Something I have been really struggling with lately is self doubt. I get really self conscious about the way I look, and my abilities. Yesterday I was going for a bike ride with my husband and father in law. As we were getting set up I felt really awkward. It's only my second mountain bike ride and there were several other bikers gearing up to go riding since it was a popular trail. I felt silly because I didn't have proper biking clothes (I was wearing my Zumba clothes of course since that is all I have), I didn't know how to put the front wheel back on my bike and hook the break back up, I don't have clip on shoes (and even if I did I wouldn't know how to use them), and I had no idea what the people around us were talking about (various bike parts and upgrades). I started to feel stupid as I waited for my husband and father in law to finish checking over my bike (I was watching and trying to learn of course). I felt fat in my clothes as everyone around was wearing their sleek biking gear, and they were all lean and muscular. But then I started to think, you have to start somewhere. I can't let my self doubt interfere with my goals. If I do then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and of course I will fail. If you never start, you won't get better. If you don't try and get yourself dirty then you won't ever learn. I have come a long way since I started. When Matt and I first started dating he took me on a few mountain bike rides and I did terribly on them. I wasn't really exercising at the time and I wasn't really interested in pushing myself or doing any sort of physical activity like that. Yesterday we went on a trail and we biked for two hours! I was really pushing myself up the hills and trying not to be super slow (even though I was obviously slower than the two boys they still said I was doing great for my second ride). I did much better on this ride than on the first ride. I didn't fall off my bike for one, and I was able to steer better for two and I made it up most of the hills without stopping. I even made it through the two stream crossings just fine.
The other attack of self doubt came today when I went to the gym to do my run and then my swim. Today was laundry day and all my workout clothes were in the wash, so I had to fish out some workout clothes I never wear. I wore my Turbo Fire tank top with some purple pants and I felt super stupid. I NEVER wear tank tops when I workout, I don't think I look good in them. I always feel fat and think I look awful. Besides that it just feels weird because I just never wear tank tops anyway. I could have used that as an excuse not to workout today but I did anyway and I had the best run I've had in weeks! I've been struggling through these longer runs but today was 28 minutes long and I totally nailed it! I felt great! When my time was up I was all like "that's it? I'm done? I could keep going for a while!" If I had let my self consciousness interfere with my run I would have robbed myself of the great experience I had, and the realization that I have been making progress. I'm not there yet, but I have come a very long way.