During the swimming commentary at the London 2012 Olympics, both Grant Hackett and Giaan Rooney said that swimmers had the swim ‘inside’ them. They were referring to the years of training and conditioning that had, in effect, been like a battery on a charger. On race day, however, it was up to these swimmers to tap into all that potential and bring it out.
I heard others make similar comments. For cyclist Anna Meares, knowing that she had ‘strong legs’ gave her some assurance during races. Even our hurdler Sally Pearson referred to all the work she’d done and how she just needed to relax and bring that out on race day.
This idea resonates with me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we finally got a couple of Gold medals! Anna Meares and Sally Pearson appeased the pain of 12 silver medals, 12 near misses that hurt to watch. Many of them hurt so much because they were only near misses by a hundredth of a second.
The second reason is far more profound. Today I had to be tested (again) for diabetes. There are a thousand historic (and boring) reasons why this haunts me, but it made me question what I have done to my body?
My body let me down in my teens when I developed Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and, to be honest, I stopped investing in it. I stopped caring for myself in a thousand ways. I believed I wasn’t worth the time or the effort. What I did for exercise didn’t matter. What I ate didn’t matter. What I wore mattered even less. I was far more comfortable in men’s clothes. My body was broken in an incurable way – why bother trying to fix it? (I can see my perfectionist attitude emerging here. If you can’t do something perfectly, why bother at all?)
I have been reflecting on the years Anna Meares spent investing in her body – even after a broken neck! Surely that would be the time to give up, but she didn’t. She invested again. I admire that but I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it and I feel ashamed. I realise that I have invested nothing in my body over all these years – I have just made more and more withdrawals and I’m down to the 5 cent and 10 cent pieces at the bottom of the money box. I am depleted and my body is screaming at me to do something about it.
I feel like I need to hold onto this devastating feeling. It feels like repentance. There are a thousand sins and sinful attitudes crushing me right now. It is sorrow I feel as I lay them down at the cross of Jesus. Forgive me please, Father, for I have sinned.
Repentance is all about change. I want to turn around and become the person I should have been all along. The DNA God invested in me has a destiny and it’s up to me to seek God for it. It’s up to me to invest in that DNA, and maybe, just maybe, improve.
It is Jake’s first year of life and I am just hanging in there. I am sleep deprived. I have been fighting infection for 3+ months. I am on my 4th course of antibiotics in as long and my GP has insisted I get tested for diabetes again as the last one (which was positive) was affected by pregnancy hormones. I am weeing like a pregnant lady – another sign of diabetes. I can point to a thousand reasons for this year’s neglect but the reality is I need to find a reason somewhere inside myself to try and make a difference.
Back in school I used to be a top butterflyer. Maybe in the years to come I’ll look back at this day and tell myself that I have a fantastic swim inside of me. In the next few weeks I’m going to try out the Mum’s Squad at SwimFit. It includes childcare. Wish both Jake and I well!
Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Matthew 3:2 NLT