Stress sucks.

i'm this close to losing my shit

I really don’t deal well with stress. I don’t have any well rounded coping mechanism to help me deal. Generally when I face stressful situations or challenges in life I run away. I’m NOT great with confrontation. I am not great with discussing the real issue of my stress. I just run. I want to go and hide and over think all the things and turn my stomach in to a knot, because that’s the only “coping mechanism” I have.

Since the end of the last year I’ve felt overly stressed and anxious. How things are going in my life is probably a walk in the park to some people, and I know there are much bigger things to fret about but in my little World this is how it is.

Before Christmas I fell and dislocated my hand… well they thought I dislocated it. 15 hours at the hospital later and I was sent home with a dodgy ass cast and a thumb that could win ANY thumb wars!

Before and After - Akka the Fonz (I could travel to London with the size of those bags under my eyes!)

                                              Before and After – Akka the Fonz

That sucked.

The thought of surgery sucked (I didn’t need surgery FYI – I got my cast off 10 days later but I still can’t do any body weight exercises without it hurting).

More than that though, I missed some finals days at work before our shut down and I needed those vital days to have things all prepared for when we came back after Christmas. So I spent most of my Christmas holiday worrying about what was left for me when I returned.

For the last 2 months I have been a ball of stress. Coming back from our work break and being full on for this whole time just makes me feel physically ill. I couldn’t find ANY motivation to do extra exercise. I had to take leave from derby training as I was working late hours and didn’t need the added stress of trying to make attendance. I was eating crap and feeling crap and then BAM! I put on 5kg and now feel the worse I’ve felt in a long time.

Life isn’t about having a smooth run of things is it? So why do I see so many people that “have it together”. Is that them just being awesome at bluffing and making everything on the outside look ok when it’s not? I’m not that type of person. When I’m struggling, you can tell. You can see it and feel it in my language and outwards appearance (eg: I look like shit!)

I don’t have a point to this post. I just thought it might be cathartic to purge some of this negativity and to alleviate the weight I’m feeling on my shoulders.

If you have any tips or tricks about dealing with stress, I would love to read about them in the comments below! x

DUDE! You cannot do everything!!!

I email a derby friend of mine almost on the daily. It’s a nice little check-in with each other, just to have that moment of distraction from work stresses. It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to help work through things when you’re a worrier (like me) or just to share things that are awesome or what delicious cake you had for lunch!

So today we were talking about setting achievable goals. I mentioned that my lower back has been giving me grief and now I think I need to fit some extra core work/Pilates sessions in to my training regime… pretty much got the response of “DUDE! You cannot do everything!!!”

you can't do everything

I know I can’t do everything. I don’t wear my undies on the outside. I just feel like I’m not doing the RIGHT things for what I want to achieve and I’m now concerned my body isn’t going to get me where I want to go!

To which my wise friend said:

*I* think….

1.  Keep your body in good nick – so find a few easy exercises to do at home. Maybe throw in a few extra core exercises at start/end of (derby) training??
2.  You train a lot for derby, its good strength/cardio. It builds your legs.
3.  Swim twice if you can?  One if you can’t
4.  Go for at least one run, or do some treadmill time at the gym.

One of your exercise sessions can meet multiple goals.

Hello voice of reason! I need to be ok with making ACHIEVABLE goals. Like I said in my last post I have the belief, I really just have to work on my ACTIONS to work toward achieving my goal.

So I’m going to sit down and really figure it out what these small ACHEIVABLE steps are so I stop feeling so overwhelmed and to cut myself some slack. Giving myself some small wins will help keep me on track and feeling successful in reaching my goals.

High five to that!

Belief = Actions = Results

Urgh. Kind of not feeling the love this week. Even though I’m loving this below image… the inspiration for today’s post.

Belief = Actions = ResultsWell I started my running program last week and managed to get out twice for my scheduled sessions. First up was Monday, and I had to run in the rain. But it was quite liberating and I felt a quiet sense of beginner’s achievement. I then tried to squeeze one in before derby training Tuesday night. I ended up pulling up with a sore right knee, so decided to rest it and missed training that night!

The third was an abbreviated run on the treadmill during my gym session on Thursday – but my body was aching from a travel team training the night before and I cracked it that my bones were letting me down so I didn’t love my weights session (I usually love pumping iron like Arnie!). I haven’t managed to get to the pool all week and I STILL haven’t sorted out my bike situation to hit the trails on 2 wheels.

I don’t know how to organise myself! Where do I start?

I read this post on the Iron Chicks blog entitled ‘Triathlon goal setting’ and it resonated with me. Have you ever come across something that just hits you right between the eyes and goes “Oi! This is you right now, listen up and maybe you’ll learn a little something!”

Well, this was definitely an article that made me sit up and have a good ol’ think about things. I do believe I have the desire to reach my goals. I BELIEVE I can achieve. Just point 3 and 4 of the below is what probably best describes why I’m not moving full throttle in to action.

So why do Ironchicks sometimes still not act?

  1. LACK of desire
  2. LACK of belief
  3. Not sure HOW to do it
  4. FEAR

Let’s look at point 3: Not sure HOW to do it?
I sit down with a calendar and try and pencil in WHEN I have the time to add extra training. Like I said in this post – everyone has 168 hours in their week. So WHERE can I find my spare hours? Urgh it’s So. Much. Work!! I already train 3 times a week with derby. I’ve now added another 3 times run sessions in a week. I also do a weights session at the gym!

Can I haz rest now?

I can add my swims in on the same nights I do 2 of my runs. Ok, cool, I can probably manage that. That ticks 2 boxes. I *really* don’t want to share derby days with added sessions…but maybe I have to? It’s the bike leg I’m having trouble trying to figure out when to fit in.

My friend suggested I ride to work. This is all great in theory. Theory I’m not sure I want to put in to practice yet. Because A. I am not a morning person and B. I’m not a confident road cyclist. Not one little bit! I would have to get some practice in first to be comfortable with sharing the road with stupid people in stupid cars!

Which perhaps leads to Iron Chicks 4th point: FEAR
Maybe I am self-sabotaging myself already out of blind fear of failure? Fear of injury. Fear of riding to work and getting hit by a car. Fear of letting people down (fear of letting MYSELF down).

“Do I want the goal more than I fear it?”

If I am believing I am going to fail, I will fail. If I believe I am just too lazy to get off the couch on a Friday night and go swim laps, I pretty much already know that that will be my result. I do believe in myself. I just have to ACTION things. Start actioning some awesome organisational-ninja skills. Start actioning specific training regimes. Start actioning my super awesome do-all-the-things weekly plan… then that will equal results. Surely.

Belief = Actions = Results.

Have YOU had experiences where you’ve believed in a goal- actioned it accordingly and got the results you dreamed of?

What motivates you?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of what actually motivates me? What drags my ass out of bed on a Saturday morning to go coach an early morning derby session (I LIKE MY SLEEP INS!!) and then stay on skates for another 3 hours? What fuels me with energy after a long, busy day at work that sees me make a quick green smoothie when I get home and jump in my car to head to the gym? And now, what makes me feel so inspired to take on a new sporting challenge, which for some reason hadn’t even crossed my mind 3 months ago?

I’m actually not sure.

Some of it stems from the feelings of responsibility. Does responsibility breed motivation? That other people rely on your efforts to be a part of something bigger (for example: my derby community). You can be held accountable for your actions and relied upon to show support to your league to help foster the development of your learning skaters. That makes me feel worthwhile. I like to coach and I like being coached. I do sometimes question whether I’m any good at it, but I like helping other skaters have that light bulb moment and work through something that they might have been stuck on for some while. Or to share something new I’ve learnt so that they too can be super pumped about it as I am. This in turn gets me energised and excited to stay on and work on my own skating development. Pushing me to get better in my own training might mean that I can then translate my experiences on to others.

I think having a clear goal in mind helps with your motivation when times are tougher (or slacker/lazier?). I know I’ve gotten home from work on MULTIPLE occasions where I’ve felt like lying on the couch watching the latest Block episode (don’t judge me I watch Masterchef too!!) and letting my brain switch off. This is totally fine to do, of course it is, but it’s not helping me achieve my goal so it doesn’t tend to become a habit. You know when you really should stop and slow down when your brain and body are refusing to play ball. So I find in these moments to feel the rush of inspiration again I’ll read a blog about someone’s training or a book about someone’s adventures to reach their potential, and it always reminds me that I can reach mine as long as I stay focussed on the prize.

Sometimes I can find motivation simply by scrolling through my Instagram feed. I am selective with who I follow. Friends, family members and happy strangers fill my feed. Along with some top athletes and people on the same journey as myself, I find that double-tapping on a photo of someone’s running trail or delicious breakfast (#donthatemebecauseiinstagrammyfood) or their own motivational quote just makes happy. Happiness is a great motivational tool I think. Almost without fail after every training session I go to I feel happy IT’S CALLED ENDORPHINS PEOPLE!

Endorphins everywhere!

Talking with friends (or even strangers) about my passions and goals also motivates me. I love feeding off their excitement when we share tips about training, or they have suggestions about gear to use or books to read. Love it! It’s great to seek out people you can learn from.

What motivates you? What makes you excited about pursuing your goals?

The magical goal setting pyramid!

Today I read this ‘Goal Setting for Roller Derby’ blog post by Sandrine Rangeon. The article was great at breaking down how to set goals, what type of goals there are and how to organise your goals in time. I started to think more about my Tri-dream that I spoke about in my last blog post and how I should be looking at setting myself the specific goals needed to achieve my end result.

Taking on Francey Pants’ Goal Setting Pyramid idea I decided to create one specific to the challenges I have set myself (slow day at work FTW!). My long-term outcome is to compete in a sprint triathlon. I’ve already picked out which event I would like to participate in and that’s what I’ll be aiming for (Triathlon Pink). I needed to set myself a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound goal and this long-term performance goal ticks all the SMART principle boxes.

Working my way back from my long-term goal I had to think about what smaller, mid-term and short-term goals could I give myself to help achieve my greater dream. These felt easy to add in to the pyramid. I had already been talking to friends to sign up for a fun run in December, the weekend of my birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!). I had toyed with the idea of running in my first 5k run while I was over visiting family in Adelaide in October and now I’ve decided to actually commit to it!

The three short term goals are smaller actions I can put in to place. I wanted these goals to include all three disciplines to remind me I need to work on them all and find the ways to do this.

Here is my magical little pyramid!

NOT a pyramid scheme... a magical goal setting pyramid!

I think this pyramid could potentially be a dynamic thing. Perhaps my short-term process goals will change as I exceed them, or perhaps struggle with them.

I also read Fear’s blog post today entitled: Trust the process – how to be a derby badass and took away this super relevant quote:

“…you need to focus on the process that will get you to your goal, not just on the goal itself.

…but a really simple rule of thumb is to do something each day that your future bad ass derby* self will thank you for”.

*derby / triathlon / future awesome human!

How do you like to set goals? What steps do you put in to place in order to achieve them? Love to hear your thoughts!