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Wednesday 10 February 2016

For 40 days I’m giving up ‘Giving Up’

A recent conversation with the lovely Jessy of Jessography prompted these words about giving up. We were talking about behaviours and as it was Pancake Day the concept of giving something up for Lent came up. I’ve never really given up anything for Lent before. Rather than giving up say sugar, meat, complaining or smoking which seem to be the most popular, I’m giving up a behaviour. 

That behaviour is Giving Up to soon. Quitting. Throwing in the towel before I’ve really got past the starting blocks, stopping something after only three sessions because I'm bored. Not FULLY committing to what I was doing (or said I was going to do from the outset...I’m sure you get the idea. Sticking, you know like a stamp sticks to an envelope.

I'm interested - are you a giver upper to sooner? Or are you a keeping on keeping on no matter what-er until I’ve done it kind of person? Or somewhere in the middle?

Don’t get me wrong, I can stick and see things through but I find somethings like learning to handstand or play the guitar difficult and I am more prone to giving up too easily.

As a result of this conversation with Jessy, I’m challenging myself for 40 days to ‘Not give up’ on something. And that something is Handstands.

Handstands? Pha? Is she serious…???

Yes I am.

You see ‘Do a Handstand’ is no.12 on my 40/40 project list and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for months but as yet have not actually taken any real action on.

I signed up to Chris Salvato’s 28 day Handstand challenge on the 03 December 2014. DECEMBER 2014!! It’s now February 2016!! The daily emails arrived. I looked at three of them, then just let them pile up. I wasn’t really committed. I still have the emails though...

After I completed my epic Brecons 2 Morwenstow Adventure, doing a handstand was the next goal…but that hasn’t happened as I’ve stopped training with Team Breakthrough in Bath. It just went back to being one thing on my 40/40 list to do.

Now and again I’ll watch a you tube video of ‘How to do a handstand’ but my hands haven’t touched the floor.

I even went to see a short film at the Adventure Film Festival of a chap doing a handstand on the top of a tower on the Isle of Man to inspire me to get on with it…but that was weeks ago and yet again I’ve not started. It was Too Hard.

Today I’m committing to spending the next 40 days of lent on not giving up learning how to do a free standing handstand.

This is a challenge for me as a result of the stroke I had when I was 12, my left leg feels heavier and I have much less control over it. Sometimes it even seems to have a mind of its own!

Actually, I think part of not getting further with this is that old pal fear. Fear I’ll hurt myself.  I’m not as light and flexible as I was when I was 12 (the last time I actually did a handstand) I don’t want to end up in a crumpled heap having done myself a mischief that's for sure. 

This means that in my mind I’m struggling to actually believe I can do this and to see myself doing a handstand. Considering this, I’m going to combine the daily handstand activity/exercises with visualisations and instilling a belief that I CAN DO A HANDSTAND and see where I get to in 40 days. 

Yep you spotted that - this will allow me 12 days longer than the 28 day challenge created by Chris Salvato and possibly/hopefully more achievable for me. Will just have to see.

My ultimate goal is to do a handstand at the top of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales – which I’ll be climbing in August (no. 31 on the 40/40 list)Research shows that if you stick at something continuously for a period of between 21-30 days it is more likely to become a habit. Now, I just have to DO IT! (or JFDI right).

Here we go…

How about you – is there a behaviour you could benefit from giving up for 40 days? 
What would it be? Maybe going to bed too late, eating badly, being too hard on yourself?

I'd love to hear from you!

If I can help you by coaching you through these next 40 days with your own challenge – let me know ;-)

Pip Pip!




  1. This is great Morwhenna! Best of luck learning how to handstand. Can you position a crash mat or mattress in front of you in case you go head over...? Either way, go for it!

    Personally, once I've committed to something and told everyone I'm doing it, I pretty much always do it to the end. But only if I've thought carefully with how it fits into my life timewise. If I don't have enough time to spend on it, it ain't gonna happen!

    1. Thank you Richard. Really appreciate your encouragement. And yes to a mat. I think for the first few weeks its mainly planks and legs gradually up the wall to help build arm strength. That's a good point and observation about the fact that you'll have considered the time and how it fits in with what you are doing before announcing and committing to it.

  2. Great Morwhenna, I want to see photographic evidence! My dad was brilliant at handstands in his younger days. I can't say that I'm surprised you bottled it the first time round having sought inspiration from a man on a freakishly high tower...as Richard says, stay close to the ground! Best of luck. I'm giving up...not sure...I will keep you posted if I decide on anything

    1. hee hee sure thing! have been wondering how to be able to do that if i'm on my own. Not sure strapping the camera to either pet would work so ah...I could sue my selfie stick? it has a long arm! Either that or I'll have to wait till Mr CA gets home for any photos. And of course there will be one of me on Snowdon doing a handstand!

      He he yes that is a tall tower isn't it and when I looked him up he's bee training and doing this kind of thing since he was about 13 and I think he is nearly 30 now or so.... Staying closer to the ground is a very good tip in more ways than one! x