We interrupt the story to bring you this important PSA

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I have always loved this quote.  “She believed she could so she did”.  This is a running brag board I made for myself after I had completed my first 2 races.  I had already made my husband and daughter one, so I figured I should have one too.  It’s a place to keep bibs, photos, medals, stats, etc.  And so when I needed something for the center, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate.  I believed I could do it, so I did.  I didn’t have a lot of experience.  I didn’t get myself all worked up with having the perfect training plan, or the perfect equipment, or the perfect running (in this example) paraphernalia.  I just wanted to do a 5K and a triathlon, so I did!

I’m a perfectionist and a planner.  I have lists about my lists.  So it could have been very easy for me to get all in my head about not having a pre-5K or a pre-tri checklist with all the things I needed to do, learn, buy, and practice checked off.  But if I had let myself do that, I would have never crossed the start lines of the actual races.  Should I have done some more training?  Probably.  Do I suggest you go out and do a triathlon cold?  If it means you’ll actually do it, then yes!  If I had started training, I would have seen how out of shape I really was.  I would have started comparing myself to what I thought everyone else would be like.  I would have gotten scared of failing and chickened out.  But once I crossed that start line there was nothing to do but put one foot in front of the other and keep going.  And before long, I was crossing the finish line.  Was I the fastest?  Of course not!  Was I the slowest?  Nope!  And I found that there was such a beautiful eclectic-ness to the women out there.  There were so many shapes, colors, and sizes out there in the field, and no one could have cared less that I had a borrowed bike and only 3.1 miles on my shoes.

But one of the biggest reasons I did all this was to model to my family that if something sounds like fun, JUST DO IT!  Yes, there is something to that Nike slogan.  Don’t overthink it.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t look like everyone else, have less experience, or borrowed gear.  Just get out there and do it.  And if you enjoy it, keep doing it!  And before long, you’ll be one of the seasoned ones out there with the opportunity to help all the other newbies that were in your shoes.

And DO NOT be afraid to fail.  This is a big one for me.  In the past, if I didn’t think I would succeed at something, I didn’t try.  I’m such a perfectionist and have such a fear of failure.  But I have to just get over that, on a daily basis.  Dream big!  You never know how far you can get if you don’t even try.  I know there are so many corny sayings about this topic, but I’m starting to learn that they are all true.

And I have to remember this daily as I work towards American Ninja Warrior (yes, we’re still getting to that)

And never underestimate the influence you have over the people around you.  I never really appreciated that until this year.  My kids are getting to the ages that they want to do everything I do.  So if I can encourage them to live a healthier life by making good choices for myself, then that’s just a bonus.  And these lessons that I’m learning this year will influence the rest of this story to come.  (If you have a keen eye, you’ll see where this story goes next)

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