DETERMINATION...

Ah, if only we could bottle it. Determination that is. Some days it is so easy to find. You have a list of MUST DO's and each one is neatly ticked off, often before lunch time. You are so motivated and determined that before you know it, three chapters from an old work are edited and you are 3000 words into a new piece.

Other days...

It's almost impossible to get off social media and the thought of a blank page is enough to give you nightmares.

Last weekend I did my second Casey Relay for Life.  Along with a great group of people, we were the Mobile Bookworms.


The majority of us work (or have worked) at the library. Others are friends/ partners/ children of those that work there...hence the name.

A fantastic group of people, eager to put their feet to the test. We had dedicated folks who slept in their cars...others managed naps in chairs or tent. Some of us went home for a few hours kip, then back for more laps.


The cause is something so many of us feel very strongly about. Too many of us have lots friends and family through cancer, and this is one small way for us to show our support.


There is a serious side of course to the relay, donations raised go to a fantastic cause.  Last year I had other things on the Friday night and walked most of the Saturday. This year I was determined to be there for the lantern lighting.

It was a very moving sight. Walking the track and seeing so many lanterns with people's names on them. Those who have lost the battle and the survivors.

With so many raffles and prizes on offer, or people offering up massages and lollies and even plants...it's a good chance for donations to roll in.

Donate some money and get a henna tattoo..

Donate some more for a rainbow of hair.. (didn't know my hair was that curly!)


Donate some more and have your face painted.


I do think the face painting is now part and parcel of the relay.

But back to determination. I arrived the Friday night and began to walk. And of course the great idea of a relay is that there is always someone there to walk. Others can have a break, a rest, a sleep or even do a few hours then return home, knowing there are others plodding on.


So with a few rests and some food I walked on. Quick zoom home about 3.30am , few hours sleep, shower and change and I was back by 8 am.  Back walking.

The laps were not that speedy the Saturday I will admit but I was determined. I wanted to do it. Actually I wanted to see if I could.

In fact there were times when I didn't even realise I was walking. However by then the stopping meant you realised legs were beginning to ache, that blisters were forming and that the whole body stiffens.

It was easier in the long term to keep on. So we did.


Another year, another relay completed. And the majority that finished even managed to smile. I seem to have lost that ability.

I was sore and tired, with bruised and blistered feet. I have no idea how far I walked. I don't have a fitbit contraption that could tell me steps or kilometres...and I didn't even think of counting laps till it was too late. I just know I walked a lot.

So why can I find the determination to do something physically draining yet lack it when it comes to getting back into a novel. Or writing that short story for this month. Or even yet, edit a poem.

Is it because I was testing myself? Is it because I was with a great group of people? Both true and I wonder if that makes the difference?

Writing is such an isolated business. Alone at the keyboard (even if you do write in a busy cafe / library / public space), only you can write what you want to write. There is no one beside you saying, have a rest for 20 minutes, then we'll back to it. We'll write together.

One of my goals for this year should be finding that determination and making it work for me. Should be I say, as I don't know if determination is something that can be manipulated. Maybe it can be?

Before I go, one of the highlights for me was walking about 2.30 in the morning. There were three of us at that stage. Others were sleeping or gone home, and we were taking turns resting. One of us would sit for 20 minutes while two of us walked, then another rested while the other two walked. And as we lined up for coffee (battling to stay awake and walking) a woman saw the name of our group on the sign around my neck. 'Oh she said, my friend's daughter will walk with your group.' We asked the name of the daughter, nodded and said she would be coming later in the day. The woman then said 'You look tired, do you want me to walk with your relay until someone who's rested can take it back and walk.'

This woman didn't know us at all but wanted to help. I didn't even get her name but the offer was so generous.

That is the sort of thing that the relay brings out in people.
It's a great experience and if you ever get the chance...take it.

I know we are already planning next years.

Vicki 


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