60kgs and about 45 weeks ago Belinda took a punt on herself (yep, that’s right – 60kgs!!) She made the commitment to change her life and last weekend she found herself in Noosa completing the bike leg as part of a team taking on the Noosa Triathlon. The bike leg is 40km long. That might not seem like that far but when you still weigh close to 100kgs it is not an easy task.
As someone who has competed in elite sport for most of their life I understand better than most that to back yourself takes a bit of courage and a lot of sacrifice. The difficulty lies in not just having the courage but being willing to take the risk. The risk is what you lose by trying and failing. It’s a gamble. Would you sacrifice time with your family, friends, parties, money, time, hobbies, projects etc for a greater pay out in the end? And how much metaphorical ‘money’ would you be prepared to outlay for a return that you can’t measure until you collect it or ‘cash in’.
I admire Belinda’s results for everything that they are but I particularly admire the gamble that she has been willing to take. She also continues to take on new gambles all the time. This weekend in Noosa was just that – another gamble.
Imagine flying up with a bike that you have never raced, to a course that you have never seen. Add to that the embarrassment of being surrounded by so many experienced athletes with their collection of super foods, gels and the latest biking equipment and their cycling jargon (what groupset are you racing with?) Imagine the doubts that go through one’s mind when they consider all of the possibilities of the risk that has been taken. You can easily start to doubt yourself and start worrying about letting yourself and everyone around you, down.
This is a natural reaction and it takes much time and training to overcome. Elite athletes spend thousands to develop their mental strength as much as heir physical strength and as it turns out their insecurities and doubts are just the same as the rest of us. Everyone is worried that all of that hard work and dedication won’t be worth it. So what do you do?
People with true mental strength come to realise that the sacrifice is always worth it. The latest challenge on your list is just another opportunity to learn, develop and gather experience. And if you are going to take a gamble why not take a gamble on yourself rather on something you have no control over? Not only will you not regret ityou will experience the greatest rush of your life when it pays off. I not only consider it a smart gamble when you back yourself but it is also investment. Various studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are not only physically fitter and healthier but they are more likely to earn more income, receive a promotion and have less medical expenses as they age. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like much of a gamble anymore. It seems like the best investment you will ever make.
Congratulations Belinda, 60kgs gone and your first Noosa Triathlon completed. You’ve backed yourself and sacrificed a lot. I can’t wait to help you take on the next challenge.