What are your why's


I was a very shy child, the kid who always tried to blend in to the background and hope no one would notice me - I never felt I was good enough, that people wouldn’t be interested in me…and then I found that I had a natural talent for sports, any sport! And finally I found my voice. I was still the shy quiet girl everywhere else but on the sports field I felt and acted like a completely different person. I got recognition, adulation and a sense of achievement, things I’d never experienced before and I liked it. It opened my eyes to the person I could be and set a fire in my belly that gave me drive and determination. I played lots of sports but rugby was my passion and I played to a very high standard.
That is all great but it did mean my confidence and feeling of self worth was fuelled by my sporting achievements…the inevitable injuries came along and these periods of inactivity drove me into a dark place each time they happened.
The drive and competitive edge I got from sport also spilled into my work life in a very positive way and helped me climb the career ladder, but it had a negative impact on my personal relationships - especially when in a relationship with someone just as competitive!
Fast forward to the past few years. I’ve done a lot of growing over the last 20-30 years; my drive to constantly achieve has helped me look at myself and understand my triggers, helping me become.more confident in me as a person rather than just me as an athlete. And as I got older I started to drift away from competitive sport.
Then 18 months ago my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away in a very short space of time. I walked past a bike shop everyday while visiting him in the hospital. After a few days I popped in to have a look; I hadn’t ridden a bike for years and never a road bike…two hours later I was the proud owner of a canondale and would find an hour or so each day in between hospital visits to get out and just ride; this gave me time to process my emotions and sometimes gave me the ability to stop thinking! After Dad passed away I ended up in a very dark place mentally, but the help of a counsellor and making time to get out on my bike brought me to where I am now. My why’s have changed, I’m no longer wanting to compete against others, I just want to remind myself that I am alive and that life is pretty darn good! My why is my mental and physical health - it’s great knowing that no matter how low I’m feeling, if I can get myself in the bike I will feel so much better :grin:


My heart is bursting reading this. if you need any support or a second ear re the medical process please do ask. have you explored viral? lymes? environmental like mercury or arsenic or gut infections as triggers to issues currently? hope it all resolves. you have such a strong and caring approach to yourself and i am sure that this took time to learn. and yes, we fail now and again but nothing is more important that us using sport to create our safe and sacred space. big hugs :heart:


My why got hijacked today


beautiful; such a journey to seeing yourself as just as good behind the achievements? funny how many of us have the not good enough mantra… so profoundly powerful and yet when you think about it utterly daft! good enough for who! usually it isnt even “our” not good enough.

this drove the show for me also for a long time (lost complete self confidence between 20 to late 30s; afraid to try anything or be seen in sport) and then i decided to turn it around…3 years later i decided to tackle the not good enough for my mum and help my mum see that i was an extension of her, her flesh and blood; where i excelled was because of her and so that seemed to energetically change her competitiveness against me without saying one word!, and i started to use my strengths gained in sport to mentally turn perceptions and beliefs on their head. I also said to myself, almost every women in generations before us didnt have the freedom, opportunity or self belief to do what I am. so to honour them I am going to be everything possible that I can… because they couldnt. and many across the world still cannot. so why hold ourselves back… just shine everywhere we go and not be scared … and do it smiling. no more fear about being strong, and being seen…

the conversation in this thread is so so powerful!


Thank you. I have had Lyme in the past. (Fun fact- the town I work in is next to Old Lyme, CT-the town the tick disease got it’s name from.). I am hoping it’s not chronic Lyme as it is very hard to treat and a lot of controversy surrounding it. Actually, I don’t want it to be anything.

I will take you up to looking at other options.

A few weeks ago, I got a call back regarding my last MRI (wasn’t good news). Luckily, I was mountain biking with 11 other women in the mountains in Vermont. I decided to stay in the moment the whole weekend and enjoy good company, good food and good riding.


Wow, that is a great example of keeping in a positive state and experiencing the now. That takes some serious mental strength. I’m impressed.


@Petals, I totally get the riding as meditation! It’s that for me too. People ask me what I think about when I’m on a 100 mile solo ride just for fun and after the first 5-10 minutes my mind goes blank and I am just in the moment, look at those flowers, wow a deer, oh smelly cows, etc. All the stress goes away, I’m not thinking about what happened at work yesterday or what I need to do later or tomorrow. It’s glorious.

I am so sorry to hear about your continuing health issues. I hope your doctors get it figured out soon and I hope you don’t have something like MS. Big hug!


I experience the same thing riding. Stay in the moment, enjoy the scenery. Some days I fly on my mountain bike…hopping over stuff, flying downhill, pushing all the climbs, making my body hurt, then I see the flowers and it makes me pause and see the beauty in the world.

Riding was certainly a life saver raising teenagers! At times, I thought someone was going to die…and I would be the one with the smoking gun! :open_mouth:

I also do a lot of laughing on the bike. My husband and I are usually cracking jokes while riding. The people I ride with now are just a bunch of fun! I call it exhilaration and laughter!


Love this @goldendogy! I hope to cycling well into my late years too. I told my husband I plan on breaking Robert Marchand’s hour record for the 105 age group! :grinning:


You can’t say no to that @cullenac! Such cuties!


oh my god we should ride together; can you imagine the conversation! actually all of them because i am sure that you talk to the trees, plants and animals like me!


OMG @cullenac, I do! Hi squirrel lookout don’t run in front of me. Hello beautiful deer don’t worry I won’t hurt you, you are so pretty. Oh aren’t you a big gorgeous tree! Hey pretty butterfly are those flowers tasty? Riding together would be fantastic in so many ways!


Those are way different conversations than the ones I have. Mine generally involve words thats I shouldn’t post here.


stefanie you will like this; its been a year since i cycled up here but today was an easy spin so off i went to “smell the flowers”. this megalithic burial cairn is older than Newgrange, stone henge, the pyramids… real old, peaceful and hardly anyone knows about it!


Oh my goodness @cullenac, that is amazing! If I had a place like that to bike to I’d be out there all the time. That picnic table is too sunny though, I’d be sitting in the shade of the stones and enjoying a sandwich and listening to the birds. Thanks for sharing the video :slight_smile:


Love this thread!
Here is a fun little activity if you ever want to develop a deeper understanding of your WHY’s!

As they say in the field:


Questions about how to use this worksheet? Let me know!


I now have my anger fire for ITU Worlds. More to follow later. No need for extra motivation.


This activity sheet is awesome! Thanks @mentalgrit, I am definitely using it right away. Peeling the layers of the onion…


Today I took another step on my journey of recovery from depression, I got a couple of tattoos-not everyone’s ‘thing’ I know but these are my way of celebrating the progress I’ve made (the bike) and a symbol for my Dad (the robin)…placed on my wrists so that I can glance at them whilst cycling :grin:


Love them @Michelle!