.5lb loss; 34.5lb total; 12.5lb in 2014
In our first few weeks of working with Sue, the hypnotherapist, she spoke a lot about benefit of considering our life experiences as tools to be placed in a tool box. The idea being, that assuming we reflect and learn from those experiences, the outcome is a bank of transferable skills that can be adapted for use in most situations. Situations for example, such as training for an event such as an Ironman.
In my previous role as a teacher, we use to call it Kolbs learning cycle. According to http://www.simplypsychology.org ‘Kolb states that learning involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations. In Kolb’s theory, the impetus for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences.’
A toolbox full of experiences.
Sue made me realise early on that I already had the skills and experience to achieve my goal of finishing the Ironman.
The time had already been invested.
For example, I know how to swim, and ride a bike. I have completed several marathons, so they no longer scare me. I’ve done long distance events (Ironman Switzerland and LEJOG) so I know I can be mentally tough enough. I also know how to break those things down into more manageable chunks and then put them back together again. I know about nutrition, hydration and have experience of how the two go together in different conditions. I know how to build training plans and amend them if things don’t go quite right. I recognise the importance of core strength and generally how to execute it.
As I delved in and shuffled stuff in it around, I realised I had one heck of a toolbox.
All I really needed was to ensure I had the desire to utilize those skills (AKA enough ooomph to get off the couch and train). A favourite mantra of mine has always been, ‘You can achieve anything you want, you just need to want it ENOUGH’ (and believe you are worthy of the achievement).
Over the last few years, the bit in the parenthesis was the bit I forgot.
Self-esteem and confidence are the vital ingredients of any long term goal. To paraphrase a well known hair advert, ‘Because you’re worth it’.
Last Sunday I led the cycle train down to Worthing. The road was very busy. The noise of the traffic around us was vast and exclusive. With a forceful headwind to contend with as well as the traffic, we found ourselves in single file, pedalling consistently, quietly but resolutely. With little opportunity to talk I found myself instead reflecting. It was then that it occurred to me that slowly but surely over the last few months, healthy doses of both self-esteem and confidence have been added to the tool box.
I thought about my sessions with Peter. His calm belief in my ability to lift the ever increasing weights on the bar (and his joy when I do). His kindness and encouragement. His PT doctrines ‘You control your breathing, it does not control you’ that have helped and made me laugh in equal measures. But mostly I thought about my ability to lift the weights and turn myself from an de-conditioned, weak person to a strong, confident woman.
I thought about my sessions with Barrie. His belief that you are always able to give that little bit more, even when you think you are giving it your all, has rang true time after time. Especially when the maximum heart rate figure goes up and up. There are times when I have really, really struggled. Enough for Barrie to serenade my legs with Chicago’s ‘If you leave me now’ last week. But I have learned to be brave and never to give up. I’ve learned I have resilience in spades and also reminded myself that things will always come good in the end. Especially when transferring the effort in the shed to outdoors.
I thought about Sue and I didn’t really know where to start. I learned that my sessions with her have been like therapy. And the process of talking things through clarifies the thoughts in my head. I’ve learned that I like to share the humorous experiences with her and it’s made me realise just how much I have enjoyed the training. I’ve also learned that discussing my failures has made me reflect on them and renew the determination to do better next time. And reliving my triumphs have made me even more proud of them.
I thought about the friends behind me. The humorous camaraderie we have developed. Their willingness to join us on long rides and runs at all times of the day and how I could do this on my own, but it’s so much better with people behind you.
And then we reached Worthing and all the philosophising stopped and the more important search for a decent cafe began.
And of course you never stop learning, over the last few months here are some of the things that have been added (or replenished) in my tool box…
True love of exercise comes with competence and fitness.
Personal bests equal an extra packet of motivation to train.
You don’t have to be the best to take part. But it motivates if you do your best when you are there.
Your training doesn’t always go to plan, so make sure you have scheduled enough time to back it up
Although you can do it on your own, its so much nicer to have a support network of friends, experts and loved ones.
Bravery will out
And trips to the seaside on Piri are always worthwhile.