I’m certain you know the feeling.
You’ve got a huge and intimidating goal. You've had it for months - maybe even years. It could be a race or event or it might be something completely different - skydiving, applying for that job you’ve always wanted or learning French.
And just before the big moment, you suddenly get a massive dose of nervousness and doubt. That terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach - a cross between butterflies of excitement and the churning of doubt. Self-doubt creeps in and you begin to wonder whether you’re actually capable of doing what you set out to do. You feel like a fraud and worry that you aren’t up to the challenge.
That’s how I feel today.
That's how I feel about launching SpartaChicks out into the world - a project I’ve wanted to create for years.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve procrastinated, written material, deleted massive chunks and re-written them because I’m scared it isn’t “good enough”...
I want to live in a world where women trust themselves - back themselves - and can step up and openly, and confidently, pursue their goals.
I get seriously frustrated by watching women - talented, strong, determined and courageous women - who can’t recognise those qualities in themselves. Women who downplay their achievements, are torn by what they ‘should’ do and give so much of themselves to others that they’ve forgotten who they are. Talented, strong, determined and courageous women whose fears are holding them back from experiencing the success they are capable of and the happiness they deserve.
I think women are an absolute force of nature - but sometimes we forget that. We’re strong, determined, protective, nurturing and community-minded. The characteristics which kept your female ancestors alive (and whose blood runs through your veins) are the same that you bring to everything you do today. You have those characteristics. You are all of those things (and many more). As a young girl, you probably exercised those characteristics outwardly - sometimes to the frustration of your parents - but I think we lose ourselves somewhere along the way. We forget who are we, what we love and what we are capable of. And so many times we let our fears, self-doubt, guilt and self-sabotage stop us from trying in the first place.
Doing what they ‘should’ do (rather than what your heart or gut instinct tells you to do). Wanting to try something but the evil little demon bitch sitting on your shoulder comes up with a thousand reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t. Sure, there might be objective reasons why it isn’t the right time for you - such as money - but my guess is that more often than not, we are the ones that stop ourselves. We sabotage our ourselves, our life, our happiness and our success by doubting our capabilities. By comparing ourselves to others. By downplaying our previous achievements. By worrying about what we “should” do instead.
I’ve seen this in so many women I’ve known or worked with over the years.
I've seen this in myself.
I want to bring together a global community of women (and their Supportive Dudes) who believe that comfort zones are boring, life is short and that each of us is capable of extraordinary things when we can continuing moving towards our goals and dreams in spite of our fears. And while I spend most of my work and personal time with female triathletes and trail runners, I honestly believe that these are issues that affect all women.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. How long? At least 3 to 4 years I suspect. It came about because one day I realised I was having the exact same conversations with my female clients that I had with my mentor about my ‘baggage’ when I got into endurance sports years ago. It was a déjà vu moment for me. We were having conversations about what other people think, what if I finished last, what ‘should’ I do, comparing myself to others etc (it was a long list!).
When I had this ‘aha’ moment, it really took me by surprise. I guess I thought that no-one could possibly be as ‘hopeless’ and fearful as me. We all like to think that we’re unique and that no-one could possibly understand what we're going through.
But the reality is that we all face the same challenges as each other in every aspect of our lives. I face the same challenges as you do - self-doubt, fear of the unknown and that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know that you are putting yourself out there, w-a-y beyond the walls of your comfort zone.
To be honest, in finally giving myself permission to launch #SpartaChicks, I’ve had to - and continue to - face my own personal demons...
Am I good enough to do this?
What will people think?
Who am I to create this program?
I’m not qualified.
There are other people out there who are better for this job.
But I’ve realised this something I’ve wanted to do for years and, judging by many of the conversations I’ve had with clients over the years, it’s much needed. So I wouldn’t be true to myself if I let those fears and doubts stop me.
This isn’t a training site. You won’t see much training advice here.
Instead, I want to have real conversations about all the topics we never really talk about. I want to talk openly about fears and doubts, the way we women often sabotage ourselves (intentionally and something unintentionally). About the stories we tell ourselves. About what we are - or are not - capable of. About the language we use (I can’t, I’m not, I’ll never) and the way it undermines our hopes and shapes our lives. And guilt - so much guilt.
And (most importantly) I want to have these open, honest conversations in a practical way - with strategies, techniques and tools you can use in the moment you need it most - when doubt threatens to derail you.
You’ll find fortnightly blog posts of real, open and honest discussions as well as guest and interviews from people with unique insights and perspectives. Nothing is off-limits.
(Add your email address at the bottom of this page and I’ll send you each post straight to your email inbox).
My dream is that you get in touch with that girl who is still hiding inside you. The girl who went for her dreams and what she wanted, who didn’t worry about what others thought and who didn’t let her fears stand in her way.
It started with the female clients over at Sparta PT who have always referred to themselves as "Sparta Chicks" and it’s stuck.
But my hope is that the SpartaChicks name comes to reflect a state of mind.
That it represents any women who is true to herself and living life with confidence and courage.
One thing I’ve realised over the years is that sport is an amazing vehicle to change your life. And it’s not because of the obvious reasons (to lose weight, make new friends, look after our health etc).
It’s because it teaches you that you are capable of far more than you possibly imagine (yes, I’m talking to you madam!). As you realise this, you develop a quiet confidence. You feel safer, more confident and less reluctant to test the boundaries of your comfort zone both in your sport and in other aspects of your life.
It's given me the confidence to do things which were important but uncomfortable in my personal life. I certainly wouldn't have left my life (and paycheck!) as a corporate lawyer if I hadn’t learnt through sport to back and trust myself.
I’ve seen this growth in other women too. Women who are more confident in themselves, raise confident children and inspire other women to live extraordinary, fulfilling, satisfying and happy lives.
And this is what I want for you.
I hope you’ll join me 🙂