Pushing your boundaries – why we should all take a chance.

That was a busy week! First the Inverclyde Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, then the Great SwimRun at Loch Lomond on Friday evening and a 13 mile walk on Sunday. My body has certainly been challenged and I am struggling to keep my eyes open but the after effects go so much further than the physical. I am often told I am mad for signing up for these challenges and pushing myself but surely that is what it is all about. Isn’t it a good thing to grow and develop and see what you can do when you try? Read on to find out more and don’t forget to share using the link below.

Rising to the challenge.

Everyone who knows me will know that I am up for a challenge and am always looking to build my experience, fitness and knowledge along the way. Those of you who know me really well will also know how incredibly hard I am on myself and how anxious I am before the events purely from the weight of my own expectations. I would love to be one of those people who turn up for an event with little preparation and know that they can do it and what will be will be. Even after the event I will over analyse how I did, working out what I could have done better and need to work on before the next one.

So why do I keep doing it to myself?

The answer is simple. I want to grow and learn and do things that I never thought I could. The more I do and the more I try the easier it is getting. I was the child who sat back and watched everyone else, only joining in when I knew I could do something well. I missed out on so many things because I wouldn’t let myself try.

So what changed?

A major shift happened when I seized my opportunity and trained as a Personal Trainer. From then it has all been about going for it and pushing myself. My life has changed dramatically in that time and I now do things that would never have been possible before. I have run half marathons, cycled from Glasgow to Edinburgh, completed 3 Triathlons, mastered swimming front crawl and doing 2 miles in one go, completed an 800m Open Water swim followed by a 5k run to name a few. I have overcome a lack of confidence, a fear of going downhill on my bike now doing it on a road bike even, of putting my face in the water, of swimming where I might touch something and where I can’t touch the bottom and of coming last in an event.

Reading that list back really brings home how far I have come in only a few years. I didn’t need to do any of those things but having done so feels amazing. I have had an absolute ball and so many incredible experiences with some amazing people. I may not be particularly fast or winning any prizes but I am having a go and loving it. I’m starting to believe in myself at last and see that I really can do whatever I put my mind to. What is truly amazing is that others are starting to do the same. Clients are coming to me having signed up for events and we are celebrating their successes too. Now that really makes me smile!

So now it is your turn. I want you to take a chance and put yourself out there too. If you don’t you will never know what you are capable of. That is certainly the message that I want my daughters to take from me. You need to believe in yourself and to keep on growing. My next challenge is as part of a Relay team swimming the length of Loch Lomond on 10th September for FEAT (the Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust for Sepsis Research) Big gulp – this is huge for me with a couple of hours swimming to deliver but I am very excited!! If you would like to sponsor Ingolf and I then that would be great.

I can’t wait to hear all about your challenges – you never know you might just inspire someone else too!

Clare x

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