Its about who you become when you pick yourself up again

We’ve all heard the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy” and I’m sure most of us are guilty of comparing ourself to others at some stage.

What about comparing ourselves with ourselves?

Ok, stay with me…

It’s always tough when you are focused on your training/goals and bam! injury strikes(or life gets in the way!) and things have to take a new path for a while.

Goals need to be reassessed and patience needs to be developed.(I’m working on that). Usually when injury happens, recovery and rehab follows and unfortunately so does loss of fitness. Its hard not to dwell on being ‘back to square one’.  You feel all those fitness goals you worked hard on are now lost and you compare your current state to back then.

This is where it becomes ‘easy’ to give up.  This is where I believe the fighter is made. This is where mental strength comes in.  Sure, your physical strength may be down for a while but don’t forget the lessons you have learnt. You have earned that knowledge and its invaluable. Your mind is stronger. Unbreakable in fact, It knows what you’ve achieved, it has felt exactly what you are capable of and it knows about your never give up attitude.

That shit ain’t going anywhere. Listen to it.

Appreciate your mind along with your body. Not compared to what you use to be able to do, or what others can do. Celebrate NOW, progress not perfection.

You can always more forward , it’s just the how that may need tweaking along the way. 

Maybe your journey is going to be tougher, harder, thrown more challenges than perhaps others..or sorry what you think others are dealt. Never fall into the trap of thinking you know someone else’s life just by looking at their social media profile.  Maybe our struggles along the way, maybe they help us get through things that are thrown at us another day..as cliche as it sounds, maybe it does make us stronger.

Let your story be defined more about the resilient person who you became when you got back up again. Let it read that she worked hard, was authentic, strong & always a fighter.

Believe in that person.

#edsrunfree

 

Be that Person

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I’m a great believer in telling someone that ‘Yes! I absolutely believe in you’.

I know the power behind those words- especially during a time that they might be finding it hard to believe themselves.

Of course I understand that the  only validation we should seek is from within.  That seeking validation from within can make us strong , unstoppable and happy.I also realise that It can be a bloody hard thing to do and that having a supportive tribe behind us, makes all the difference.

Today at my sons swimming carnival, I was reminded that at times most of us, young or old can benefit from having someone see, encourage, guide and believe in us. That ‘quiet’, ‘shy’ child sitting in the corner not participating, don’t dismiss them. Take the time to make a difference. To talk to them, to perhaps, if they want guide them through there first race. Let them know that you see them and that you really think that, yes they can do it.

Most of us at one point in our lives have had that person. That person who believes in us. Whether it be a teacher, a coach, a friend..a complete stranger! But someone who has taken the time to let us know hang on a minute, I think you can give this a go. They might have shown you, or simply offered advice.  Sometimes something as simple as giving someone 2 minutes of your time can actually be life changing.

When I talk to people in the running/fitness community most of them have a story to tell about someone/thing that got them to their first race.  I remember conversations with my trainer when I was thinking of an upcoming race, where she looked me in the eye and said “oh, of course you can”.  Recently I completed a Triathlon, that I was lucky enough to do with a friend.  It was her first Tri and I can honestly say I got more of a buzz seeing her smash her goal than I did meeting my own.  Seeing someone believe in themselves is a wonderful thing to be part of.  Be that person that genuinely wants those around them to succeed and strive. There really is enough room for everyone 😉

Be that person who encourages.

Be that person who supports.

Be that person who believes.

Be that person who takes the time to really see

Be the change you want to see in the world.

#Edsrunfree

Self hate cannot be your motivation

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It is always around this time of year when you have been enjoying endless Christmas celebrations when you hear people talking badly about the lack of fitness routine they have kept up or the ‘bad’ things they have eaten over the last week or so.  You may talk about the extra ‘punishment’ you are going to have to ‘endure’ because of all your ‘badness’.  My fave has been the image going around that rants about how many Burpees you HAVE to do after eating your plum pudding on Christmas day.

You may also be reminded to get busy making your big list of  2017 New Years Resolutions to make up for a ‘bad’ 2016.

I’m not sure about you – but none of this excites nor motivates me to want to strive for great things? You know what I think? (You should know by now that im going to tell you anyway)

Give yourself a break…

Self hate cannot be your motivation.

Sure have goals for 2017 and onwards but strive for achievements, adventures and things that make you feel alive purely because you want too. Nothing positive comes from focusing on what’s behind you.

Make your motivation/determination come from the thrill, the excitement of what your body can achieve. Do you have an event you have your eye on?  Something that you know you could work hard on, challenge yourself and feel the fun and adventure? Look around, maybe out of your comfort zone,  believe you can do it and believe you deserve it..I promise soon enough you will get it.  Trail runs, open water swims, triathlon, Fun runs, kayaking, hiking, gym sessions, social walks with friends, Tennis, Pilates…limits are endless and fun!  Forget what you think your body can’t do and start to celebrate and delve into what it can.

My biggest achievements/adventures have been met from being excited and passionate about things. The thrill of the chase, the need to train and test myself, the belief that I can. And trust me it took a long time to get there.

I believe you will get ‘more’ from your body out of self compassion and when you realise that your body isn’t the enemy.

The best motivation comes from loving yourself and loving what your body can achieve.

Go get em.

#Edsrunfree

 

 

 

 

Can we focus more on the importance of positive role models and less about super model images?

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I was in the newsagent with my boys as they were trying to convince me to buy them Pokemon cards (again).  Whilst they whispered in the corner about how to convince me, I started reading over a few of the magazines on display.  The titles were all pretty much the same and marketed to the same audience – ‘How can you change everything about yourself to look a certain way, The End’.

Can we focus more on the importance of positive role models and less about supermodel images?

The ones that made me twitch exclaimed things such as  “Get Picture Perfect Abs!”… ummmmmmmm.  Sure, I’m all for you feeling strong and healthy and if for you that involves having killer abs – great. There is nothing wrong with having yourself a set of Abs- they require hard work!. This isnt about that but can’t we move the focus? How we feel when we are working on getting strong?  The killer sports women can participate in?The adventures we can have? The way getting fit feels? Images of people demonstrating the hard work involved in these disciplines? The nitty-gritty, good stuff.   Does the end result really have to be all down to obtaining a ‘perfect’ image?

‘Picture perfect Abs’ and Instagram ‘Likes’ cant be all that we strive for or all that we show the younger generation that matters.

Children (hell even adults)  need role models that can educate them – that show them what it takes, the actions needed, the way it feels to succeed – not just superficial end goals.  Where do our kids seek out these role models? – firstly it seems to be mass media.  We as parents, teachers, sporting clubs are up for a hard task!  I try to explain and demonstrate to my boys that we are lucky to have the freedom of movement – to exercise as it makes as feel good and because we want too, it isn’t something we just have to do. It’s important to say positive things about what our bodies can DO.  That in no way shape or form do we make fun or comment on other peoples bodies.  No matter what – we are worthy of all our dreams and goals.

I’d like to see more headings such as “tops tips to feel alive, energised, determined., strong..” rather than ‘Picture perfect Abs or my pet peeve – are you bikini body ready?'(ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) .  Apart from making people feel inadequate what does it actually teach them?  I don’t want anyone to believe that nothing bloody counts or matters unless we match those ‘perfect’ images.

I love to share my running and fitness stories with you all – in no way for bragging rights – it is because I want people to understand how it makes me FEEL. The power from it.  The way it has changed me life. That fitness can be for everyBODY. I’m also lucky that my gym and running community support this feeling as well.  Whats that saying – find your tribe and love them hard.  There is no way I would have believed I could have met half my fitness goals if I was waiting for those ‘picture perfect abs’.

Oh and for those interested I may have accidentally covered those magazines with “Cross stitching for the beginner”

#Edsrunfree

Be the girl who decided to go for it

15008081_10154000697891787_1535393380_oBe the girl who decided to go for it

Yep. Brave.

It may seem simple and even obvious, but something that we seem to always forget is that yes, we can be anything we want to be.  

Now, lets not be unrealistic here. We can’t all wake and magically say “TA DA! Today I shall run the New York Marathon whilst performing brain surgery”.  No, but with working on the right combination of  the ‘big 4 D’s’ Dreams,  Discipline, Drive and Determination you are well on your way to building a powerful combination that makes nothing seem impossible.

For me personally, the main things that has perviously stopped me from getting out there and getting what I have wanted is fear , procrastination,self-doubt and the need to be validated.

Fear that you may fail. Your options here: Let fear win? .. and do nothing. Or prepare yourself enough and work hard to know that the only failure would have been not to try & then go for it.

Procrastinationyou know what I’m talking about! All those things that you do to avoid doing the things you really should be doing! Like me, right now – writing this blog – when I have a bike/run session dangling in front of me! Ha Ha.  Sometimes all those “I’ll do it later…becomes never”.  So I’m attempting to  focus on time bound goals which I think leaves little time to not just dig into it and get it done.  I find breaking down my goals and setting up a timetable to get it done helps to avoid feeling overwhelmed (yes, ok ok, I’m putting my runners on). Your options here: Twiddle your thumbs procrastinating or go for it.

Self doubt– For me this has always been a big one.  Finding confidence in myself and my abilities has always been an ongoing task.  Firstly I have to stop myself from making excuses. Do i have a legitimate reason to not go for it ? Or is it just an excuse based on worrying about what others may think or being afraid to look bad. These excuses can then become mental barriers that hold me back.  Make sure you practice self compassion – its ridiculous that we are so much more likely to be compassionate to those around us and never ourselves?!  Its hard not to doubt yourself if your inner mean girl is being a total bitch. Your options here: Give in to the doubt and do nothing or show compassion and believe in the bad arse that you are and all that you can achieve and go for it .

Validation– That need for approval from others is something that I would say the majority of us deal with.  If you are continuously asking for others approval before you will have a go then it is highly likely that you will start to question your own ability. Your options: you can ask someone elses opinion on what they think your body can do? On what they think your body can acheive?.Allow their judgements to make your decisions?  One thing I find totally ironic too is that we tend to seek validation from those who aren’t even supportive of us in the first place.  Have you ever met a hater doing better than you? Nope, me neither. So are you going to take that choice or are you going to believe in yourself enough to know you can do it and go for it.

Whats it gonna be?

Book that race/ Work on your goal? …..or watch others do it?

Go GET it

I know you can.

#Edsrunfree

Are you a participant or spectator in your life?

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I can remember clearly on way too many occasions, sitting back & watching on. Stuck on the sidelines – spectating, on my own life.

It might have been a day sitting, hidden at the beach – watching others swimming, sunbaking and having fun.

It might have been a day following friends at a race event- too scared and self conscious to ever think about having a go myself. Not even allowing myself to dream.

It might have been hearing a negative comment from someone about myself and taking it as Gospel.

Thankfully I also remember clearly the moment when I realised that I wasnt going to sit on the sidelines anymore.

I think it was having children that made me realise that not only did they deserve more from their mum, but that I deserved more for my life.  I needed to determine the direction my life was going.  I needed to replace the “Sorry I cant’s” with “Yes, Hell Yeah! – I can”.

I started to replace all the ‘Whats the worst that could happen’ scenarios with ‘Whats the best thing that could happen’ scenarios..and I started to believe in those a little more.

I had to remind myself at times that I was not going to stop myself from doing the things I wanted to do in fear of judgement of other people.  Especially from people who had rarely done anything worthwhile themselves, I might add!.

Sure, Sometimes  being a participant seems to be the hard choice. It requires work, sweat, tears…hell you might even fail at it.  It can hurt, it can be scary. But you will live & feel ever second of it.

Sometimes I find old habits creeping back. My goal this year had been to PB at the Melbourne Half Marathon, but due to injury that was on the back burner.  Luckily i had support around me (and perhaps it involved a bit of hard work haha) and instead of feeling sorry for myself on the day and just watching others compete – I was lucky enough to line up at one of the shorter events. Just to be in it was awesome. That magic feeling of running into the MCG made me forget the last few months of rehab and pain and remember the feeling of being alive.  Sometimes you have to hurt a bit to feel more.   Life will always throw something at you, but there is always something you can do with it.

The freedom of movement is something that most of us take for granted. We get so fixated and I guess, spoilt with just having the image of a perfect photoshopped body that we forget to be thankful for the freedom of movement. The freedom that many are without.  Sometimes when we get a healthy dose of what we dont want (i.e Injury) it can really remind us of what we do want.  I try not to forget it.

Your life can have some pretty amazing opportunites and you can reach those goals.

Don’t let it pass you by.

Be a participant, an adventurer.

Your Life , your body – the one you are in right now – is bloody worth it.

#Edsrunfree

How you treat yourself is how you show others to treat you

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Isn’t it funny that we can be so quick to point out and see other’s strengths and encourage them, yet we are SO quick to judge & criticise ourselves and point out our own faults.

Every now and then I find comments coming out my mouth that I know aren’t productive.  Little things, perhaps the way  I quickly fend off any compliment with a negative “oh yeh, but I’m slow” or “yeh, but I can’t do x,w,z.”  I also feel I need to point out the fact that even though I love and enjoy training and I think I work hard at it….I still feel the need to tell people that yes, Im aware that I  don’t possess the body of someone who trains up to 7 times a week or of someone who is Fit. Not only is it bloody hypocritical – It kinda defeats the purpose of everything I set out to achieve.

Which is what I might hear you ask? haha. For, me its to show myself & possibly others that every ‘body’, can do whatever they set out to achieve. Be it the Ehlers Danlos Community or just every person out there that may think their body doesn’t fit the aesthetic mould of an athlete but would love to have a go.

I think it can be ingrained in some of us that the minute someone gives us a compliment we straight away shoot it down. Sure, I admire someone being humble..but being a complete negative dick to yourself is just not cool.

When someone genuinely  ask’s your advice in regards to training for an event (that you have participated in 45342379 times) and you don’t think you are worthy to answer as you weren’t ‘fast’ is pretty ridiculous.   To straight away jump to I’m not worthy to answer your questions because like me you just think ” I’m slow,  I’m big..” is just not helpful.  Those factors disregard all the training and experience I have to offer someone. Duh.  Don’t disregard your effort as meaningless.  Don’t underestimate what you have to offer.

I need to remind myself how I think of others. Would i be making these judgments of others?

Hell no.

I would be wanting either an answer to my question or id be genuine in the compliment I was giving.  Don’t treat yourself any less, than you would treat an acquaintance.

Don’t let others or yourself treat or talk about your body with anything but 100% respect.  Sure, if you have to fake it for a while,  somewhere along the line you are going to start listening and believing in ourselves.  Besides by then you will be out there totally in love and sidetracked with adventures that you wont have the time to give to any negative judgemental dick.

My goal at the moment is to be mindful in offering myself the same support and encouragement I offer others.  I always believe in people. I always think deep down that if they only tried that thing they have always wanted to try – they would smash it!   Women who support other women are bloody unstoppable.

The next time I answer someones question or compliment about myself I will stop and think..Hmm would i say the same thing about them to their face? (without being punched in the nose? ).  One thing that always pulls me into line is to think what am I showing my boys? Am I showing them that you should always treat your body with respect and that your body  100% always deserve respect or not?    Those little ears are listening to what Mum thinks and treats  herself, and how she allows others to treat her – that message to my sons needs to be clear and strong – we all give and deserve respect.

Never forgot that how you treat yourself is how you teach others to treat you.  

Own that mofo compliment.

#Edsrunfree