You can’t stop me from being the best version of me. Not even if you tried.

IMG_2603So I ummmmed and ahhhed trying to decide if I’d share this. Ya know the whole concept of don’t give the haters an audience. True. But I’ve always tried to keep my blog honest and real so I decided on sharing (or oversharing, as I do!).

So here goes. Stick with me.

About a week ago I got a notification that I had some comments that needed approving for my blog. Someone had decided in between their very fulfilling happy life, they would share a few truths with me. I won’t go into all the details but they abused me for my weight and accused me of setting a bad example.

So where do I go from here?

I have to be really honest and say once upon a time this would have been enough to stop me. To make me stop doing what I love. I won’t lie and say I brushed him off as a keyboard warrior and didn’t think about it again. It hurt and made me question my self. It also made me angry. Mostly Angry knowing that he could have this impact on someone else out there that doesn’t have the support I luckily do.

After I went for a run (ironic huh) and cleared all those self hate inner mean girl thoughts out of my head, I put on my fighting gloves.

Obviously my blog is out there for people to read. Some people might relate, I would love if some people might feel supported enough to give something a go that they have always wanted, some people’s eyes might glaze over and keep on scrolling, some people may and do disagree with me. They are all ok responses. I’m cool with that. I don’t expect anything.

No, sorry that’s not quite correct.

I do expect something – common decency towards another human being.

So I thought it only fair to respond to this keyboard warrior and write him a letter….here goes.

Dear Mr.Micro Dick

what ever happened to you to make you so bitter?

I know I’m not perfect, but hey at least I’m not you.

Then I stopped writing – nothing can be gained or changed by arguing with an ignorant fool. And meh, I ain’t got time for you.

So instead I decided to pen a letter to my supportive tribe- the ones I will spend my time on. My family, friends, my awesome PT Carolyn, the ever supportive Titans tribe, my EMTB running crew, my Body positive tribe, my Eds crew and everyone else! ( how lucky am I Mr M. Dick?)

So take 2, here goes.

Dear Fabulous Fuckahs,

Thank you for your words of support.

Thank you for your encouragement to train when I really don’t want too.

Thank you for accepting me uncondinally as I am.

Thank you for showing me your adventures and what life has to offer.

Thank you for keeping it real, honest, sincere and supportive.

If any of you reading ever need support, encouragement, a shoulder, a wine (!!!) I will always have your back. You are the ones Im lucky to spend my time on.

Love Caz.

As for you Mr…..sorry I’ve already forgotten your name.
You wanna be at my level?

Start climbing.

#Edsrunfree

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Running slow isn’t a character flaw

IMG_2439So today I set off for my usual run. I had everything that you HAVE to have for a run: Running visor, 6 thousand dollar compression tights complete with Compression socks, the latest Hoka running shoes in the latest colours(that you have selected out of your hundred pairs of runners at home to match your outfit), anti chafe cream for all those ‘bits’, supportive bra (or four pairs of supported bras, depending on the size of your bosoms) dri fit singlet, long sleeve dri fit top with mandatory thumb holes, hydration vest with attached compess, flare & kitchen sink, fuel – gu’s, cliff bars, tailwind or just pure vodka, wireless ear buds, do not worry about undies (thats the compression tights job – so I’m told.. I just like to be pantie-less. I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to add Panties into my blog!) your phone with the latest camera to take the ultimate running selfie and last and most importantly – your Garmin running watch.

All set?

It really is a wonder we arent bloody exhausted just by all the preparation required for our run.

So yes, I was setting off on my usual run when tradegy occurred…. my Garmin flashed, what no runner wants to be flashed with… LOW BATTERY and then straight away died in the arse.

What was I to do?

No Garmin? My run not recorded. How was I able to scrutinise my run? How could I tell if it had been a good or bad run?!

So I did what any sane runner would do. I turned around and went home. No run to be recorded? That Mo Fo run NEVER happened.

Ok, so maybe this is all a slight eggaration but you get the drift.

We tend to get so caught up in times/paces/distances,  both our own and comparisons that I think most of us are guilty of forgetting to just enjoy the thrill, pain and endorphins of a good hit out.

My good friend and mentor just recently reminded me of the importance of a naked run. (Now before you get worried – I promise to never run without clothes on) but a naked run – without all the bells  and whistles… shock horror – no watch, no pace recorded. Can ya believe it? So good for the soul.

My fave most rewarding recent run was 11kms of trails with my 7 year old son. We recorded a time of 1 hour 30 something minutes which would usually have me classing it as a ‘bad,slow’ run. (Get over yourself Cazza) But his enjoyment reminded me not to become so obsessed (and boring) about racing against the clock or against my own or even others times. By doing so we forget to appreciate the feeling of strong, the feeling of freedom and take for granted the gift of movement. We won’t have it forever.

Im forever hearing comments like “I’d love to run but I can’t because …. I’m too slow or I can’t go far etc”. If you want to run – there ain’t no rules. We are sometimes stopped because of ideals of what times we should meet or body type we should have to run. Nope. If you want to run – run.  Fast, slow, big, slow – you set your terms.

Every time you step out for a run you are still moving forward. One day you won’t look back and miss the pace you ran or didn’t run or the person you beat, you will miss the exhaustion and thrill of feeling alive from your run.

The rest are minor details and really when did running slow become a character flaw?!

The way I see it :

Dream your goals quietly, focus only on yours, don’t lose the love of the run or take yourself too seriously. Strength and determination can be measured in many ways – find what’s important to you.

I like to remind myself that Running slow isn’t a character flaw – Quitting is.

#Edsrunfree

Waiting on Perfect.

IMG_2297.JPGSometimes I get stuck, distracted and even misled by what I call the ‘Waiting game’.

You know the thoughts of –

I’ll just wait for my body to get stronger before I participate in THAT gym class

I’ll just wait for my body to get smaller before I have a go and feel like I deserve to be there

I’ll just wait till my pace is faster before I enter that event

I’ll just wait until….

Until I remember that time is going to go past regardless on how I spend it.

That the ‘waiting for the perfect time’ can be your enemy. Wasting precious time pushing through the self doubt before you start to believe that hell yeah, I am worthy of this ride.

Letting the ‘waiting’ slow you down or even stop you – there lies the problem. Letting yourself get so consumed by the waiting that you forget to actually see and live the actual positive things that are happening around you right now.

Moving forward and participating in
life and in goals while things aren’t ‘perfect’ is ok – it isn’t giving up. In fact I think it’s the only way to go. Sure I can wait for my body to be smaller or stronger before I start participating. I can wait until I can smash out a group gym class before I actually participate(I’m sure you can see the irony there) or I can live my life fully right now as it is. Moving forward. Not giving up on any goals or hopes I have but living and loving myself right now. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing – it just has to be forward and positive.

You know what I’ve been thinking? What if you wake up one day after all those years of waiting and you’ve missed out on entering in those adventures because you were waiting? The freedom of movement and health is not to be taken for granted. So many don’t have it and so many have it taken away way before they ever dreamt they would. I appreciate the movement, I’m privileged to have had, especially with my little friend Ehlers Danlos Syndrome on board.

So my new drive comes from knowing I can sit and wait for the perfect everything but with the understanding that while I’m waiting – I won’t be getting any results. Or I can keep moving forward and remember that making progress is better than waiting and just making excuses.

Start being your own best friend, start to believe that it’s not what you say to everyone else – or those negative comments that people may say about you that determines your life.

Its those dreams and goals that you whisper to yourself, that you hold tight- they have the greatest power.

You have the power.

#Edsrunfree

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