Loving the adventure of going beyond.
It sounds so obvious. Yet when a friend asked me the other day what the sentence on my hoodie really means to me, I wasn’t quite sure what to answer.
I’ve pretty much spent the last five days in bed, slowly recovering from a complete knee reconstruction surgery on Wednesday. Five days in bed means five days with a lot of time to think. Five days of pondering on what meaning these words bear to me.
So, what is the answer I came up with?
Let’s make a short story long.
The other night, before going to bed, my mom asked me if I really wanted to keep the only window in the room wide open, with the wind gushing through and the blinds completely up. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Swedish summer, the sun doesn’t really set. Light prevails, all throughout the wee hours of the night. I might not be able to sleep, my mom said.
Her question made me realize how tiny my world is right now. I told her to leave the window just the way it was. Being strictly forbidden to leave my bed for the first few days after knee surgery, other than going to the bathroom, I just didn’t want to lose the only opportunity I had to enjoy nature. I wanted to be able to lie on my bed, turn my head to the side and watch a beautiful summer in full bloom outside - even if I had to watch it happen from the other side of a window.
The window is my own private movie theater. Through it, I can see a palette of all different shades of green. I can see the branches on the birch trees moving with the direction and intensity of the wind. And behind all of that green there’s a sky so blue that it’s hard to imagine it could have any other color. I can hear the neighbors talking with one another as they pass by, I hear children laugh and airplanes fly across the sky. I feel the breeze of the wind moving across my skin, even as I lie in bed.
I am watching a fragment of the world happen through the window of a tiny universe. And I can’t help but play out scenes in my head about what is going on beyond that which I can see and hear and feel from my little bed. I definitely can’t help but dream about the ways in which I will be able to take part in all that beauty, all that life, once my body allows me to leave this room.
And even if it might sound like a far-fetched metaphor, that is exactly what loving the adventure of going beyond means to me. Six simple words, yet put together they have the power to help me figure out ways to deal with a current situation - no matter if that situation is being bedridden in a tiny room at my parents’ place, or a climb toward a mountain peak in the Alps. What are my choices in this moment? How do I choose to respond to what is happening right now - with sadness & anxiety or with hope & curiosity?
Loving the adventure of going beyond serves as a reminder that I am in full charge of moving outside my own self-made box called the limiting mind. And as paradoxical as it may sound, I realize that one of my biggest strengths is just that - knowing that my mind is also my greatest limiting factor. With this knowledge, I can accept that both the ups and downs are part of the same journey, and that most problems are only problems if I say they are. Sometimes I am in a natural flow, sometimes I feel stuck. Right now, I definitely feel stuck - because I can’t walk a step without my crutches. But it is what it is. And it definitely doesn’t end here.
As an athlete, loving the adventure of going beyond is a motto that accompanies me each time I am out running a hundred kilometers in some remote area, or climbing to the summit of a mountain, higher than I have ever been before. Or even when I am out for a run on my local home trails. What views are behind the next corner? And what might I discover about myself if I just go a little further? My values as an athlete who loves to spend her time outside, in deep connection with nature, reflects my values for something much greater - how I see life, and how I want to live it. And I can promise you that as long as I am alive, I will never stop stretching the boundaries of my physical or mental possibilities.
It’s not always easy, of course. But instead of being numbed by fear, that fear can be channeled into action. Because if it is not, it has the power to turn you into a motionless statue instead. But at the same time, I constantly try to remind myself that courage is just the other side of fear. Courage and fear go hand in hand - it’s part of the package of being human.
So, as I am confided to this tiny little universe called post-surgery recovery, I will keep on dreaming. I will remind myself that the world outside is waiting. And even as new chapters in my life unfold, I will not stop wondering what opportunities are awaiting me behind that next corner.
I will love the adventure of going beyond, for as long as I am alive.
P.S. If you want to get your own hoodie with the print loving the adventure of going beyond - you can order it here. D.S.