In November of 2015 I was headed to tackle my toughest athletic event yet. After completing tons of races already that year, I had a new found love for endurance events and was at the top of my athleticism (so I thought). I was about to take on World's Toughest Mudder (WTM), a 24-hour race where you complete a 5 mile obstacle course as many times as possible, and well.. try not to die. 

After a finish that left me sooooooooo... I mean soooo close to placing Top 5, I was determined to come back the next year, take it on again and finish top 5.

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I didn’t make it back the next year to take that 5 spot. I was sidelined... literally and figuratively. In early 2016, I tore my ACL, was forced to take a hiatus from racing, and I was no longer the competitive endurance athlete. Instead, 2016 was the year of coaching. I GOT to be the best coach I could be. I built a community of OCR athletes in my area, and really had a super successful and fulfilling year. Note: I was not always feeling this way during. I have now had plenty of time for reflection. I was actually really sad at times. 

Fast forward to November, 2017. I’m sitting here writing this blog days before going back to WTM. I find myself reflecting on what this year has been like, and trying to compare myself to what I once was back in 2015. I honestly couldn't tell you how I was feeling, what my body was doing or what my training was like then. But, I do know I was racing A LOT and I was good. BUT that is where it goes TOO far. Trying to compare myself to what I once was is just as bad, or if not worse, than comparing myself to others. I could creep my own Insta or Facebook and look at how many podiums I got that year, how lean I looked, all the miles I was running, convince myself that what I am doing now is not as good, and plant myself right on that pity pot. 

Instead, I have mentors, an awesome coach  Nickademus de la Rosa and a really supportive (at times I think he's an asshole) boyfriend who can help put things in perspective. My life is completely different today. I run my own gym, Becoming Badass,  teach a shit ton of classes, don't run nearly as much, am a full size woman (Patrick, the boyfriend, says this) and my mindset is way different. In retrospect, I have taken on much harder events; whether they were events I signed up for or just life events, and have overcome them with different perspective. 

This year I have goals. But I also have my WHY. This isn't about beating the girl I was then, but being the best Ashley that I can be. Keeping my WHY in mind. Making athletes proud, and most of all, myself proud - NO MATTER the outcome. Of course I have set tangible goals like hitting 75 miles, taking home a top spot, not getting injured and not pooping my wetsuit. But I need to remember my WHY – that is what will get me to the Finish.

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