This past weekend I was in Phuket for my husband to compete in a half Iron Man race. While he’s always been interested in sports, over the past few years he has began to take part in more endurance events. It was about a year ago that he came home from a boys day out, talking about a Half Iron Man event that the other guys were competing in and said ‘I wish I could do that’. He loves to tell the story that I then proceeded to ‘sign him up’ for the event the following morning while he was still asleep. OK, so I put his name on the waitlist – which eventually cleared and he competed in his first half iron man event in Busselton, Western Australia, finishing in a time he was very happy with and prompting his passion to compete in more triathlon events. Normally he’s the one challenging me to take on athletic pursuits – such as 100 mile bike rides, or mountain bike races. I guess I was just giving him a little help!
He was doing what so many of us do – coming up with mental barriers or blocks – reasons why we can’t do things. For him there were so many reasons why he couldn’t do the race – we had a 3 month old that he would be at home with, full-time, we lived several thousand miles away from the event, he didn’t have time to train, we didn’t have time to travel to the event – so many logistics that he saw in his way. By ‘signing him up’ I was giving him that virtual nudge over the edge that he had done for me so many times on my mountain bike, that extra push up the hill or over the edge.
How many times had I done that? ‘Oh, I wish I could do xxx, but I can’t because….’ There seem to be so many reasons that get in the way. I’m too busy, I don’t have time, I have a young son, I can’t afford that, I’m not fit enough/talented enough etc etc. But actually when I look back on some of the things I’m most proud of in my life, its often the times when I said ‘Why Not?!’ that led to these extraordinary experiences. And most times, that involved someone else giving me a bit of a nudge or proverbial ‘push over the edge’ to get me to take the plunge.
So one of my goals for 2016 is to ask myself – ‘Why Not?’ more often, instead of coming up with reasons why I can’t do something. The other challenge for myself is to reach out to those people in my life and build a community of people that will push me over that proverbial edge to take on more challenges, see the world a little differently and get outside of my comfort zone more.