Beyond the C Zone... Moving Forward through 40 Challenges

Rewind to 2015, the year I reached a roadblock in my life. My fertility journey ended with a miscarriage following my final round of IVF. I’d had years of appointments and tests, ultrasounds, a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, a diagnosis of endometriosis and low ovarian reserve, three rounds of IVF, lots of waiting, and two miscarriages. I’d got close but not close enough to hold our child in my arms...I was going to be childless.

Fast forward to 2018, the year I turned 40, the number I’d always seen as the final cut off age to fulfilling my dream of becoming a mum. I felt stuck and knew something had to change if I wanted to beat the roadblock. It’s said that life begins outside of our comfort zone and at 40. So, I decided to combine the two and do 40 challenges in the year I turned 40. I don’t mean huge, almost impossible feats (I won’t be climbing Everest just yet...I’m starting with Ben Nevis!). I mean things that will push me out of my comfort zone on a mental and physical level - big and small, one offs, and things I can continue throughout my life, things I can do with others, as well as solo challenges. I’m beginning to see that the possibilities are endless!

We’re 8 months into 2018 and it’s been one of my busiest but most fulfilling years to date. I’ve created the Beyond the C Zone project and the social media and blogging that goes with it. I’ve been learning to play the ukulele, written an article for Fertility Network UK, completed 9 Parkruns to achieve my 5k PB challenge, beaten a knee injury and run a half marathon. I’ve been on a trip to New York where, amongst other things, I braved the subway, hailed a cab and went for a run in Central Park. I’ve read over half of the 40 books on my list, danced on my own ‘with groove’ (it had anything but that!), attended a workshop on Chakras, started volunteering, and gone beyond the ‘can’t make a decision’ zone by taking my best friend on a surprise trip to celebrate her 40th Birthday.

There are still 4 months to go and it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve experienced some setbacks and, thanks to my annoying inner critic, perfectionism’s BFF, I’ve sometimes felt the fear of failure breathing down my neck. But, these things have been outweighed by the connection I’ve experienced with others, new opportunities, a sense of purpose...I’m finding me again! I’m moving forward on a new path in life and, although it’s very different to the one I imagined, I’m starting to enjoy it. I’ve chosen happiness over hurt, dug deep and found the courage to let go of childlessness and embrace new challenges and opportunities...I’m getting beyond the childless zone. The detour I’ve taken around the fertility roadblock in order to move forward reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” (Unknown)

In 2015, this seemed an impossibility but going ‘Beyond the C Zone’ in 2018 has helped make it happen.