I have a number of people that I sometimes imagine being with me and who I have full conversations with when they appear. Mostly men, mostly people who have been in my life at some point or another. I think there is one female, and two movie stars, one famous sports person as well. Up till today I had always berated myself about these imaginary role players. I berate myself for two reasons – firstly because I think it might be a sign that I’m disloyal to my husband because I reckon other men shouldn’t be popping into my head, secondly because I think it is an unhealthy escape mechanism from reality, which prevents me from living in the now.
Today on my four hour solitary cycle in the cradle, it dawned on me that there is a purpose for these imaginary people who pop into my head. They have certain qualities that are supportive to me in my life. If I can take these qualities and then work with them I will probably gain a lot more than ‘escaping reality’.
Let me use an example. While riding today Mat popped into my head, he is one of the UFO coaches. UFO is similar to boot camp. I imagined him cycling in the cradle and seeing me, and making a u-turn and riding home with me. The qualities I like about Mat is that he is always cheerful, always encouraging, always commenting about how strong I am and how easy squats probably are for me. When I was at UFO I always felt encouraged to push myself harder, and I felt good about my own strength and ability thanks to him.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to ride for a full 4 hours today. It can get a bit lonely and add being tired to this – it is easy to jippo if your mind is not into it. And then Mat ‘appeared’ to keep me company.
As usual I started conversing with him, and then scorned myself for trying to escape reality. But once I had my epiphany and identified the qualities I like about Mat, I no longer needed to converse with him. I could look at those qualities, see what I’m struggling with mentally, and then work with the combination. And I had no struggle to finish my whole ride, and felt pretty good about myself after I finished!
I started thinking about the other people that appear. Not all of them make sense off the top of my head, but I’m sure with this new found awareness I will figure it out in time.