Don’t believe your own internal bullshit when you’re doubting yourself …
Matilda Raynolds grew up in country New South Wales chasing 3 older brothers around the paddock.
So it’s hardly surprising her first foray into sport was on the rugby league field.
Sadly, she had to give up the sport in her early teens because once girls reached a certain age, they were no longer allowed to play against boys - and, of course - there was no girl’s league at the time).
(I spoke about the same issue affecting girls playing AFL in this episode of the podcast with Sam Lane).
Fast forward a few years and Tils (as she is known outside work) discovered triathlons. And just 4 years later, she made the jump to the professional ranks - which, in hindsight, she now admits was too early.
These days, Tils is an “amateur professional” cyclist who rides at a National level here in Australia with the #1 ranked women’s cycling team in Australia - Specialised Women’s Racing - including at the Tour Down Under in January, 2019.
In this conversation for Sparta Chicks Radio, she shares:
* her experience riding a bike as a child (the story involves one brother, a motorbike and a $50 BMX)
* growing up with male athletes as her role models (because there weren’t any women with a profile in the sport),
* how she transitioned from playing all-the-sports at Boarding School to discovering triathlons in her early 20s, and why she says she became a professional triathlete too quickly,
*how she 'hated' swimming yet deliberately set out to change her mindset,
* her struggle with body image, burnout and the Imposter Complex in her triathlon career,
* her transition into cycling and now onto the Specialised Women’s Racing team,
* what it was like to stand on the start line at the Women's Tour Down Under in 2019 - her first World Tour event - knowing that she was the General Classification rider (ie, the rider the team thinks is capable of winning the overall event!)
* how she navigates her own "internal bullshit" these days,
* the importance of having a good saddle and bike fit (cycling is not supposed to be uncomfortable!)
* her experience of 'Everesting' on the road to Everest Base Camp in Tibet as well as riding parts of the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and
* whether she's always been the type to 'say yes and figure it out later' (or whether that confidence has developed over time).
Notes and resources:
To find out more about Tils or to say hello, you can find her (back) on Instagram.
You can find information on the new Specialized ‘Mimic’ saddle for women here