In March of every year, 16 teams set out on an epic journey to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Step after step, week after week, they climb towards the summit, driven by a singular goal. As they trek along this well-trodden path, they imagine what it might be like to stand on the planet’s greatest podium and look out at the world. They dream of that view. Some think of nothing else until their journey is complete. At times along the way, when they catch a glimpse of what surrounds them and what they have already achieved, they smile. They appreciate what an opportunity they have been given to etch their names into history.
Sometimes life can be hard. You can wake up in the middle of the night with a million and one things running through your head and be unable to find a single solution. Your car can break down the day after you had it serviced, right when you’re on your way to pick up your kids from school. You can do your very best to be prepared and organised, you can try your hardest to be kind and generous, but that doesn’t guarantee life will play out exactly how you want it to or that you will get what you deserve.
Wednesday night was one of those nights. A re-run of that awful movie that’s screened far too often in cinemas throughout Warrior Nation in recent years. The opposition seems unstoppable, the men from Mt Smart can’t make a tackle and the game is lost before you’ve really registered what is happening.
It was a horrible night, one that brought back so many awful memories of seasons past. Six years of failure all rolled into one continuous loop of missed tackles and knock-ons. A never-ending collection of heads in hands and shirts pulled over the eyes and the frustration and the tears and the doubts and that feeling you get what you think it must be your turn to experience that winning feeling and it doesn’t seem fair that you can care this much about something and try so hard to give it everything you’ve got, to dedicate your time and money to something you can’t control without experiencing the joy and the absolute ecstasy of seeing all your dreams come true. It doesn’t seem fair.
There was once a time when I spent many hours of my life watching Extreme Makeover. Sometimes it wasn’t just Extreme Makeover, but shows that were even more extreme, like The Swan. Before you get the wrong idea, yes I did have better things to be doing with my time, and no I don’t think that women (or men for that matter) should judge their self-worth by holding themselves up to unachievable standards of beauty.