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When you hit the zone and work is easy, isn’t it wonderful?  But what do you do when the inspiration, and the energy, runs out?  Well, that happened to me today – not for the first time, I might add.  Sometimes I just finish the sample or scarf that I’m weaving, and get up and walk away.  Sometimes, I just get up and walk away!!  But sometimes, I continue on, doggedly determined to see it through to the end. 

That’s what I did today.  I’d woven two sets of 4 samples of texture weaving.  I was on a roll.  It was wonderful.  Then half way through the 3rd set, the energy just drained away.  My back started aching, my brain ceased functionally normally (well, at least what passes for normal for me!), and I felt that ‘uhhhhhhh’ feeling.  Should I get up and leave it for today, or should I batten down the hatches and crank up the determination factor?  I decided on the latter. 

Sometimes, that doesn’t work.  You carry on working, but everything goes disastrously wrong.  Then it’s definitely better to take a break and come back when you are feeling brighter and more optimistic.  But sometimes, sheer determination can win through.  The back still aches, but you put the mind somewhere between reality and dreaming, and keep on working.  Yes, it feels heavy – hard work instead of ease.  But by focussing on the actions of weaving with part of your brain, and letting another part drift away, you can work through it. 

My mum said to me once that that’s what makes a person stronger.  Everyone can do things when they are inspired and full of energy, but not everyone can keep going when things get hard.  When energy and inspiration drain away, that’s when character kicks in.  And those who persist strengthen their character, their will, their determination, and they will succeed. 

You see that in athletes and people who excel in any subject.  They are there by sheer persistence, dogged determination that that’s what they want to do, even in the tough times when the body or the conscious mind wants to give up.  That’s what makes explorers carry on despite facing almost certain death. 

Where does this tenacity lie?  Heaven only knows.  I only know that when I grit my teeth and get myself through a difficult patch, I am increasing my chances of achieving my ultimate goals and in the process am making myself a stronger person. 

This doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit, though.  Family and friends and supporters play a huge role in helping people to achieve great things.  Witness the support for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes in 2008.  For me, as a teenager, my first ever time in a canoe was a lesson in more ways than one.  I was in a 5 mile race!!  I was about to give up when another paddler from a different class caught up with me.  He could easily have gone on to finish his race in a good time, but he stayed with me and encouraged me right through to where we could see the finish line.  I don’t know who was proudest of their achievement – the winners of the race or me!  But I do know that without his help, I wouldn’t have made it. 

So if my words can help you get through your weaving problems, I hope you’ll pass it on to others!