The text was simple and to the point. “Do you think I could ride 100 miles?”
After some back and forth with my friend Mary it came down to this — she wanted to register for the 100-mile route for the annual Tour de Cure, a fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association. She has never done that distance before and was hesitant about it. Should she register for the century? Or should she choose the 62-mile option which also would be her personal best in distance?
The decisions was hers to make. Only she knows her body. Only she knows what she’s committed to. Only she knows her reasons and motivations which provide the fuel on the days when you’re tempted to say, “I’ll just miss this one workout,” then find yourself two weeks later curled on the couch, feeling guilty and ill-prepared.
Is she capable of doing the 100-mile ride, which is fully-supported and not a race? Absolutely. But the key revolves around one simple-sounding truth — she needs to believe she can do it.
In a recent article on Forbes about why people fail, the top reason is that people don’t really believe. It reminded me of hearing athlete Lindsey Van speak shortly after her years of work to get women’s ski jumping into the Olympic Games finally paid off. You can achieve any goal, she said, if you believe, really believe, in it.
Belief is not wishing. It’s not hoping. It’s not crossing your fingers. Belief isn’t saying all the right things outloud while having conversations with yourself to soften the blow if you fail. Belief is about going deep inside yourself. It’s about knowing, absolutely, that you can. It’s about true, authentic confidence. Doubts and fears will surface, but when you have belief in yourself, you’re able to face those doubts and fears without them destroying you. When you have belief, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. When you have belief, you truly understand that anything is possible, and that knowledge feels like a wisdom that lies deep in your bones.
I, too, registered for the 100-mile route at the Tour de Cure. I’ll ride it with Mary, not just to challenge myself, but to raise money for a fantastic organization. Diabetes has affected some of the people I love most in this world. Research, education, prevention and treatment might help some other little girl keep her loved ones not just alive but healthy and vibrant. And that example may just change the course of her life. I know this is true, because I believe it down to my bones.
If you’d like to support my ride in the Tour de Cure, visit my fundraising page. Please consider making a donation. Thank you.