Red Handed!

Maybe we have all been there. Or maybe not.

Let me explain……

In preparation for climbing the Rwenzori, I have taken on a rigorous physical training regimen, in keeping with the advice of friends who climbed the mountain last year. I have shared various aspects of the training on this blog – from strength training, to cardiovascular exercise, to the long walks. And most times, I try to exert myself the best I can.

But sometimes, I cheat. Sometimes, especially when the instructor is not looking, I take a mini break, or I don’t do the step all the way as I ought, or I allow my energy levels to drop, and I sort of get by doing a lousy job at the workout. And then, when the instructor so much as glances my way, I pick up the pace and pretend that I was doing the right thing all the while when he had looked away. I go into overdrive as I do the exercise move, trying to show that all along, I was the Half Ass‘star pupil’, even when I know this was not the case.

George, one of our instructors always tells us “you cheat, you cheat yourself”.

And how true that is. When I don’t give my all during the exercise I am doing, it’s me that loses, never my instructor, or my climbing mates, or those with whom I am doing exercise – it’s me that loses out. It’s me that will have to climb the mountain. No one will climb it for me – not my fellow climbers, not the mountain guides, not the potters (although I am still secretly hoping that one of the potters who climbs with us will be strong enough to carry me when the going gets tough….). So in the end, I am the one who has to put in 100% all the time.

And that applies to all of us, and to any effort we undertake. It’s easy to look for the short cut, for the easy way out. It’s easy to pretend that we are giving our all, yet we know that we are putting in less than our best effort. And we know in those moments, that though we think we have cheated the system, because we work in such a way as not to get caught – in the end, we are really cheating ourselves. Half measures and half baked effort is never about the person or thing for which you are giving less than your best. It’s always about you. You cheat, you cheat yourself.

So if I were you…….

I know, you know what to do.


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