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  • Writer's pictureJustin McLennan

Discovering My Sidekick

Passion. Passion can be seen as an encompassing feeling that creates a lively and eager interest in a proposal, cause, or activity. Personally, I am very passionate when it comes to living a healthy and active lifestyle. However, my passion for working out and the enjoyment I received while doing so had faded. Working out had lost that special touch and I found myself just going through the motions. I knew it was time for a change and what’s a better way to make a change than to give yourself a new challenge that would push you out of your comfort zone. I had decided to sign up for my first sprint triathlon and had 30 days before race day.

I started training in a pool and immediately the fears of the swim overwhelmed me. I found myself gasping for air and needing to rest my shoulders after just a few laps. While training, I found myself in a constant battle with myself. In my mind, all I could hear was that little voice. “No, you can’t go any further.” “You are going to fail and let not only yourself down but those supporting you.” The only way I knew to quiet down that little voice was to prove it wrong by actually doing what it is telling me I couldn’t. The triathlon went from being motivating and exciting to a training-battling headache. It was again, time for a change. Only this time, I was not going to change what I was doing physically but instead change what I was doing mentally.

First, I had to understand that finishing the triathlon without taking a break did not make me a winner. I was a winner every time I stepped into the pool, got on my bike or tied my shoes. With this mindset, I was able to stop worrying about the race and focus on what I was doing in that exact training session and in that exact moment. Immediately, my form started to improve and I found myself exerting less amounts of energy but going further faster. Second, I had to stop thinking of that little voice in my mind as an enemy. I decided to think of it as my sidekick. He keeps telling me to stop because he is scared, worried and wants us to be safe. Instead of fighting back and proving the sidekick wrong, I decided to take care of him. I took a moment to listen and then calm him down by telling him things like, “we got this,” and “everything is going to be alright.” Immediately, the battling in my mind had stopped and the voice became my motivational teammate. The passion for working out and the enjoyment inside were back!

Take a moment to think about the things that bring joy into your life and the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone. What was the “sidekick” voice saying when doing the things you enjoyed? How about when you pushed yourself?

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