Excuses Or Progress

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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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New Athletic Adventures

tri

I won’t lie. I love adventure.

I love new challenges and putting myself out there to experiment with new things. There’s a sick kind of rush to it. Maybe it’s doing something I’ve never done or thought I couldn’t do….whatever it is…. in the athletic arena it’s a very broad spectrum of goodies to choose from. Maybe I like pain….

Since I’ve already knocked out one big thing in this year I was after ( a 50K) and since I obviously won’t be running or training those back to back, it’s pushed me to consider other athletic challenges.

Triathlons intrique  me…. but honestly… I suck at swimming.

I mean, I can, it’s just that pool time has always kinda gone like this…. cute suit… sun… get to warm… swim for a bit… and repeat process haha

I’ve never swam intentionally or anything resembling competitive. I will admit though the last few summers of getting in the pool and pushing myself to do laps. It really feels amazing after a long run. And a not known fact maybe, but you can seriously sweat in the water.

So in view of a tri, the running and biking don’t intimidate me but the swimming does.

I however, won’t limit myself if I chose to do it.

A few years ago, I never thought I was a runner either.

My triathlon friends have shared their horror stories of being in the water with nothing but arms and legs flying everywhere and praying they didn’t get kicked unconscious before they hit land again… ha.. did I mention adventures?

I do think it’s kinda cool how they have these mini-tris to um… get your feet wet with 😉 to see if it’s something you’d like.

So there’s that possibility….

But imagine my delight when I stumbled across another event last year called a duathlon.

It’s like a tri but you run, bike, run. That… I can do…. no water involved 😉

I have done brick training before where I did a short run and then came back and did miles on the bike. Talk about doing interesting things to your legs… but that is soooo doable for me. Again I’ve found beginner races that do a 5K run, a 15 mile ride and ending with a 5K run.

So yeah…. a definite possibility in challenging myself to something new.

I have a bike… an ordinary bike that doesn’t cost as much as a good used car… however my body doesn’t seem to know that when I’m making it peddle up hills and stuff 😉 but you wonder if you need more for racing among the Corvettes and Camaros that are on the road… ah something else to consider…

I fear divorce if I want an overpriced bike haha 😉

In the ways of running…. trail running would be a new beast to conquer since it’s so different from road racing. However to practice I just need to take off down the huge canyon that’s my back yard….

trail

In tamer things, I will admit to be intriqued by the idea of fencing. Yes, that involves sword play.

Or maybe it’s  the thought I can wear black and have a sword makes me feel like some kinda super hero 😉

Of course, there is always so much more to do with running…. faster… longer.. new PR’s… I think I love running so much ’cause there’s that constant challenge to beat yourself. With that said, I do have a marathon plotted for December.

So share with me. Have you taken on a new adventure ? Or is there something you’re wanting to try out or experiment with ? Something you’ve done and never thought you could ?