My 9 year old daughter, Aurelia, recently came to be with tears in her eyes complaining of sore legs. This has happened a few times in the last year and we figure it’s growing pains because she’s been outgrowing pants like crazy. When reminded of this, she said “Growing hurts, Mom!”
Ain’t that the truth, though?
Growth is uncomfortable. Even painful at times. But it’s necessary if you want to get where you’re going.
I’ve been working on the Keji Multisport Festival and Triathlon again this year, and I’ve been following the training of our badass group of ambassadors: women chosen to represent the event and share their training journey and event experience with the world. I hadn’t seen much from one of our athletes so I set up a lunch meeting to have a chat face-to-face.
I was excited when Shannon chose my favourite craft brewery for lunch (love you Schoolhouse Brewery!) and I had been connected with her on social media for ayear or so and had yet to meet, so yay for beer lunches and new friends!
We chatted about mutual friends and motherhood and ultimately how training for a triathlon is an intimidating undertaking. You don’t need to tell me that: the swimming part alone freaks me out! The world of swimming then biking then running is new to Shannon and watching some of the other ambassadors posting their training progress was discouraging to her. Keep in mind that a group of these women are NOT new to triathlons. Yet here she was falling prey to comparing her ability to theirs.
It wasn’t Shannon’s ability that was the issue at all…it was the perception that she needed to have expertise to have a story worth sharing.
Think about it for a second…how many times have to tried something new and put pressure on yourself to master it right away?
This is where growth hurts.
It hurts to feel out of your element.
It hurts to feel like the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on.
It hurts to not be performing at peak levels.
But this is where growth happens!
The folks I know who live and work in the fitness and wellness space are keen on self-improvement and on pushing their limits. We’re not content with the status quo and I honestly have a hard time understanding when someone is satisfied with the same old, day in day out. I thrive on setting new goals and reaching new heights.
We choose to embrace the discomfort that comes with growing. We wake up and go. We get finished work and decide that even though sitting in front of Netflix with a glass of wine sounds wonderful, we lace up and hit the road instead. We take on the fear of swimming and get wet anyway. WE CHOOSE TO GROW.
Shannon, my friend, you are growing.
And because Shannon’s choosing to grow, her kids will learn from her. The community around her is growing. Her choice to embrace the pain of learning how to transition from swimming to cycling and from cycling to running is teaching other women that it’s okay to make time for yourself. It’s teaching us all that maybe even we can take on something a little (or a lot) scary.
In our conversation, Shannon mentioned how she had heard Rachel Hollis mention the importance of pushing yourself physically, and I couldn’t agree more. Those last few kilometres of every long run are the hardest, most painful, and most liberating! Every training session is a celebration of your ability. An expression of gratitude for the freedom to move. A reminder that growth hurts, but it hurts so good.
So, when Aurelia comes to me in discomfort with growing pains, I give her a big hug and remind her that I want her to grow and part of that growth means she’ll feel uncomfortable sometimes.
Drink some water and stretch, I offer, but never stop growing.