Meet Doris, my doubting inner voice who likes to sabotage a lot of my cycle rides, sometimes before I've even left the house...
Doris spends a lot of time with me and to be honest she can be a Bitch!
Doris sits on my shoulder and whispers “you can’t do it, you’re just not good enough…”
I’ve learned to put Doris in a little box to keep her quiet but when I’m having a bad day she pops out and starts whispering again…
I’ve learned to acknowledge Doris, sometimes when I’m going up a hill thighs burning, lungs bursting, she’ll put in an unwanted appearance, screaming at me to stop, yelling that there’s no way I can do it!
I say “shut the $@&% up Doris and tell her that I know it hurts but the pain is temporary, we can make it a bit further just to the next tree or lamppost…”, keeping Doris in her box can be so distracting that before I know it we’re at the top of the hill.
Now all my cycling buddies have named their doubting inner voices, and if someone tells us Daphne has joined us for the ride or that Deirdre popped out on the last hill, it’s our way of saying we’re struggling a little bit and then we all have a laugh about giving Daphne, Deirdre or Doris a rollicking and carry on. It has a powerful effect and just talking about it instantly puts all our fears at bay.
I have days where Doris is so powerful, I just don’t have the energy to shut her up, and that’s ok as it’s just part of what makes me human after all.
But accepting Doris, naming her and talking about her has had a huge effect on my mental strength and without doing so I wouldn’t have been able to cycle the length of France or climb Mont Ventoux or cycle LE JOG. Doris is ever present whether she’s inside or outside of the box and acknowledging her as being part of me has taught me a great life lesson that my most powerful muscle is my mind and where the mind goes the body follows.
Doris,Deirdre and Daphne successfully kept in their boxes and another sportive completed.