Apparently this is what my blog is famous for. Or at least with my friend Laura. I’ve only known her for around 6 months and we met through my blog (sounds like some weird 2k16 lesbian romcom… it ain’t). Laura reckons:
This makes me laugh… “the dark side of it all”. Darth Macpherson over here. I see her point though and my other friend Neil reckoned something similar. They both like my blog because apparently I am very honest. Well good.
I really struggle with some of the Instagram accounts and blog sites out there these days. I know people are trying to spread positivity and health and hope and that’s great! But some of us don’t need it rammed down our throats. Take the vegan stuff for example. You have GOT to have a sense of humour about stuff. Well I think you do anyway. I experiment and change my mind so often I KNOW people think it’s funny. My mother thinks I’m mental. So does Tom (trainer). But it’s all fine because at the end of the day we do what makes us happy. Otherwise what’s the bloody point. I rock up to my training sessions with Tom and declare I am going to save the world through barefoot running and lentils… Well – you never know.
So on the subject of honesty I have been having some chats with myself recently. Chats with yourself are important. My chats have been considering the future. Because I am a vegan yoga warrior namaste love love happiness health and positive light. NO. The future and what I am good at and what I enjoy. This year I have spent some time “helping” two girls as they train for their first Ironman events. Now stop rolling your eyes. I am fully aware that I have completed ONE Ironman and I am not about to become some expert coach any day soon. However – I do know my fair share of stuff about doubting yourself, waking up questioning whether you can do something and all other mental conversations in your own head.
SO – on that subject I started thinking how I might be able to do more with that side of things…
People say, and I fully agree, that the hardest part of an Ironman or marathon or ultra event or whatever you think is impossible is actually the mental strength required to keep going. Funnily enough I have read a few books recently which focus on three different blokes and their experience with this stuff*. There are so many training guides and exercises and advice forums for getting your body fit… but what about your mind?
Just at work yesterday someone said to me “HOW did you start a marathon after swimming and cycling those distances” and I said you don’t really focus on that. You focus on the fact you made the bike cut off (!!!) and you are on the final leg of one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. If that makes sense.
So I am contemplating studying Sports Psychology… yes, because why the hell not. I was talking to Cat and Laura (future Ironman’s’s’s’s’s’ers) yesterday about the importance of visualisation and staying clear and calm and focused. AGAIN. Not an expert. Just my experience thus far… anyway I realised that this stuff really gets me. I can put myself into such a mentally charged state that I want to go and run for hours or sprint on a bike… all by concentrating on the feeling of crossing a finish line or smashing a strength session.
I am going off on a tangent again. Dammit. It’s so hard to stay focused when your brain just wants to shout random nonsense at you = “doughnuts with sprinkles!” … brain what the HELL are you talking about? We have no time for doughnuts right now and we don’t even LIKE sprinkles.
Oh actually I do have some news. This is for anyone out there that has struggled with depression or anxiety or just feeling down right sad. You’d have to be blind and deaf to not realise I have just spent two weeks in Australia. Prior to heading over there I was trying to wean myself off my antidepressants. Well….. they are now long gone. It has taken me a damn long time to get here. But hello. This is happy face talking. Sans medication. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Pretty good times and I am pretty excited for what is coming up next. I have my mega 10km swim on Sunday and then Ironman Weymouth in September to support my boyfriend, Cat and Laura and then training starts all over again for Ironman Austria next July. I have a very good feeling about this. Clear goal. Mentally and physically stronger. As a Facebook acquaintance said – “2017… the year of the Cat”. Well, that would certainly be pretty cool. Meow.
Do you know – Vegan/plant based food is also pretty cool. It’s cheap and it’s actually refreshing looking up recipes without checking the fucking macros and calorie content. Another friend of mine has recently given up macro and calorie counting. Fair play to her. Damn liberating. I still try and channel the expression “Athletes EAT and TRAIN. They don’t DIET and EXERCISE”. I recently read somewhere that anyone with legs is an athlete. Powerful but pretty misguided when you consider the achievement of our paralympians. EVERYONE is an athlete. Except dead people, cos, y’know, they dead. But start looking at yourself as an athlete and change your mindset. It’s way better….
(* Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, Born to Run by Chris McDougall and Eat and Run by Scott Jurek)