What if my best isn’t good enough?

Alarm buzzes.

4am.

It’s not like I needed waking up. I’ve had my own inner alarm sounding every hour on the hour.

My inner voice starts. I could roll back over to sleep and enjoy a Sunday morning sleep in.

Something encourages me to get up.  Something always allows me to take that first step to get what I’ve trained for down.

Everything is ready to go. Helmet is double checked, surely three pairs of goggles with be ok, bike has been serviced and tyres have been checked..and rechecked…you get the picture.

Training sessions are complete.

I know I’m ready.

or am I?

What if my best isn’t good enough?

This  Triathlon is out of my comfort zone. I’m completing it solo, no one to have a morning freak out with, it’s not just aimed at the beginner, its male and female and I’ve never ran,cycled or swam the course before.  But I’m trained. I know I’m ready. My mantra “You are ready, you have trained for this” plays over in my head.

These words allow me to get dressed, ready and start the drive in.

I arrive on time and start the process of racking my bike.

Self doubt starts to creep in. These people look serious. What if I come last?

My mental training kicks in. Go through the motions, rack your bike and get your gear ready..like you have practiced many times before.  Get the job done.

I remind myself that the only way to remove doubt – is ACTION. Keep moving forward.  To recognise these doubts for what they are – excuses, reasons to not try. To not experience all that I can, all that I KNOW I can.  That its most important when in doubt – to fully back myself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or judges me, that’s their problem, not my problem. I just need to stay committed to my goals. And keep going through the motions. I’m ready.

I start to loosen up.  Soak in the vibes. Everyone is chatting about being nervous for the swim. I start to let myself enjoy it.  Remind myself that self-doubt is not going to get in the way of me enjoying and finishing this race.  That I can be unstoppable.

My wave starts. The swim is my strongest leg and I remember to control my breathing, and let myself go out hard. Go hard and hold on is my mantra for the swim leg.  Thankfully this comes together and I finish the swim leg confidently and feeling strong.  Those inner self doubt voices start to soften in the background.
My nemeses the Bike leg stares me down and I know this is my biggest mental battle.  As my legs burn and I try to confidently hold my place without letting intimidation beat me down. Slowly but steadily the Km’s crack along.  I will only focus on the physical obstacles, I will not let my mind be one of them.  Finally its time for the dismount – I’m as graceful as ever! 😉 But its done.

The run leg whilst I’ve trained, my pace isn’t where I would like it to be.  But I know Ive overcome some injuries and I don’t let that doubt slow me down even further.  For the first time I allow myself to smile.  I know Ive got this.  And not even the chafing in indescribable places will stop me.

The finish line is sweet and I will admit a bloody relief.

Are my times ‘good’ enough? I can improve, I can always improve. And I believe I will.  I met my goals and hey..maybe to some they aren’t good enough, maybe id like to get faster, especially on the bike..what can I do? I can just bloody keep trying. Keep pushing forward to achieve my best efforts. Simple.

The only time your best isn’t good enough is when you let it stop you.

Back yourself.

#Edsrunfree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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