Tuesday is the one year anniversary of the “Exposed” series of blog posts. If you do not know about Exposed, in short, Mish decided that enough was enough. She photographed herself, nearly naked, and posted her photo on her blog with various comments. Affirmations. Words that celebrate who she is, where she had come from, where she would be going. Raw, in the flesh, and open to the world.
One year later, with 60 blog posts from around the world, Exposed celebrates people showing and sharing their journeys for all to see.
I did my Exposed post in January 2010 – to kick off 2010 and to document where I wanted to go, with all the challenges that my body has to offer. My aim? To complete an Olympic distance triathlon, while smiling.
I am an extremely determined person. In my head, I knew that I would work hard.
I never questioned that I would do an Oly Tri.
But, no matter how much determination I had, I lacked confidence and trust in my body.
I spent from January to August working hard, training, and building myself up physically. I saw my goals shift as my abilities improved. I celebrated my first continuous mile of running. I swam 5k twice, broke the 30 minute 1500m barrier, and continued to love swimming. I never dreamed of cycling far – but when I cycled 100km in May nothing seemed out of reach.
In July, it hit me that I would not be going into my first Olympic distance triathlon with a 10km run in the bag. London would be my first 10km run. I was worried.
Coach T changed my training. The focus shifted to positive visualisation. I learned techniques to manage my mental hurdle – the lack of confidence in my physical self.
Shifting my focus to confidence in my body even when I am doing the unknown has been tough. I grew up afraid of myself, afraid of injury, shying away from pain. This means that I have about 30 years of distrust in my physical self to get over.
When I did the London Triathlon in August, it was a huge milestone. Proof that I should trust my body, that I should believe in my physical abilities.
With this Exposed post, I celebrate what I have achieved. Triathlon has given me joy, strength, purpose, mindfulness, accomplishment and a sense of achievement – it has helped me to build strength and fitness while living with nerve disease and managing hypermobility.
Last week I sat down with Coach T to review my 2011. To plot out my schedule of races. To discuss time and distance goals. To affirm that triathlon is not *just* about fitness for me – it is about improving my times, my competitiveness.
A lot of my 2011 calendar depends on the results of my weekend with British Triathlon and the conclusion of my paratriathlon assessments. I hope to finish that on Saturday the 16th (and hope to blog about that next week).
But one thing does not depend on BTF. There is one thing that I must tackle head on.
Acknowledging my lack of confidence is a big step along my journey. I wonder how much my confidence – and my fear of the unknown – holds me back? This is what I will be breaking down and working on for the coming year.
That’s what I am exposing today.