So, I’ve been spending my lockdown time effectively (?!?) by looking back over photos from last year because a whole host of things have happened in a year.
As I was mindlessly scrolling through photos, I came across this one which made my tummy flip.
This was me last year crossing the line at my first Ironman. I had trained for this whilst looking after a 10 month old and 2.5 year old. With my husband in Afghanistan. Oh yes, whilst suffering with post natal depression.
Why? Because I wanted to prove to myself that it’s all doable.
That if I could do this, I could do anything.
The pressure was immense. I basically put my whole future on being able to cross that finish line. For this one moment in time.
I dreamt about running over that line with the announcer calling my name with my kids in my arms (and the Prosecco after- I’m not going to lie!). On the hard days, this was all that kept me going.
This got me out on 6 hour bike rides on 4 hours of sleep.
This got my butt on the turbo when all I wanted was to flop on the sofa with a cold glass of sauvignon.
Why am I sharing this? Because it shows that you can achieve so much when you really want it.
It’s not about look at what I’ve done. It’s about look what you can do.
But here’s the kicker – only when you know why you’re doing it.
Just wanting to say I’d done an Ironman wouldn’t have made me train so hard. It wouldn’t have made me get back in open water again after another panic attack (deep routed fear of open water – seriously worst triathlete material ever).
But knowing that I wanted to prove that I could do something so incredibly BIG in my eyes, made me do it.
Wanting to see the look on my kids faces made me do it. Having the knowledge that I’d faced up to something so big and so far out of my comfort zone at one of the most difficult times of my life, made me do it.
So if you’re thinking about doing anything right now, do you have a strong enough reason. A strong enough why.
Something that will get you out of bed when you want to curl up under the covers and hit snooze. Something that will stand up to others scrutiny. Something that will stand up to your own?
Because if you don’t know your why (and I mean the real why, not the surface level one) then you will get knocked off track. If your conviction of why you are doing something isn’t so strong, so clear, so compelling, then frustration and being stuck will haunt you.
If you’re doing something that’s testing you and you think, ‘why am I bothering’ take the time out to really answer that question. Why are you bothering? And when you get the first answer, ask why that is important to you. And then why again. And again. And again.
Eventually you will leave the answers from your head behind and reach the answers from your heart.
This is where the good stuff lies.
This is where you get the real answers as to why you are doing something and these are the ones that will make you stay the course.
So if you’re telling yourself you need more time, more money, more [FILL IN YOUR OWN BLANK HERE] before you do something, know that these are all requests for further clarity.
If you truly knew why you wanted to do something, you would find a way. But if you don’t know why, there will always be something else that you need more of before you can start.
So don’t ask yourself what you’re going to do. Ask yourself why you’re going to do it.
Does that mean that knowing my why made it a bed of roses for me and I just glided to the finish?
Soooo far from the truth!
I had panic attacks, suspected Weil’s disease (thankfully misdiagnosed), more breakdowns than I care to remember and a complete meltdown which put my husband on the next flight back from Afghanistan to look after me.
Was it worth it. Every-single-oh-my-god-i-can’t-do-this-second.
But the fact is, I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t had a strong enough why.
So let me know if you’re trying to do something at the moment which is just feeling like an uphill battle. Like everything is a struggle and nothing is flowing.
You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for.