDA is that it allows people with a disability to do something risky. This is vital! We need to feel challenged as much as anyone else and sometimes it's nice to be challenged because you're working with an independent animal, rather than just because disability is challenging.
Clare Balding sharing the stage with RDA East mascot, Zebedee
She also spoke about how you can be as tough as you need to be if you just decide that something will happen, instead of wondering whether or not you can achieve it. This is something I've always felt: as soon as I've decided to do something, the rest is easy. Well, it isn't easy exactly, but once you've made a firm decision you don't need to worry about, 'Will I make it?' or 'Am I strong enough to finish?'. You've made the decision that you will do it, ergo you will!
Those darker meringues were absolutely delicious!
I know plenty of people go along with something without having made that commitment early on, but many fail to make the commitment and therefore fail to complete as well. I don't know how they can start something without knowing that they will finish. We all have things we've given up on because of factors beyond our control, but the only thing that allows me to achieve properly these days is knowing that, when I made the decision, I also sealed my fate!
It felt good to hear someone as inspiring as Clare Balding making this point. It's vital to me - without it, I'd struggle to achieve anything at all. When the decision is made, giving up is generally no longer an option. When giving up isn't an option, the only remaining option is success.

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