As previously mentioned, I spoke this past week at the Multisport Madness Youth Triathlon Team end of season banquet. I got to talk to a whole bunch of triathlon minded kids about the sport I love so much. These kids were experts, they had been to national championships, some of them had won national titles. I was so impressed and inspired by the love and passion and natural ease these kids had.
As I was prepping for my speech I really had to do some introspection. I mainly was thinking about when I was young and what stopped me from realizing my potential. Why did it take until after I had Annie (which granted was pretty young) to get a kick in the butt to go chase my dreams?
I don't really know.
But I do remember how concerned I was for so many years with what others though about my actions, and what others thought about me. I was afraid when I would decide to do something or not do something. I recognize NOW that I often thought about how others would view those decisions...and not in a good way.
Now having had some success in sport, and life, and coaching others I have a unique vantage point to look back. I can look in the rear view mirror and look for trends that enabled me to succeed.
When I did that, the biggest overarching theme I could come up with was TAKING RISKS. Every time I have had success in this sport it came on the coat tails of taking what I saw as a big risk. When I have been down in the dumps and performing poorly, it's come from me being risk adverse, and choosing to remain in my comfort zone, or it was because I was making decisions based on my fear of other peoples opinions.
Taking risks requires confidence. You have to be okay with putting aside what others think about you and your actions. I heard a quote a few years back that really stuck with me.
People are going to judge your actions, because they are trying to learn from the world just like you. Don't take it personally, we are each on our own path, always leading to different places. Take the risk to do things your own way. Aim to forge your own path, built on the mistakes and lessons learned from your past, not other peoples.
Also looking back I understood that pain is involved. I seem to handle physical pain pretty well. I can run with blisters, and my muscles screaming. I can tell my legs to shut up and most the time I can do it with a smile. But whereas I am bomber with physical pain, I struggle with emotional pain. Past experiences effect me deeply and I struggle to move past previous emotional pain. Letting go of negative experiences has been a trigger to my success in sport, life, and coaching.
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. ---John Holmes
Relentless positivity is a work in progress for me, but when I am successful at it, my accomplishments seem to turn wicked positive! I have to chase the fun. If I am enjoying the process, and stepping out of my comfort zone, I am in the pocket.
I talked to the Multisport Madness kids about an Ah-hah I had. I have realized that when I am scared of something, I must go more in that direction. When my body or my mind fears a situation, a light bulb goes off. Progress towards my goals is made when I don't hesitate, I don't question, I just sense the fear, and move in a direction straight towards the source of my angst.
When I was in Hawaii I went cliff jumping on one of my last days there. I remember stepping up to the cliff, to this little ledge and feeling the fear. It was tangible, that breathless feeling. My heart was racing and I could feel that paralyzing feeling while my brain tried to catch up with the fear. Before it could catch up, and not 3 seconds after I started to feel it, I jumped.
I don't remember what it looked like on the way down, or how the water felt when I hit. I remember most of my bikini ending up in places it wasn't meant to be. The feeling I mostly felt was satisfaction because I could look at the fear, not hesitate, and go for it.