Being in my head has felt—and sometimes still feels—like a prison. The part of my mind that screams “I can’t” prevents me from creating what I want. The only way out of my mental prison is to physically move my body. Only then, can I hear my mind whisper “I can.”
I sought to fan the flames of positivity by training for my first triathlon. However, as I dove into open water swims, transitions and clipless pedals, mini-breakdowns became my new normal. “I can’t” started to creep back into my rhetoric, and often. Challenging myself created a breeding ground for self-doubt. What I’m learning as I navigate through this uncharted training territory is that rather than trying to eliminate my negative thoughts, I just need to handle them differently.
In my most recent mini-panic, I observed my actions. I saw myself grab the bag of granola and plop down onto the couch, as I avoided the workouts that scared and challenged me. I watched, as I made decisions from a space of insecurity. Then, I chose to have compassion and interrupt that cycle of doubt. I decided to meet my own destructive thoughts with, “Actually, I can.” There is something very powerful in allowing the “I can’t” to exist, but having the strength to make the “I CAN” speak louder.
While I need the physical training to reach my goals this year, I know it is the mental training that I need the most. I will stand at the start line and when the gun goes off, I will scream through clenched teeth, “ACTUALLY, I CAN!”