Monday, 18 March 2013

Defining moments

I watched Biggest Loser last night and my heart went out to the contestant, Mandy.  She stood on top of a 10 m cliff, trying to make her body move, trying to WILL herself past her fear to jump into the water with her son......FOR her son, so they both could enter the Biggest Loser house. It literally had me holding my breath and I could feel her desperate need to help her son, her feelings of mother guilt and that fear, because I have the same fear. She just couldn't get her body to move.

And then she jumped.  SHE DID IT!

I thought to myself, now if ever there was a defining moment in that woman's life, that would be it.

A defining moment is something that changes life in an instant. The dictionary states it is "a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc, is revealed or identified."  It's not an everyday occurence and these moments seem to me to be the pivot point on whether the opportunity is taken to grow, or not.

It got me thinking as to when I've experienced these defining moments, these moments of absolute clarity.  Time literally seems to slow and stand still when I recognised each of these at the time. My focus became crystal clear and intensely focused on what could be one small detail.  And I'm grateful to say I've recognised a few.

My first was when my firstborn was a day old.  I suddenly realised that my whole person had changed, much more than just becoming a mum.  I remember thinking "I will always forever after be a mother."  My life had changed irrevocably  and so did my name, for the rest of my life.  It wasn't just Kristine, it was Mum. And I grew into womanhood, into  motherhood.
My firstborn now, and me.  21 years of being Mum, and counting.

My second was when I left my first husband.  I tried everything to make that marriage work but nothing fixes abusiveness. While I was being patched up in hospital for the last time I heard the echo of my mother in my head..." The next time he could kill you."  With a clarity I realised yes, that could happen and it was time to end it now.  Despite my overwhelming fear, that is what I did.  I left with 2 small children, no income, no place to stay, no idea how to stay safe or what to do now.  But the moment, that realisation I had one life to live and only that one life to be happy, changed me. And so I grew into self reliance, self respect and independence.

My third came about week 7 in my first round of Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation.  I was losing weight, but that wasn't it. I was feeling fit and strong.... but that wasn't it.  It was a shift in my head, a shift in my thinking that changed the self talk from hateful negativity to a quiet "I can do this" positivity. And that quiet calm voice has in the space of 18 months seen me run 10 K funruns and beat my PB each time, seen me run a half marathon, seen me be a top 20 finalist in the 12 WBT, seen me awarded most transformed at my gym alongside my husband, seen me lift weights regularly that I thought would be beyond me, seen me run a  funrun up the side of Victoria's highest marathon and PLACE, seen me walk 50 kilometres for charity and seen me complete Tough Mudder.  It has seen so much more because that voice, that defining moment mind shift has seen me start to LIVE after a lifetime of just waiting around for a purpose.

 The voice got me through the tunnel of water in Tough Mudder drowning out my claustrophobia.

That's not to say there have been many other significant moments in my life, the birth of my other children, completion of my studies, my marriage to a wonderful man now, but they were just that....significant, not defining.

Those defining moments gave me new life, each and every one.  New opportunities were presented, new things to learn, new ways of being, of living. They helped me grow into being myself. However hard they were to experience at the time, I am grateful for being able to recognise them and to cherish them. 

Because they make me who I am.

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