Success is different for everyone. Whether we are looking to grow our career, business or undertake a personal activity to achieve a goal, how we go about it and what we deem as success is personal and individual.
I am competing in two events on the weekend of the 27th/28th August, a 1/2 mile swim in Loch Lomond on the Saturday as a part of the Great Scottish Swim Event and a 10k run on the Sunday at Strathclyde park as a part of the Women’s Running 10k.
Now many of you may have been watching the Olympics recently and been seeing the success of the various athletes. I am no Olympian. I do however feel that I am achieving a great level of success in what I do with these types of events, for me.
Today I had a set back, and it is not of the sort you would
expect. For anyone who hasn’t swum in the waters of Loch Lomond, let me tell you it is cold. As in you get an ice cream headache from putting your head in the water type cold. This means that you are either one very brave person if you swim in the Loch without a wet suit. E
specially if you come from climates like I do originally. As an Australian, I am used to much warmer water, when I go for an open water swim, and often swim without a wet suit. After my shocking experience last year of swimming in Loch Lomond, I would never in a million years consider doing that here.
Off I went this morning to hire a wet suit for the swim. I am a reasonably tall female, at 5’9″ (175 cm), although I know many who are taller, and at 45 I am fit for my age but am honestly overweight for my height. The largest wet suit I could get at the hire place here in Glasgow, will not even come up high enough to go over my shoulders! I left the shop trying not to cry – thankfully I succeeded, so I don’t have to add to tears to my embarrassment.
I am not saying that I am not overweight. I don’t always make the right food choices but I have been trying over the last couple of years to get my weight under control. Whilst I haven’t even achieved my own version of success in that, I have when it comes to running and swimming. I am not superwomen and I won’t be setting any records any time soon but I can continuously run 5K regularly and 10K when I decide to do it and even a 1/2 marathon when I want. For me this is a huge success.
You see I was in a car accident 17 years ago in which my C5/C6 disks in my neck were damage. Over the years I have had to deal with symptoms such as regular migraine headaches, lost of sensation in my left arm, weakness in my left arm and shoulders, and more recently this has progressed to my right arm, my hips and down the left leg. What this means for me is walking is often very painful, so is sitting and lying down. I need to constantly move.
I am not amazing because I do sport, but this along with my age and other medical conditions does contribute to my size and the fact that I will sometime not train for a week due to the level of the pain. It also means that sometimes I will come home from my 5K park run and not be able to move much for the rest of the day.
As you can see with this in mind, whilst I am not super excited about being over 100 kg (approximately 16 and 1/2 stone or 230 lbs to help those that don’t do metric), I am not beating myself up. As I mentioned I am 45 and I am very fit for my age. This is because I exercise.
I am successful at my running and swimming. It is my success and I own it.
Today I am feeling like I am being excluded because I am struggling to find a west suit, and I am not HUGE, and I am fit and healthy by a Doctors standard to do the sport.
I am going to keep looking and I am sure I will find one in time. I wanted to share though as I want others to see that success is not just about gold medals and record breaking times. When it comes to being fit and healthy and active, it is about getting out there and doing it, regardless of size, shape or ability level.
What is your version of success and how to you overcome the set backs?