Roughened Smooth

I just spent the weekend up in Kosi Bay, a stunning reserve up in Northern KwaZulu Natal. I went with a bunch of girls and it was so lovely! None of us are typical ‘girlie girls’ and we all worked so well together as a team, efficiently getting supper together and getting the job done like a well-oiled machine. No complaints or admin, just picking up a knife and cutting tomato or onion, washing the dishes, or making tea, it was such a pleasure. We all had time to be alone or with people and it was great.

We had such a fun time and our motto for the weekend was ‘It’s part of the fun’. Get stuck in, be brave, face your fears and live life because ‘it’s all part of the fun’ and that creates adventure. A friend of mine sent me a quote this morning which is quite fitting: ‘If you really love people and go for big dreams, life is going to be messy’ Dara Torres, five time Olympic athlete, word record holder and multiple medalist. I like that, but would take it further. Life is messy and will be messier when you chase your dreams, but you have to go through hard times and be roughened up in order to achieve beauty and reap the rewards of hard labour. (Another friend of mine will be writing a blog about that soon!)

There was so much to be inspired by over the two days we were away so I think this will become more than just one blog. On one of our walks down to the beach we spotted some dung beetles living their life and doing what they are designed to do: roll dung! We spotted a baby one that was struggling to get this big ball of dung up a shallow tyre track across the road – for the beetle it was this massive hill. But it didn’t give up, it persisted and decided to persevere. It basically did a face plant and stuck its head in the sand, got all of its legs in the air onto the ball of dung and tried to roll it up that way. We didn’t hang around long enough to see what happened, but I was impressed by its persistence.

Earlier that morning we had heard this bad sounding noise under the car and so drove into town to get it checked out. Manguzi is the closest town and it is a small rural town right on the border of Mozambique. We got some directions from a local and found this car repair shop on the side of the road. As we drove in I was so impressed. It was an open air car repair shop where they has dug pits in the floor so you could simply drive your car in without any fancy lift system on suspension. The mechanic just jumps into the pit and is under your car. It was simple and rustic, but effective. I love it when people are not hindered by their circumstances or what they have. They make a plan. I think South Africans in general are very good at that: using what they have to turn a seemingly improbable or impossible situations into something that works!

My philosophy in life is very much like that. I am not a materialistic girl. I like to use something until it has reached its full capacity, then I will fix it if I can and use it some more! Shoes, cars, computers, cell phones etc, As long as it fulfills the function it was created for I am satisfied, so sorry for you marketers and advertisers out there, you are not likely to sell me a new car, phone or laptop anytime soon 😉

I apply the same principle to fitness and exercise. You don’t need fancy gyms or equipment, music or the latest gear. Simpler is better. Use what you have and you will be surprised at the results!

My friend and I did the Warrior Challenge last year. We had t-shirts made with this slogan on them: ‘Our sharp edges are ready to be roughened smooth’. It was a tough challenge: 21km trail run with 30 intense obstacles scattered in between with the hardest eight at the end of the run. We had to run through mud and bush, over rocks and under branches to get to the obstacles, then complete each obstacle before continuing on our way. But the feeling of achievement and success at the end was worth it. We would not have felt that satisfaction without all the cuts, scrapes, bruises and very stiff bodies afterwards. The tired muscles and scratches stayed with us for a few days after the race, evidence of how hard we had worked for our success.

Chase the dreams that are in your heart

We have been given a life full of untapped potential. Use it. Use the gifts that God has given you, chase the dreams that are in your heart. Don’t let fear stop you. Life will be messy and you will hit speed bumps, pot holes, tyre tracks and mountains, but the fulfillment of reaching your dreams and coming through those hardships is always worth it: the feeling of success after failures and obstacles, the character that is built and edges that are roughened.

Author: sarah

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