Thursday, 18 June 2015


By Ian S. Smith
A question you have been asked or asked yourself. The situations can be varied; tough days at school, stressful exam periods, busy times at work, hectic times with kids, a death in the family, a divorce.  In my case it was recently while participating in the day long adventure that is the Comrades Ultra Marathon.  The 87.7km journey from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.  Especially during the tough second half of the day often you will ask and get asked about how it is going.  How are you holdingUP?
HoldingUP according to Merriam-Webster is “to continue in the same condition without failing or losing effectiveness” and according to me would include being resilient and able to absorb even those things that just happen as part of life.
During the hard parts of the Comrades it was sometimes just about keeping on moving, walking is a valuable way to recover, I am not running, but l am moving in the right direction. It was about keeping in the mind the finish line, my goal, the dream and the immense satisfaction awaiting me. The finish line was a tiny part of the journey that was Comrades 2015.  I committed to finish what I started not just on race day but in the months of preparation before the day too.  I had told too many people and I was held accountable.
It was about breaking up the very long distance in manageable parts.  By aiming for the next water point and celebrating each of these milestones on the way to the finish line.  Everyone needs support in achieving their goals.  From my family, friends, loved ones, experts and even total strangers. Self-limiting inner stories and stories that the world had told me began to dissipate at each water point milestone.  I was able to boostUP with the good stuff and slowly but surely leave the baggage that is not serving me well behind me.  I was tired, sore and exhausted but ever closer by each milestone I passed.
Preparing for my journey was about getting enough sleep and rest, an adjustment was required for a more balance lifestyle and appropriate order of priorities, encouragement from friends that are like brothers/sisters and just being in love but always I believe it depended on my own joy (Proverbs 15: 13a A happy heart makes the face cheerful and 17: 22a A merry heart does good, like medicine).
Your holdingUP story can be an encouragement to someone else. Support them in facingUP to their situation. Live your story and then share it.