It's 6.30 in the morning, key in hand, granola stuffed into a glass jar with a splash of milk for breakfast, added carefully to the 10kg day pack which gets quietly slipped over my shoulder. Foot outside the door, it's chilly and I jump on my cousin's childhood bike. Chris was always tall but he had outgrown the bike long ago, and even for me at 5"6 it was still too small to feel balanced on. With a cartoon human foot for a bike stand, half pumped up tires and affectionately named the bullet, I set off to Mobberley train station. Out of Manchester in rural Altrincham, the station seemed too far by foot, easier by bike, and so I thought. What was supposed to be a 10 minute bike ride took 25, and with a slight miscalculation on the timings I found myself yet again in another rush to catch transport.
So there I was, peddling hard, wobbling all over the place, forgetting what direction traffic was coming from, getting hot, burning quads, frustrated - thinking 'never again', and that walking would have been better, simpler. . . I should have been peacefully rolling by admiring the countryside, but in reality was checking google maps vs the how hard can my quads work before dying ratio vs train arrival time. It was such a funny and painful situation to be in and a huge reminder of my physical limitations as a cyclist and just in general!
Sure my preventable rush during the morning was nothing compared to actual athletes or what they go through, though it did make me think a lot about personal struggle. On the tv, in magazines, photos and articles you only see the best, the inspirational, the finished product - not the journey on how it came to be and what it took to get there.
In the end I did catch my train, luck was in my favor that day to get to my appointment at the Liverpool passport office, which in turn opened my afternoon up to playing on a highline with the Liverpool Slackliners. It was my first highline and in return gave them their first acroyoga experience, and although brief was a great opportunity to learn and share new skills whilst exchanging some awesome vibrations. If anything we are all just learning, trying, and even struggling through our own journeys. No one records that part of life but it is 90% of the time and it's important!
Struggling is apart of the game, and you have to be ok with it, there really is no room for ego if you want to improve, and like my cycling experience during the morning, I struggled to stand up on the line during the afternoon. (It takes a lot of getting used to at height and in wind not to mention gear trust and commitment), but I had a huge win, I got to use my acro skills and fly over the Mersey river! I think what I learnt is that no matter how good or bad at stuff you are - do what is comfortable, feels good and what you enjoy. No one mention the bruises or the falls, but if it hurts the next day it means you were trying hard!
Thanks to Tom, Nadeem and Keiran for making the afternoon so awesome and giving me my first highline experience at the docks in Liverpool. You can find them on their Liverpool Slacklining Facebook page, and if you are ever in Liverpool be sure to hit them up !
And a thanks to the guys at Traks ME/ Petzl Dubai for the harness - had a huge whip and it works ! Haha