Mind over matter

Jacob's ladder

There’s a staircase in Muizenberg, Cape Town called Jacob’s Ladder. Although slightly hidden away, it’s generally open for public use and it has around 200, very steep steps, I kid you not! Sometimes on the weekends, when I stayed in Cape Town, I’d tackle these stairs early on either a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Frustrated by being clogged up in a four-walled gym all week, I’d fly down the shoreline at Muizenberg beach on the weekend. The coolest sea breeze against my face would provide some solace and relax my stiff, tense muscles. It was heaven!

The very first time I climbed Jacob’s Ladder, I swore it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I could literally not even walk the last few steps before having to take a break to catch my breath. My legs were wobbly as mushy jelly, it was excruciating. But I made the promise to be back.

And so I did. Several times, in fact. Each time better prepared than the last. There are few things in life as indomitable as the human spirit. I was going to conquer Jacob’s Ladder, if it meant the end of me. And that was exactly what I did.

On one particular Saturday morning, while running down the Muizenberg shoreline again, I knew that this would be the day. When I got to the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder my mind had already been made up. Today was the day. I ran from the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder all the way to the top without stopping once. My lungs and my legs obeyed my mind. It was stronger than what it had led me to believe. I was stronger.

While putting one foot in front of the other and focussing on the task at hand, I consciously told myself the same thing over and over again; “mind over matter, mind over matter”. My strength does not lie in my legs, or my muscles, or my lungs. It lies in my mind. Whenever I’m faced with a tough situation I keep reminding myself of Jacob’s Ladder. If I could conquer Jacob’s Ladder, I can do anything.

Till next time… xoxo

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