I had an epic adventure, running the Alpine Challenge in Victoria. I did the shortest of the 4 distances, 35km (there was a 60km, a 100km, and 160km). The run for me was easier and more joyous than I had expected it would be and on reflection, part of the reason for that I think is that it was in the context of the longer runs. No-one around me there saw it as a big deal, or even much of a challenge, and that attitude created a context for me of positive expectancy.
Had there been a 5km, a 10km, a 21km and the 36 was the longest, I imagine it would have been a very different experience and would have been perceived as more challenging, by others, and by me. I have a sense that it would have effected how I experienced it.
It reminded me of the 4 minute mile story. Experts said that breaking a 4 minute mile was impossible as the human body was not capable. In 1940 someone ran 4:01 and the record stayed at that for 14 years until Roger Bannister broke the record in 1954. 46 days later John Landy took another second off the time, then a year later 3 runners ran under 4 minutes in a single race! “What changed was the mental model. The runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said they could not surpass the four-minute mile. When that limit was broken, the others saw that they could do something they had previously thought impossible.” (Bill Taylor in Harvard Business Review)
Our practice (I think) is a way in which we are reminded that we are full of potential, and particularly in a class context we find we can do things we don’t feel we can do at home by ourselves. There is something about being in a group inviting us to meet and greet the possibilities that reside in us. We recognise we are capable of more than we might have previously imagined, the veils of limitation fall away … and that echos into our lives in such an expansive and beautiful way.
Let’s continue to seek out the things, the situations, the challenges, that continue to invite us to expand into our next self.