I was having one of those really good days. It began in the morning by hitting a few milestones on the bike. At work, I had a proud moment confirming a super inspiring woman to join our SXSW speaker lineup. And it was a Friday. Donut Friday to be exact. I’d even go so far to say I was sitting on Cloud 9.
Until I received a text from a friend that included a photo of me. It wasn’t just any photo — I was in a national magazine as part of really cool story that thousands of people would see. I was on my bike, smiling, having the time of my life (the photo shoot was easily one of my favorite days), but looking at it, I was anything but smiling. I was numb.
“That’s what I look like? How? But I’ve been working so hard. What about the 30lbs I lost? Maybe it’s a bad angle?” These questions replayed in my mind for a solid hour.
Rather than focus on how happy I was in that photo, or how hard I’ve been working on this entire 2.5 year journey, let alone the past 14 weeks of hard bike training, I went straight to plotting a harder workout for the next two days: “How can I step it up? I feel like I’m already working so hard. What else do I have to do?”
Then it hit me like a brick wall. In that moment, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to do better that I forgot I am doing better. Every single day I’m doing better.
Always Forward is the new motto around these parts. So I opened up at the text message again, stared at the photo and mindfully asked myself these questions:
Are you having fun?
So. Much. Fun.
Are you making the right choices to reach your goal?
Can you see and feel positive changes?
Yes. I’m losing weight + becoming stronger.
Are you pushing yourself?
Are you happy?
I am really happy.
The only thing that was left to change was my perspective of myself.
From there, I chose to let the photo motivate me. Not in a “Push harder and do more” kind of way, rather, “Keep going, do not give up!” It’s exactly what I say to myself when I’m climbing a tough hill on the bike. I’m encouraging. I’m truly my own cheerleader.
Almost instantly, I loved the picture. It represented me currently: mindful, hitting new goals, and achieving the unthinkable.
I WAS SO PROUD (this picture says it all). Plus, the feature (in one of my favorite publications) was absolutely amazing and I was in great company. Now I’m choosing to shift my perspective and be proud for all of the hard work, effort and time I’m devoting to being and doing better, both on and off the bike.