Start where you are.
Start with fear.
Start with pain.
Start with doubt.
Start with hands shaking.
Start with voice trembling, but start.
Start and don’t stop.
Start where you are and with what you have.
It may seem easy for me to say this now, once you’ve actually started it’s so much less difficult and terrifying. When I moved to Noosa and decided to join the Tri Club swim squads I actually went to the pool several times over a couple of weeks, too nervous to join in so just swam by myself in the lanes near them, eventually biting the bullet and never looking back. Recently I started a Women’s Ride in Noosa, not being sexist of course, if males really want to join us they can (especially young single ones ;-)). But the reason I made it a women’s ride was to eliminate testosterone and lessen the intimidation. Establishing a regular ride that would encourage more women on bikes and into cycling/triathlon, and meet new people along the way.
So far the response has been great, every single lady who has joined us has loved it and benefited for their own reasons. Some use it as a training session, some as a recovery ride, some to escape the kids for ‘me time’ and others for the social aspect. As for me, well it is one of my favourite parts of the week. I started triathlon as a hobby, to meet people, increase my fitness and get more out of life. This ride ticks every box, and brings me back to reality, we are doing this because we love it, so why not take the time to actually enjoy it. Sure it’s important to push yourself, do the hard yards and do some things you don’t exactly enjoy (like windtraining- are you listening coach?), but make sure you do the fun things too.
Sorry, I have got a bit side tracked, that wasn’t the purpose of my post. Back to starting now, I know a few people who would like to join our group ride but are just working themselves up to it. They think we’re too fast, or too scary or the routes are too hard, or they are just nervous… All understandable but unwarranted thoughts, we really are the friendliest bunch you will ever meet (if I do say so myself) and you will never ever know if you never ever go!
So why do we have these questions and doubts? If we didn’t think we were at all capable of doing it then it wouldn’t be on our minds. The fact that one little part of our brain is saying ‘what if?’ means you are probably capable of it.
And it’s not just our group ride that this is applicable to, are you considering doing a fun run this year? Enrolling in a course? Losing 10kg? Putting in for a promotion? Having a career change? Or registering for your very first triathlon (you know you want to)! You wont know if you’re able or capable unless you try, it’s Monday, take the first step, do one thing today that will put you closer to your dreams, a year from now you will wish you had started today.
I am not Peta Perfect don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely things that scare me so I put off doing them. I actually have written a few blog posts that are topical and interesting (again clearly just my opinion) but a bit too honest and scary to put out there for the world to read just yet. Opening yourself up to criticism is difficult, and I think that’s why a lot of us struggle, but at the end of the day as Dr Seuss famously wrote ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
But if we put those things aside, the fear of failure, the worry that it will hurt or we won’t make it, the possibilities of what people might think, then we might actually surprise ourselves. Better yet we might actually surprise others, and possibly even inspire them. I don’t mind criticism or eyeballing at some of my posts, because every time I find out that I have inspired one person to get off the couch and get moving it cancels out any negativity. I was nervous to start this Ladies ride as I had the fear of failure, what if nobody turned up? Although I really had nothing to lose it still worried me. I shouldn’t have worried, each week we have seen new people join us, today we had four fresh faces, and every single one of them enjoyed themselves and were so glad they came along… That in itself literally made my day and I knew it was all worthwhile.
I hope your week is off to as good a start as mine, and until next time, remember the most important step of all is the first step. Start something.
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