How many sports have you tried? Do you prefer to stick to one or try a bit of everything?
Whether it’s running, gymnastics, swimming or weightlifting, some of us have only ever known the same sport, while others have tried everything.
Some are more adventurous and like to try a bit of everything, while others prefer to knuckle down and perfect the one.
It’s not to say those who play many sports are poor at the ones they do, maybe they had an injury that pushed them to test other sports or maybe they just like a new challenge and prefer to mix things up. Sometimes the progression from one sport to another may come naturally and until you reflect you on it you haven’t even noticed the change of heart.
Reflecting on my sporting history
It was only lately when I changed up my sports that I started to reflect on why.
I feel like I have made a bit of a full circle in my sports choice. When I was younger, I played tennis, soccer, gymnastics, hockey, cross country, running and netball, however I quickly realised my lack of hand eye coordination and thus dropped balls sports like tennis and netball.
I did, however, do well in swimming and most forms of medium to long distance running. As I moved into adulthood I kept up my active lifestyle by running, participating in fun runs and by joining a gym. I had played soccer by then for a number of years, but started to note my preference to an individual sport. I appreciated setting my own goals and being my own challenge, I wanted to be accountable for my own results.
This realisation and the encouragement from gym based friends and trainers led me to compete in fitness and bikini competitions and I stayed there for a number of years. Since 2014, I have competed in about eight competitions in both INBA and WBFF. Sometimes i did well, other times I didn’t. But I’m no longer competing in them and nor do I plan to again. So what changed?
Nicole in her bodybuilding days.
The last fitness competition I competed in, I was happy with my preparation and my results and it’s in my nature to try my best, so I can’t fault that. But finishing had more of a happiness then it had before, I didn’t see another competition in my future and I seemed to resent the question ‘when’s your next competition?’ because my answer was ‘no time soon’, and I didn’t know what was next. I like plans, direction and goals in my life, even if loosely set that’s just how I like it. Fail to plan, plan to fail is one of my favourite mottoes.
I felt my training move from having a purpose to just training because I should and while I continued training, it wasn’t as easy anymore.
The inspiration to try something new
I didn’t train much for it. I just added some extra cardio in by running on the treadmill, riding HIIT on the bike and occasionally slot in a swim or two. I had the general fitness to know I would make it to the finish line.
I wasn’t nervous before competing in the event and by the end I was hooked. Finishing the race was the best feeling I had experienced in any competitive sport for years. I had pushed my limits and surpassed even my own expectations.
Nicole preparing to compete in her first triathlon at the Sole Motive Active TRI Series in January.
Training for triathlons
It was another month until the next event and all I wanted to do was train hard and do well. A quick local search later and I found a coach, a training team and I had a goal. So getting up in the morning to train became easy again.
I started purpose training by adding in ocean swims and track training. I competed in another triathlon within this month and came second. I then decided I wanted to keep competing in triathlons so I purchased some of the base equipment requirements for training and competitions.
It’s hard to explain where a passion can come from for a sport or anything in life. You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to want it bad enough. It’s not about what anyone else wants, because they aren’t the ones that have to do the training, give up the social events, push the boundaries and set the goals, you are.
I have gone a full circle and back to my childhood roots of athletics based training. I haven’t been to the gym any more than five times in the last fortnight, rather than the 14 I used to and I don’t even mind.
Nicole finishing the swim at the Sole Motive Active TRI Series in January.
My next goal
I have now set my sights on the annual Noosa Triathlon in November for the events 35th year. Rather than just compete, I have also decided to join the Make-A-Wish Foundation Team, which requires me to represent and raise funds for the charity. I chose this charity because I feel that we should all have the opportunity to live life as best as we can, to experience our dreams with loved ones and have memories we want to smile about.
My aim is to raise at least $1,500. You too can make a difference by donating and helping to support my chosen charity. You can keep an eye on the progress of my training and the final event through the Bulk Blog, Facebook and Instagram.
I have some teammates about to head off to Iron-mans now and even Ultra-mans, and it makes me excited for them and for me when it’s my turn. I don’t know what to expect from my event, but I’m excited to find out.