So, I, like a lot of people I know, am doing a big challenge for a baby loss charity. The 30 day hot yoga challenge and we called it #30dayfeb. I’m doing it to raise money and raise awareness and remember my child. I’m actually feeling OK and class today was fine. However, there is a sense that I’m still stuck in ‘the hard middle bit’ and it got me thinking about this idea they talk about in doing challenges, like running Marathons and so on of: ‘The Wall’.

Around Day 18 or 19, I can’t exactly remember which, all of us on the #30dayfeb started to get low in stamina, low emotionally, feel grumpy and start to struggle. I also developed a bad cold. Interestingly I never even thought about stopping and I don’t know anyone else who did. I also noted that every yoga teacher I encountered said to me, ‘Oh yes. Day 19. The cold!’ I’m not sure why everyone doing the 30 day yoga challenge gets a cold. I know that there is an element of de-toxifying and with it clearing out your nervous system a little so that’s definitely relevant. I also know that this, and any challenge, is physical/mental/emotional all intertwined and I now know that ‘The Wall’ is all of those things too.

What I was thinking today was how the term; ‘The Wall’, is a bit misleading as a metaphor. Because when I’d pictured marathon runners encountering the wall, I’d visualised them smashing through it and then running off jubilant on the other side. But for me, the wall has lasted a good few days and, when I thought I was through (Day 21), it suddenly reared up in front of me again! (today). It’s been more like sitting next to my a wall taking a brick off the top at a time!  Maybe this is just what it’s like for yoga challenges, or maybe this is just what it’s like for me.

I did have a break through in my thinking today though – Those of us who do challenges to raise money for our children and to raise awareness, also do the challenge for ourselves and I think we struggle to understand or speak that part. I realised that I am very clear that a big part of this challenge is for myself. To feel better, to look better, to get stronger and fitter and feel very much back in control of my body and mind. And, interestingly, today was the first time that I thought – “and that’s OK. It’s fine to do this for ME…

I’m doing this because I completely deserve to be fit, strong, healthy and happy again. Not only would Liberty want that for me, but I deserve it and I have the right to be happy.” This may not be revolutionary thinking for most people in 2020, but for a bereaved parent it absolutely is.

Maybe that’s the end of a grief journey. I’m not sure, but I know that I’m taking the bricks down until they’re cleared out the way.