“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
I love this quote; I used to read it over and over again when was given Little Women as a present. As a child I wondered what my castle in the air would look like, would there be a wicked fairy or a handsome prince? Would I be the princess or perhaps a Cinderella type heroine, rags to riches? I guess at a young age you don’t realise what the full quote actually means and reading it again, as an adult, I have come to the conclusion that knowing what your ‘castle’ looks like and having the key is fine but getting there to open the door is a very different thing.
Take for example, the gym and I. A love-hate relationship that has been a huge part of my life for almost a year!
- The castle is my health, physical and mental
- The key is my fitness regime
- The door? Well that is the question!
So many of us start out on a fitness regime and have a very clear goal! Losing a stone or two, toning up the tummy to be able to fit the skinny jeans or being able to run a marathon but, quite often when we start out on our hard slog to hit that target, things change. Our determination waivers, we suffer a setback or, God forbid, have an injury! So we need to change the key to fit a different door. But what is the door? For me it is the way forward behind which is another room that I need to get through to finally reach the ‘treasure’.
I have never fooled myself into thinking that this regime would be easy, trying to get a lazy body up off its ass and start humping weights around is no simple thing to do. The temptation to sit down in the first room you come to, curl up by the fire with a good book and say I’ll try the key in that other door tomorrow, is huge! But if you do get up and get going, you will find that one day, after a lot of difficulty to get the key to fit the door, you will finally get it to open.
How do I know this? Well the other day this ‘princess’ was walking down the road when a friend I know well walked up behind me and slapped me on the butt. “Cute ass Coleman, whatever you are doing is working, keep going!” Now a year ago I would have socked him one in the gob for being so cheeky but today he got was a thanks and don’t touch my butt again. So perhaps I finally have the key to open those doors, the determination to sort stubborn locks and if the door sticks, to put my shoulder to it and shove it open.
Do I have a specific goal in mind? Yep, to look fabulous when I turn 50 and to make sure that for my next half century I remain the fairy princess that will survive to open many more castle doors!