Last month, I had a nice long cathartic post about hiding my insecurities and fear behind apathy.
I’ll take “things that scare me but I do them anyway for 300$, Alex”.
I’m pleased to say since then, I’ve faced some fears and have contemplated steps on others. As I said, fear is totally okay, but inaction via paralysis by fear is not. The cool thing, though, is I’ve found that just starting, just taking the first step in some cases, is enough to get the mojo flowing. In gymnastics and diving, I would analyze, analyze, and analyze again before starting my routine or trying a new trick or a launching myself into dive, but when it was time to go, I would shut my brain off and just do it. Go. Move. Execute. You can’t think too hard, otherwise, you freeze up midair once you realize what sort of idiot thing you’re trying to do and land on your neck. That’s not where you want to be. You analyze, commit, then execute.
In life at 39 vs my daredevil teenage years, there’s obviously less immediate danger, but you still run the risk of proverbially freezing up and not taking chances and pursuing something awesome.
Caption says it all.
First, I applied for my first brand ambassadorship, and I was picked! I am super excited because I love the brand (and the woman behind the brand is pretty awesome too), but my typical subconscious overthinks everything and almost stopped me. I had to justify to myself that I was worthy of being a representative of a brand. Me, with ~20-30 lbs to my race weight, who sometimes chooses bourbon over bikes, who’s not really training hard right now, who has less than 300 IG followers and 30-50 likes on posts.
But, I got myself to do it, I turned my brain off and submitted my application, and I succeeded! Hooray! I actually have another company I really dig that’s taking applications that I’m considering, and there are a few more that tend to open late in the year for next year. Brands that I use already and love, that I like the company and their values. I know it’s kind of a win win situation too, by sending me some free stuff, which is a relatively small investment, I’ll post about them on social media a lot because a) I have a bunch of their gear in my rotation and b) I’ll feel super warm and fuzzy about their company because they made me a little part of their team.
I love posting pictures. I shy away from video. I couldn’t really figure out what the difference was, until I realized that it’s the time commitment I’m asking the viewer. You can appreciate a picture and a caption in a few seconds. For a video, I’m asking for precious minutes. I need to value myself as something that people will spend minutes vs seconds on to be really comfortable making a video and sharing it.
My first attempts at video have been wayyyyy too many minutes, but I put them up anyway. I realize that I am not interesting enough to listen to for 28 or 36 minutes for the average viewer. However, once I get better at it, I think I can be interesting enough for 5-15 minute content slices if I practice and focus and talk about things that are useful. That’s my goal, and that’s where I’m going
I’ve gone from “video is haaaaaaard” to “I can’t wait to do this and practice more” and that’s super exciting to me. This is definitely one thing where I really just had to start and now I’m kind of hooked. Also, my husband bought me a green screen, a mic, and a light. I have all this #sopro gear, how can I quit now?
Here’s a place I’ve found some land mines, but thus far, I remain in tact and in the process.
I spent some time Sunday two weekends ago looking for photo reference from pictures that I wanted to paint. In two hours, I went from “what the heck should I paint” to “OMG here are the 50 things I want to paint”, so that was a step in the right direction. Then, I froze up a little bit. How could I choose which to paint first? I handed off my ideas to Zliten and he picked one for me. Land mine avoided.
I immediately got started. I enjoyed sketching it out with pencil, and then I started painting. The background didn’t look quite right and I sat it down to dry before I did another coat and I didn’t touch it for a week and a half but I constantly thought about it. It was the thing that I didn’t know how to solve. I think I was intimidated by it being more difficult than I thought and I’m (still) scared that it won’t measure up to how awesome my photo was. Huge land mine in my path.
I avoided painting until last night when Zliten sat down to paint minis, I reluctantly joined him. I’m glad I did though, because after obtaining some new paints (better colors, more suited to the canvas) and finding some new techniques, I’m MUCH happier with my background. I’m ready to take the leap and start painting the foreground now, which is also intimidating and intricate, but I have momentum. I need to remember that I’m not a human printer and I can and should deviate from reality. And that my first painting in many, many, many years that was not lead by an instructor and fueled by a bunch of wine may not be the masterpiece that lands me in a museum, AND THAT IS OKAY.
When you take chances, you get to do cool things. Like wear awesome hats. And use the big adult weights to squat and deadlift. Roar!
Lessons on asking humans for things:
Totally minor but I emailed our chiropractor for advice on what sort of massage to get. My instinct was to just read up on it, but since she prescribed it to us, I reached out to ask advice. She got back to me and specifically said sports massage not deep tissue, so I’m glad I asked.
It really hit me last week when I was having trouble with my deadlifts. I got to 135#, and I felt like I could handle more, but I felt like I was going to drop the bar and couldn’t finish my sets and was frustrated. My husband talked to our resident weight lifter at work ON MY BEHALF because my husband is reasonable and thinks to do that type of thing, and he suggested I use a mixed grip. Saturday, I went to deadlift and I got myself up to 155# and found my limit but it wasn’t because of a grip issue.
I’m not going to stop there with the starting. Here’s some examples of how I want to face some totally-minor-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-but-subconsiously-holding-me-back fears in the coming weeks.
Baby steps into mentorship:
I know a few legit authors in my network or extended network. I’m planning on reaching out to at least three of them by the time I complete my book (next month possibly?) and asking for advice on what to do next. While my first instinct is to research the crap out of it myself, and I totally will – I have a non-fiction book lined up about just that, and I’ve found some great sites, but I’m forcing myself to reach out to people because I need to do that and I’d like to hear from folks I know that might give me more candid thoughts than something published… publicly.
For some reason, this one gives me less butterflies in the stomach than it did a month ago. It’s time to conquer the dreaded ASKING FOR ADVICE/HELP dumb fear I have.
Very Small Baby Steps into Entrepreneurship:
I’m reading up on Angel Investing. I got the book because if I ever decide to do a business that I look for funding, I wanted to know what it’s all about. Of course, now I’m interested in actually looking into dipping my toe into it. I don’t quite meet the income requirement to be accredited to do it myself, but I like the idea of joining a group and placing some bets with some disposable income. I’ve joined one weekly list and I’ll be on the lookout for more. If nothing else, I will be super prepared if I have to take meetings with them someday.
Weight Loss. What? Why is this on the list?
Let’s talk about losing weight and me playing psychologist with myself. Obviously it’s difficult because it’s just HARD to be as good as I need to be to drop lbs. The options I have in the real world are: a) be perfect (no junk ever at all) or b) sacrifice nutrition. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but that’s the only way I can get my calories low enough to maintain a deficit. The last successful weight loss period – I gave up snacks. It worked to take down some weight, but my snacks are healthy. I eat fruit and nuts and veggies and occasionally some whole grains. That sucks. But…I did it before, regularly, for about two years straight. I know I can do it again. The logistics of losing weight are difficult, but doable.
However, let’s talk about the mental side because this is something I’m starting to realize may be holding me back. As much as my conscious mind would give anything to be back at that 150-160lbs I was rocking 8-9 years ago, it also comes with some baggage, both external and internal.
Internally, if I’m that weight, I lose my excuses. Maybe I’ll perform better. Maybe it won’t be enough and I’ll just look good in my kit while still coming in 5th in my age group. It’s nice to have the “well, I did well even though I’m still fat” asterisk, but it’s getting really tiresome. I am really good at triathlon considering the weight I’m at, but damn, how much better could I be doing if I lost the pot belly? Maybe not at all, and this is as good as it gets. Am I scared to finally find out?
This one occasionally got harassed walking down the street. And also needed a leg tan…
Externally – I’m fit but I’m not what you would call “smokin’ hot” to society. At 180-something lbs, I’m not getting cat-called walking down the street. I’m not getting ogled. People aren’t commenting about how sexy I look while I’m just trying to put up a picture of me lifting weights in a modest tshirt and capris on Instagram. When I was younger, I would have loved the attention. Heck, when I first lost weight, it was kind of nice to have people look at my body and think positive thoughts instead of how similar it was to a beached whale. Then, very very quickly, it got tiresome. I realized recently that mayyyyybe there was a self-sabotage component going on here. It has been INSANELY hard to lose this last 20-30 lbs I want to, almost as if someone is subconsciously throwing dirt back into the hole I’m digging.
Screw that person. Screw what the world thinks of my body. If attaining what I want means I have to stretch out and warm up my middle fingers for consistent use and watch a ton of Janine Garafolo movies to brush up on my sarcastic comments to use on internet trolls and catcallers, so be it. Starting next week, I’m going to do my best to be as impeccable as possible with my diet for a full MONTH. At least. I’m going to make a running go at losing 10 lbs and see where I can go from there. I would love a free minute on my 5k run and if I can take of the 30 lbs I’d like to lose, that would be a free minute PER MILE. I would love not to feel like a sausage in my tri kit. I’d love to actually consider purchasing the race photo package in advance knowing some of them might not actually look disgusting.
So, if I start putting crap in my mouth that I shouldn’t, I’m going to have a talk with myself about WHY, in my heart of hearts, that I’m doing this. Obviously food is delicious, but I’m talking about a few months to a goal. Why is this particular food more important than my goals? Why am I sabotaging myself? Can’t I avoid being an asshole for a few months while doing the things that let my body return to a healthy weight for the first time in almost a decade?
It’s time to start answering these questions and taking some action.