Why Simplify The Get Going?
This journey started with the intention to cut down sugar-intake and get back to feeling active – before turning 40.
Being on a constant high from sugar but also on a constant, restless low of life; this was not where I wanted to be.
Things needed to change. I had no idea that it was going to be through simplifying or trail running.
How you live your everyday is how you live your life.
In all fairness, it should be added to the equation, at the time we had toddlers – two boys within 13 months. Felt like I was pregnant for 50 years, didn’t sleep for more than 3 hours in a row and a peaceful dinner was non existent. Our kids did nothing according to the book. Hubby and I communicated between nappy changes, closing bell on Bloomberg and feverish babies. We were far from family (Lanzarote, a dot in the ocean off the west coast of Africa and thousand miles from family in Sweden) and on top of it all he was so good at shooting off to sail or windsurf – to get away! Which is the right thing to do, no one can be in the constant everyday hassle without recharging batteries. Yes, at this point I did feel sorry for myself. But you can go too, he said. I’m not stopping you. No, he wasn’t. The only one stopping me was… me.
Don’t get me wrong, it was such a privilege to be at home with the boys during those toddler years. I stepped off the career chase to do exactly that, be a stay at home mom. No glamour, no bonus awards, no business lunches, no after work or kick offs. I don’t regret it. Ever. But the one thing I do regret is that I didn’t create Sarah time. Even if it was 10 minutes a day. I had all the opportunities. Honestly, I did. The days could be long but the years were short. And my mantra was: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
It passed, things got brighter. there were many happy family moments. You know the ones you see on Facebook and Instagram.
Living in a place like Lanzarote really helps. The good weather, the outdoor lifestyle, plenty of fresh fish, sailing in the sunset, walks on the beach. Hubby and I made a good team through those toddler years. I feel very fortunate. Its just, he was a lot better at creating his own happy. If only I had known how to.
The turning point was a Tuesday in Feb 2013, driving and feeling foggy in my head. Fuzzy, like a hangover, but missing out on the party. Our youngest had just turned 3 and I it was 6 weeks away from my 35th birthday. I came home to the man I married, felt very determined, and said when I turn 35 I’m going to get going. He looked up from his laptop, asked if I wanted a coffee and said why don’t you start now. This kind of startled me. What? Now, as in today? Yes, what is stopping you? But I haven’t got any clothes or shoes, I said. You are telling me that you don’t have a t shirt, shorts or shoes? I do, but they’re all old and ugly. So, does it make a difference? Does it matter? You’re not going to a fashion show and its not a marathon, right? Why don’t you use what you have and save the new stuff for your birthday… If you’re still going…. And ladies and gentlemen that’s where it all started.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
During 3 weeks I committed to getting out 10 times. It wasn’t for long, far or fast. Rather in the dark, 10 minutes and an earned star after each time. There was no way I was going to be without those stars, so I just got on with it. I committed to simplifying by de-cluttering friends, the cupboards and all the rest. My goodness, what a relief. How liberating. Especially the people part. (But I tried doing it in a humble & non judgmental way. It asn’t about them, it was about me.) And no consumption during these three weeks. Not a thing! Not a magazine, candles at IKEA or a new top that had written Sarah all over. And I got back to my yoga. The sun salute. At home, on the carpet, kids over under and with me. Lasted about 3 min, but I did it. Smoothies. Changed sugar for beetroot’s and celery. Nearly puked. Felt absolutely zonked for ten days, but kept going. Rome wasn’t built in a day, I kind of figured that. I was drinking more green tea and eating plenty of fresh fish. When the 3 weeks were up I started feeling a difference. Why not go for three more…?
So my birthday came up.It was a lovely day. We went for a bike ride, swam in the pool and I baked myself a cake. The only thing I wished for was a photo with my boys. No things, no gadgets. A snapshot did it for me.
I felt great not consuming things for 6 weeks and I wanted to continue. I was getting a taste of happiness not being in the things we think we need but in the moments we create. Boom! A friend gave me an invite to a trail race. Trail what?
I had been running flat asphalt for about 6 weeks but never said no to adventures…. Fishing cap, cotton top and old shoes, I ran with a big smile. Such a happy day, ran home a medal and felt high on the experience. This was just the beginning.
Since that day there has been no looking back. I was hooked on trails and had no idea what a fortunate walk of life I was about to enter. You see, its through the trails I find the motivation to continue a life of simplifying. Being part of the local Helly Hansen Trailteam was a bonus and coming 3rd in the Canarian Champs and Canarian Cup were kind of an impossible achievement. But apparently not.
You don’t need gadgets or gidgets to get you going. Save those for future motivation, which you will need.
I have become so much better at grabbing moments, taking Sarah time, being active, eating healthy, and appreciating life. But even more so rolling with the punches and dancing with the moves. Everyday life is grey, with responsibilities, bills to pay and ungrateful kids. Feeling content and happy is modern societies biggest challenge. A “simplified” life is such a game changer. Helps me work on who I am rather than what I am. Positive but realistic. Going with the motions. Accepting the lows. Accepting you, not needing titles or things to define you, who you truly are. Not comparing this journey to others peoples challenges (I easily get triggered by other peoples challenges).
Roll with the punches and dance with the moves.
Hubby encourages and supports by looking after the kids, standing off his windsurf and sailing (but is not too happy when I start talking ultras) and allows me to have priority on the weekends. He is in the background of each success but also their on the downs to remind me what I really want. And what I really want is to be out there, on those trails. Racing. Enjoying. Improving. Being.
Collecting moments, not things.
If you’re a mother, hang in there, you’re doing great and you’re surely not alone. Grab your moments, don’t go shopping your happiness, make sure you get some sleep. Stop comparing. Create your own happy. If you’re a husband, don’t get your wife gidgets or gadgets. Give her the time and kick in the butt to just go out there and do it. And then support her. Encourage her. If you’re working, studying or living life at a fast pace and feeling “the high” from sugar and things. Stop. Simplify. Ask yourself what’s important and what’s not. Go out in nature and thrive. Let fresh air and new views challenge you. Change TV for a sun salute. Read more proper books and less social media nonsense. Instead of collecting gadgets, cars or destinations to brag about at the office, share simple moments or send a handwritten card. And those new plates or funky lamp is not where you will find long lasting happy. Shift your motives to get going from losing weight or getting into a pair of jeans to wanting to live a healthy, rich (I’m not talking dineros), content life.
Have stories to tell, not things to show.
I simplified my get going to cut down sugar-intake and feel more active. In these two years I am closer to 40 but fitter than at 20, have a body I am proud of, feel stronger in the mind than I ever have been, reach most of my goals (some take longer than others) and am so privileged to be surrounded by people who help me grow. All the rest I filter away. What started as a 10 min trot is turning into mountain marathons and challenges I never dreamed of. The one thing I promised myself was to pass this journey on and that is what you see and read on my social media. So, stop your excuses and get your butt or mind into action. Whatever your journey is, make sure its something you really enjoy doing. And I mean that. Love what you do, do what you love. Also make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. To be your best you.
Persistence is your vehicle.
Life is too short to waste it on searching happiness from the outside. Happiness is an inside job and you are your happy. Go hit a trail!
Simplify The Get Going!