Last night I did my first ever aquathlon- that's a swim/run race for the uninitiated of you! Now, neither swimming nor running are things that come naturally to me. I was always the kid who was too scared to jump in at the deep end and didn't like getting splashed. As for the running- it was something I quite enjoyed as a child but I never particularly excelled at it and as I became a woman my figure was not the wiry, athletic type that lends itself to running.
However, after 12 years of ME/CFS and not being able to push a supermarket trolley I was keen to improve my general health and fitness. I got better 6 years ago (www.lightningprocess.com) and it was to celebrate 2 years of good health that I first decided to dip my toe in the water. I signed up to do the Aspire channel swim (www.aspirechannelswim.co.uk - swim the distance of the channel over a 12 week period in your local pool). I also signed up for adult swimming lessons. I learnt to swim breaststroke properly, under water, and completed the challenge raising over £1000 for the charity. I found that I really enjoyed swimming and decided to carry it on and learn other strokes; 4 years on I'm even learning butterfly!
I started running about 18 months ago, which I found very challenging, and have been progressing slowly since then. Having pleurisy around Christmas time didn't help but I'm fighting fit again now.
It's sometimes hard to believe how far I've come. It's not just my fitness levels that have changed it's my whole attitude towards myself. As I did the final lap of my run, still a bit drippy in my tri-style swim suit, one of the guys from the pool was filming. My first thought was "Ahhh... I look terrible!" This is very much how the old Becky would think; some of you are probably very familiar with this line of thought and could take it further, however, I know this is not helpful to me and indeed damaging. I stopped the thought in its tracks and instead appreciated my body for what it is, the amazing journey it has been on, and what it can do now. This is why I am so passionate about hypnotherapy; the power to be able to change your attitude can change your life.
Let's ditch the perfectionism now and acknowledge what amazing beings we are- right here, right now!