Saturday, June 9, 2012
Thats the Oxfam trailwalker– an event I participated in early this year. An event where a team of 6 of us friends (4 walkers and 2 as support team) participated under the name Terra Trots. The amazing statistics of this first of its kind event organized by Oxfam in India:
No of teams registered – 80
No of 4-member teams who completed- 41
% of individuals who completed (not as intact teams) close to 85%
The data that was highlighted at the finish point was obviously around the time records that these amazingly persistent teams had accomplished:
Fastest all men’s team (Confident flying feet) –20 hours 36 minutes
Fastest veteran team (Protek) – 24 hours 16 minutes
Fastest mixed team (March of the Penguins) – 28 hours 28 minutes
Fastest Women’s team (Terra Trots) – 44 hours 36 minutes
We got our name up on that chart despite being among the possibly last 10% of the participants as far as speed goes was only because we were the only all women’s team among those registered that had completed the entire walk as a full team of 4. Back then, when we saw this table we laughed.
It didn’t seem as funny to me anymore when my team received an invite to the Oxfam awards night. I mean hadn’t ANYONE noticed the time we took? And there was this loud judging voice that said, “ NO WAY, I cannot go for this event. For one – I certainly don’t want to be the butt of sexist jokes!”
But Terra Trots did attend that event early today. Where did that shift happen for me?
Honestly, from the way I started when I first decided to participate in this event, that I would complete the walk seemed an unachievable goal even an hour before the walk (and of course several times during the walk itself). But even today, months after the event, the energetic high I feel when I think of having actually completed it and the warmth I feel listening to what it meant to my team members – now THAT is worth celebrating. I know that something deep within shifted for each one of us – as we were preparing and planning for the walk, as we walked and as we met a couple of times after the event to celebrate as a team.
So showing up today for me was truly to celebrate the spirit that Terra Trots carried through the event and after – the spirit that in some ways still sneaks up in what we feel about ourselves, and the various roles we hold in our personal and professional spaces.
Also, showing up today was for me was to reinforce to myself that while mainstream definitions of success have their own value, can we all also celebrate those achievements that do not fit the mainstream measuring scales? The way we pushed our own self-limiting beliefs through the preparation and the event, the courage with which we challenged the strength of friendships within the team as we put it through this kind of endurance, the humility with which we accepted different ways of being and giving in a team – all these were our achievements, immeasurable by any scales, and truly worth celebrating.
And finally showing up today was for me to remind myself – that no matter what the end goal is – challenging self-limiting beliefs, strengthening relationships, dealing with judgements – both inside and outside, fighting against poverty or walking 100 kilometres in 48 hours – it all comes down to taking one step at a time and staying with it.
So here’s to you Terra Trots – Navi, Anjana, Priya, Suja & Shashi for this amazing, life changing adventure!