My self confidence isn’t the best, and it takes me a long time to think that anything I do is better than rubbish. I am not saying that for pity, it’s just a fact. One of my closest and most wonderful friends is the total opposite: she oozes confidence and never reveals a shred of self-doubt. She’s just become a Dr, and I am in awe of her. She’s ace. I was lucky enough to live with her the whole time I was training for my last marathon and finishing up my degree, and she was always trying to drum into me the idea that I could do anything I wanted to. I try and live by Becca’s attitude to life, but sometimes it falls by the wayside.
But becoming a ‘grown up’ and not achieving much fitnesswise has seen my self-doubtitis crawling back in, but this weekend I have had a bit of an epiphany.
I am lucky enough to work with a man called Kev. He’s a mega fast runner, mega nice guy and mega good boss (not sucking up, it’s the truth). On Friday, I was walking up to the gym with him and he told me he was going to do a sub-40 minute 10km on the treadmill that session. He mentioned that he did it on that day every year. I didn’t really think much of it – apart from how fast he ran, until I realised later what day it was. You see, Kev’s dad committed suicide. And Kev’s doing everything he can to make a positive out of that situation. He has done some pretty wicked things to raise awareness for mental health: like running 52 marathons in one year and running from Paris to London. But why I am writing about Kev is purely for selfish reasons. The reason he and I are friends is because when I was training for the Brighton Marathon last year, he offered to take me out for a 5 mile tempo run once a week, to help me reach my sub 3:30 dream. He gave up his time (and we went out pretty early in the day too!) to help some student he hardly knew. And do you know what? Those runs were the runs that changed the way I saw myself as a runner and having a runner like Kev tell me I could actually do it was such a boost.
Kev knows he can do anything he sets his mind to, which is ace, but that’s pretty ordinary. What makes him special is that he thinks that anyone else can to. And for some reason, as of Friday, I now agree with him: I can, and I will do what I want to do – and be as good as I can possibly be at it.
Another thing happened which gave me this self-confidence ‘epiphany’, and it was because of another friend I only know due to the joy of running.
I went to taste CrossFit this morning, with CrossFit wonderwoman, Jen. It was fun, and if it wasn’t quite so far from home and pricey, I’d be very tempted to have in. I know some of y’all have concerns about what it’s like, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. There were no long socks, no ‘ass to grass’ type yelling, and a focus on technique. So. Anyways, Jen was churning out the pull-ups during the workout, and so I thought I’d give it a go. Nope, I just hung there and just about got my nose level with the bar – once. They’re hard! But Jen kept encouraging, kept telling me to try and telling me that I could do it, actually. I couldn’t, but something clicked with me which made me realise that the negative thoughts were part of what was making it so hard to do. I was right, I couldn’t do it: but I WILL be able to one day. There’s a reason I can’t do a pull up, and it’s because I not strong enough yet… but I will be. Jen’s worked her butt off to do one, and so can I.
From now on, if I say I can’t do something, I need to reason why I can’t do it and then work on that reason. From now on, “can’t” must be followed by “because”. “Can’t” is changable, and having a positive attitude is the difference in that – and so is a bit of self believe and self confidence.
Please watch, then share this video and let people know that suicide is not a dirty word.