Yesterday I completed a super-sprint triathlon and I have to say I’m feeling really bloody proud of myself. There is lots that I have accomplished and achieved in life that creates a sense of pride but this time it just seemed different.
Completing yet another physically demanding challenge. The battering my mind, body and soul has taken over the years, it still astonishes me that I am even capable of doing such sports. Or rather that I’ve got the oomph, energy, willpower and desire to want to even take part in the first place.
Yet there I was. Standing by the poolside. Excited, strong, fit, healthy, confident and mentally in such a good place. About to complete my fourth triathlon. Such a privilege and an event that is unachievable for so many. So what made yesterday so different? What triggered me into writing this?
It was a conversation I had with my father as I was walking back to the car after the event. I was talking about how others taking part would be so much faster than me. To which he said, ‘but they might not have been through what you have been through. Things could have been so different’.
Every now and again I am reminded but it was in that very moment the enormity of what I’ve been through hit me. In which case why was I comparing myself to others? Especially triathletes. That’s just crazy talk. A feeling that very swiftly left my thought process when I reminded myself that I actually think I’m awesome. I mean it too.
Yes. You did read right. I think I am awesome. There I’ve said it. A bit cocky and over-confident you might think. No-one likes a show-off you might mutter. She’s full of herself one could assume but hear me out.
I mean it. With a passion. I look in the mirror and I truly believe that I am awesome. Have I always felt like this? No. It has taken a lot of help, support, guidance and being kind to myself to get this far. We don’t like to big ourselves up. That’s the problem. Or at least so openly. For fear that folk might mock us. Yet with pride comes the sense that you have been successful or done well at something. To feel proud you know that you have done well. To be proud evokes a sensation of absolute elation. To have that generally means you have done something awesome. So why not say it? We are all awesome. In our own special ways.
I only say this because things could have been so very different. I might not be here to relish in the sheer sensation that is crowds cheering as you pass. Or crossing the finish line. Or celebrating with family and friends at the completion and sharing stories. Or uploading photos to share with those that care and love me. I could have lost my willingness to participate in events like this. I could have lost my sportiness, fitness and my strength. I could have lost my oomph altogether. The muscular injuries to my feet, ankles and legs I have had over the past year could not have healed. The operations and long-term effects of treatment I have had could have put a halt to all of this. Alas, the stubborn intrepid persevering adventurer in me wins the day.
As a result I earned myself another sparkly shiny well-deserved medal to add to my ever-growing collection and a sheer sense of pride that will last a lifetime. It’s a wonderful feeling that’s for sure.