Follow this link to see my youtube (poor quality) video application for the Roxcycl ambassador program.
When I first heard about the Roxcycl Ambassador program, I really didn’t think I was good enough to apply. I shared the link on my Facebook page as I knew there were so many inspirational women I knew who I thought would be great ambassadors, but why did I think I wasn’t good enough? What changed my mind and made me apply?
I look around me and see so many women talking themselves down. When I initially thought I wasn’t good enough to apply, I asked myself why, what makes me think that? I realised that I have heard friends of mine often tell me that I am too hard on myself. I never thought they were right, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I, along with many other men and women (especially), are horrifically hard on ourselves. We talk ourselves down, we back away from challenges we think we aren’t good enough to achieve, we are what is holding ourselves back.
I went to see Col. Chris Hadfield, astronaut, engineer, fighter pilot, human being extraordinaire, when he toured Australia, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have long admired Chris for his positive attitude and strong motivation to encourage fellow humans, children especially, to reach for the stars. His discussions moved me to tears and I remember he mentioned being afraid. He asked, what are you afraid of, and why? What skill can you learn from that fear in order for you to conquer it?
I realised then, I am afraid of failure. I was afraid to apply so publicly (with a youtube video) and not get chosen. I was afraid to set myself a goal, the Scott 6+6 hr race, and not reach it. I realised that I have always been afraid. I have predominantly chosen the “safe” things, the things within my comfort zone. Now, when people learn more about my life, and the huge variety of places I’ve lived, of work I have done, of solo travel, I have often heard “wow, you’re brave, that is such a scary thing for me”. But every time, those things felt like they were within my comfort zone. I can move to a new location and feel comfortable. I can travel overseas and feel ok (you’ll notice it was always to predominantly English speaking countries!), I can do a PhD because I know I can use my brain (most days!) enough to succeed (see, still talking myself down!). But aiming for something physical, especially when I had been so obese for most of my adult life, when I had almost always come last at the running and cycling events I had tried, when I didn’t feel I could, like other girls can. That was outside my comfort zone. That was new. That was hard. And I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I was good enough to apply, being the last at things. I didn’t think I was fit enough to apply, having such an inactive history. I didn’t think I was someone who could inspire others.
But, I am. I am good enough because I am last at things. I am good enough because I overcame such an inactive history. I am inspirational because I have changed my life, because coming last has still never stopped me from starting a race, and because I want to challenge and set myself a goal, I want to push myself as far out of my comfort zone as I can to show myself, and you, that I can. That we can. So I applied. I had become comfortable with the idea of not being chosen, and I had told everyone publicly that I was going to enter the event, regardless of the result of the ambassador program. I decided then and there that I was going to change my own attitude and push myself to my limit and enjoy every step of the way, becoming a better, stronger, and healthier (mentally and physically) me by the end. Because I am good enough.
I want us to stop using negative terms when we refer to our abilities or our bodies. I want us to start believing that we are more capable than we ever imagined. I want us to start to chase the dreams we’ve been too afraid to chase. I want us to start defining our self worth through meaningful measures, not those placed upon us by others. I want us to push boundaries, and change lives, and start something new. We can.