Excuses Or Progress


I was in the cycling shop buying my shoes before I went to purchase my bike. Evidently finding cycling shoes for women in shops is …slim… and the odds get even slimmer when you you’re 6’0 tall and don’t have a small foot. What’s a girl to do ??? The visions of the hot pink and black ones I had seen online were rapidly vanishing from my mind… he presented me with a white pair that honestly, reminded me of nursing shoes.

The guy assisting me was super helpful patiently answering my questions and made a suggestion to try some neutral looking guy shoes all the while explaining it was just really hard to carry lots of styles in all sizes, especially larger ones where they might not sell them…. sigh.. ok…

He brought a few pair out and had me try them on. I did love one pair but the colors were neon yellow and black… and the fashion part girl of me… tells him.. “but my bike is red and black.. I really see it all clashing! haha”

He informed me that “I’d be highly visible on the road…” ok, well he had that right… I’d look like I worked for the road crew 😉

I finally settled on the red and black ones that I purchased. Yeah, ok, it looks all sharp with my bike, but I loved the style and fit too… so… that was a win.

While we  were doing all this he asked me what I was training for and what my goals were. I told him about my running history, my slow venture into the cycling world, my injury that forced me off running for awhile, and how that kept me on the road doing more cycling.

I told him I had a duathlon in my sights as something I really wanted to tackle ( A duathlon is a run, bike, run race if you don’t know)

He looked me over and said… “don’t discount doing a triathlon.”

I laughed and then I heard the same response come out of my mouth that I typically give when that topic comes up… “Yeah, well, I’ve thought of that, but I really kinda suck at swimming. I know I can train and be strong with the “run/cycle” thing. Not so sure about swimming part”

He looked at me again and said, “with your long arms and legs, you’d be strong and able to cover a lot of space in a single stroke. Don’t sell yourself short. Keep the tri idea in your mind. I think you’d be good at it.”

There it was. Again. I was making an excuse.

I’m a woman who has, for quite awhile now, not settled for excuses. Especially when it comes to pursuing fitness.

I’ve stomped down excuses that would keep me from working out, from pushing myself harder, from taking on new things, big things, that I would’ve never thought I’d do.

I’ve not let excuses stand in my way of doing something.

Yet…. I find myself offering up the excuse that I’m not that great at swimming so I probably won’t be doing a tri.

Excuse:  attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify

It made me think again. Made me think about where I had come from.

8 years ago, I wasn’t a runner. Heck, I didn’t even want to do my 2 mile walk.

The idea of running a race was a far fetched and laughable idea to me. In fact, even after I had started running and a friend suggested I do a half marathon, I laughed and said “that’s what other people do!”

Yet, two months later, I quit making excuses, acknowledged I could do it and signed up.

I’ve made it my personal mission to slowly, steadily, remove excuses from taking on new things.

Half marathons, full marathons, a 50K… those things didn’t happen with me making excuses.

So… therein is my perplexity at allowing myself to hold on to an excuse that would keep me from something new, and holds me back from new hitting new goals.

“I suck at swimming”.

Ok, so I was always more about looking cute poolside, tanning, and swimming around a few casual laps to cool off over doing power laps.

That is definitely not the kind of swimming needed in a competitive sport like a triathlon.

May I be honest? I hate my face being totally in the water. I feel like a whale attempting to not beach itself. I feel awkward and out of my element.

Ah… is there a better breeding ground to stomp down excuses, learn something new, and prove to myself (again) that yes, I can do it ?

So that’s where I’m at. I don’t want an excuse to hold me back from a new experience. Oh, it will be baby steps. I’m not looking to accomplish this in the next few months. I’m going to be more purposeful in my swimming. I’m going to treat it as a new skill I’m wanting to improve on.  Maybe I’ll get a few lessons in to build my confidence.

I’m going to set it on the horizon as something I want to shoot for.

Then… when the time is right.. I’ll be ready to get my feet wet. Maybe a sprint tri to get the feel and rhythm of the whole entire event.

I will be competing against no one but myself, and the excuse I shot down.

I’ve realized I’ve worked to hard these past few years pushing through excuses to allow this one to stand in my way.

If there’s one thing that troubles me either talking with people or maybe working with them one on one or even a group, is when they use excuses to stand in their way of accomplishing what they need to do. Maybe because I’ve seen them before in my life it’s easier for me to call them out, to see and hear them clearly.   Excuses can hinder us from living into our full potential or growing ourselves in exhilarating ways we never thought possible.

Don’t let excuses stand in the way of what you’re pursuing. Excuses hinder our dreams and success.  You can do anything you set your mind to.

Have you been hindered before by excuses from doing something? How did you overcome them? Do you feel you are making an excuse now for not doing something?


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8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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