The Courage To Try

I am in complete awe of my children most days and this time it was because of their swimming abilities. 

When you live on the coast like we do and are either at the beach or a pool most weekends in summer, it is imperative that your children learn to swim. For me, that means my kids attend swim lessons all year round. Even on those frosty winter days when you don’t want to get out of your PJ’s. 

In the past few weeks both my kids have gone through a ‘swim spurt’. You know, a little like a growth spurt when all of a sudden you turn around and they have grown a few inches. 

A ‘swim spurt’ is very similar, they have gone from their teacher stopping them at the 20m mark to all of a sudden swimming laps, doing fully fledged freestyle. 

A few days ago I watched as my four year old daughter swam 2 laps freestyle (50m) all by herself. I caught myself smiling from ear to ear and saying ‘go bubba’ out loud as I desperately wanted for her to feel my support (and not sink to the bottom, due to exhaustion).

Whilst in the lane next to her, my son was working hard to develop his breaststroke skills. This is such a huge achievement. Never did I think my little boy born with Talipes (Club foot) would be able to run, swim, balance and plays soccer and tee-ball with the best of them. 

I am a proud Mumma. 

After the lesson, I had two exhausted little bubba's on my hand. They had clearly given it their all. When I asked my Little Miss did she feel like stopping she said “Yeah, but I had to get to the other end first”. 

I had to get to the other end!” Interesting dialogue from a 4 year old. 

Yesterday, I participated in my first CrossFit competition and had to adopt her wise mentality.

I started CrossFit almost a year ago, after competing in three ½ marathons in a 1 ½  year span.  My body was left a little wounded and I was suffering from a few niggling injuries. 

My husband had done a trial session at the local CrossFit box and recommended I go and try it “You’ll love it Karl's, it’s right up your alley.” They were his famous last words. 

I remember doing my first session and thinking that this was something that I could really enjoy. It had an element of skill, fitness and the session was diverse enough to leave me wanting more. Not to mention the tribe of people that welcomed me in. 

Over the past few months, the weight that I can lift has increased and the difficulty of the gymnastics moves is getting harder. I am constantly challenged with a host of new movements and skills that I still want to master. 

Before the competition I was riddled with anxiety. What happens if I can’t do the movements? What happens if I can’t lift the weight? What if I am completely out of my league? What if I let my team down? What if my kids are watching and I look like a complete fool? 

Crap….what had I got myself into!

This called for operation “Shut down the mean girl.” That negative voice in your head that can take over if you let her. The voice that has you questioning your ability, making you feel sick to your stomach. 

I started to tell myself repeatedly 

“You can do this”

“You’ve got it”

“Just do your best”

“You just need to get to the end.” 

My mean girls voice got quieter and quieter and I was pumped to get into the first workout. 

12 minutes of pull ups, push press, cleans, kettlebell swings, walls balls and thrusters in a team of 4. 

It was sensational, from the time we started to the time it ended, I had my game face on. I was focussed and going to give it all that I had. It felt amazing and as I executed each movement I kept the internal dialogue going, just reassuring myself that I was on track and to keep pushing. 

Adrenalin was pumping.

I loved every second of it. 

Karlie - 1

Mean girl - 0

After a few hours it was time for workout #2. Same mean girl thoughts started creeping in. “How am I going to pull a 80kg sled?” “Geez, that’s a lots of monkey bars”, “I don’t want to be the one that falls.” 

Then just before we started I heard a calm voice in my head say ‘Smash it!’

We started and as a team we worked so well together, the weights didn’t feel that heavy, I channelled my inner child on all the monkey bar movements and got from one end to the other as quick as I could. The 80kg sled felt like it was 20kg with the amount of excitement pumping through my body. 

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I could hear my kids cheering me on and it just motivated me even more to give it my best shot. 

The workout was over, we had worked so hard and given it our all. It was an incredible feeling and I am super proud of my team for smashing it!

From every experience like this, there is an opportunity for growth. So what did I learn.

Top 5 Take Aways From My First CrossFit Competition

1. Don’t let yourself be your own worst enemy- Don’t listen to your mean girl. Use positive self talk and affirmations to continually remind yourself that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. 

2. The Importance of your Sporty Sisters - Competing as a team with 3 other amazing women was incredible. Draw from each others energy, excitement and uplift each other so that you can all reach your true potential. Confidence is infectious. 

3. The Power of Competition - When it is game time, amazing things happen. Weights feel lighter, movements feel easier, the pumping music goes quiet and there is an incredible sense of strength that radiates through your body. Utilise it. I witnessed and heard many girls make comments like ‘There was no way I thought I would be able to do that.”

4. I love to compete - It has been about a year since my last ½ marathon and boy have I missed the feeling of competition. It reminded me to set fitness goals that are only a few months apart. They don’t have to be big, it may be a fun run, an obstacle course or a local CrossFit comp. But setting goals keeps your focussed, motivated and inspired.

5.Courage leads to personal growth - By being courageous and putting yourself out there to try new things you are growing as an individual.  I witnessed many ‘game faces’ yesterday. You know the one, where there face is all screwed up and you can tell that they are just busting a gut. So many women displaying courage to overcome their fears and anxieties to compete within teams of strong like minded ladies. I know for a fact this mumma grew a lot from my experience yesterday. 

I am so proud of all the gals that competed. It was so lovely to spend the day with like minded sporty sisters and witness so many of us do our best and overcome challenges. 

Let's get chatting......have you quietened your mean girls lately? Let me know in the comments x