Sand, sun, oasis, work.

If you are anything like me right now, you’re tired. Your shoulders ache from the handstand push ups your idiot friend decided to program for your Tuesday workout and your eye lids are feeling a little heavy. You might have small ache in the low left side of your back, a niggle that has hung around too long. And a bigger, deeper ache in the upper left of your chest – a new (six month old) ache that came about on the birth of your daughter. This ache is a joyful one though and you revel slightly in its pain. Love is a two-sided blade after all.

These are the struggles, the aches and pains you will face if you are trying to build anything bigger than yourself. You have set out on a journey that is going to test you. Be ready.

No one ever sat down at the oasis without aching feet. You’re crossing a dessert. Get used to it.

I’s not like anyone in their right mind would assume that crossing a dessert would be easy. First there is the sun, that all-bright mother fucker ready to snatch you into dehydration and heat stroke at every turn. The sand, beautiful on day one – your mortal enemy by the end of the week. Hot, slippery and concealing any manner of slithering, scuttling things that want to kill you. And last, but most deadly of all there is your mind. Your mind is the real enemy in the dessert. It’s the one that first pointed you out this way on the horizon, it’s also the one that is going to tell you to quit incessantly. It will make the pain in your feet worse, the sun on your back hotter, and will most likely be distracted when you really should have seen those squiggly snake lines leading towards your path.

But you’re stuck with it.

Your job, just as much as marching forward every day towards your oasis is to wrangle that internal traveling companion of yours. Yes, your mind resides within you – but by no means are you it’s master. Yet.

It’s your minds fault that you set out this way. I mean, it was you who heard the stories, conjured the image and bought the maps to find your oasis right? You who picked that jewel beyond the sand.  You who found supplies, chose a route across and left the safety of your home.

So what’s your problem.

The aching feet are an essential piece of the journey. Did you expect the sand to be smooth and cool? The sun to be hidden by clouds and the wind to be always at your back? I don’t think so.

So why are you surprised when your walking leaves you a little sun-kissed? Maybe even a tad burnt around the edges.

One thing I can promise you. Every story I’ve heard from those who have sat around that crystal clear pool – involved aching feet. There is no oasis without the walk after all. When you arrive the water is fresh, the trees and wildlife a welcome site for dry eyes. I would promise you that in a week by this pool your thoughts of the dessert will disappear – but I haven’t made it there myself yet.

I am writing you this with sand at my feet, hoping you and I can continue to push on over one more dune.

But when we make it, I have one more prediction. The water will be amazing, for a day. But chances are for the remaining six days of the week, we will again seek out stories and maps of the next oasis.

Maybe we should take a guide next time? Or at least some fucking shoes.