I’ve had many events/ moments/ experiences in my life that I would consider “transformative.” Experiences where my whole concept of self & my capabilities were transformed. One of those moments was My First Triathlon. I was 20 and madly in love with someone training for Ironman. I felt inspired to “try it on.” I’d trained, I’d done the work and race day came. It was at Harrison Hot Springs. “My First Triathlon” was a sprint distance event solely for beginners. It was a 300m open water swim, 20k bike & 5k run. And it was WAY harder than I ever imagined. I found myself out on the bike course (riding my clunky mountain bike I’d ridden since grade 8) doubting myself, and my capability to do it. It was hot. I remember riding alongside some raspberry bushes feeling pretty crappy about myself and seeing this beautiful butterfly flutter past me. I thought, how pretty and kept slogging away on my ride. For the rest of the ride & into the run that butterfly followed me. And with nothing but time to think my mind wandered to the message of a butterfly. I was in a particularly curious period of my life and I had begun to believe that there was much more to life than a series of random events. So as I rode, I pondered – sure, it was August, but why did this butterfly keep showing up!?
Metamorphosis. Change. Transformation.
In that moment instead of berating myself for how slow I was or how defeated I felt as all these fitter, thinner, faster triathletes passed me, I reminded myself how FAR I’d come. In just 1 short year I’d gone from a girl who was deeply depressed & unsure about her place in the world, to one who was genuinely happy; with a great circle of friends and training for and completing my very first triathlon. In that moment I knew I was forever changed. That may sound dramatic, but crossing the finish line of “My First Triathlon” and receiving my pottery “medal” was a huge defining moment. One I’ll never forget.
That medal still hangs in my gym. That event taught me so many things (like old clunky mountain bikes don’t make for a great first experience) but mostly it taught me about the power of the mind. The ability to choose how I show up in this world and how I perceive my experiences. It showed me that my body is about so much more than my size, shape or body composition. It showed me that my inner grit is what really matters when it comes down to the wire. Because the training only gets you so far. Your body only gets you so far, it’s your mental toughness that takes you across that finish line.
Being body positive is about so much more than feeling comfortable & happy in your body. It’s about the lens through which you view your world. It’s about the attitude you take to your life and how you “show up.” It’s about the confidence with which you carry yourself and the unstoppable spirit that you possess. You are capable of so much more than you know. And it all starts with a belief in your ability to do whatever it is you decide YOU want to do. #besuperyou