As you reflect on 2015, and prepare to ring in all the newness tonight, 303’s Cheri Felix has a message for all the women out there seeking perfection in racing… and ponytails… and all else. She reveals the long-sought secret to achieving perfection. (*This message is equally applicable to most men as well.)
There are no such things as perfect ponytails and perfect races. Not because you can’t make an extraordinary ponytail or have a perfect race but for many of us, even if we did, we wouldn’t see it for what it was. We’d still be all judgy about it. Pick it apart.
This year at one of the high school races one of my girls said, “Look at them. They look so tough, so perfect.”. “Yes,” I said with a nod. “I have those girls at my races too.” Many of us have had that feeling. Like we don’t quite belong. Like everyone else knows something we don’t. If you’ve never had it either at a start line or in the hallway of school or walking into an interview, that’s amazing because I think many of us have. And I’m sure I speak for some of us, but it’s a sucky feeling. Nothing quite like feeling like you don’t belong or don’t deserve to be somewhere.
I’d say on a confidence scale of 1-10 I’m probably at a solid 8ish most of the time. Part of that is due to the fact that I know my strengths and part of that is due to the fact that I know it’s literally impossible to be perfect. So most of the time I walk around thinking I’m all that and a bag of chips. Not perfect, not amazing, not MENSA, not pro, not the prettiest and not the fastest but still, all that and a bag of chips. What’s that you say? How can you NOT be those things and still fall in around an eight on any given day? Because my self esteem can’t always be based on how fast I am at a race (because I’d put my head in a bike tent and never come out) and it can’t be based on my ponytail and how it works with my helmet (because it doesn’t thus the side braid) and it cannot be based on how I measure up in the skin suit department (that would be dumb and pointless).
Here is the point. It’s almost a new year and I know many of us are setting goals. Some of them are based around our habits and some are training and race related and yes, some of them are based on our bodies. But please catch this because I’m about to throw you a hail mary pass and game ending throw all in one; you’re already good enough.
Maybe you’re not as good as her or her and maybe you’re never going to ‘cat up” to the next category. Maybe your skin suit will never be a size small or medium. Maybe you’ll never be the fastest up the hill or have all the right gear or the right bike or god forbid, the perfect ponytail. But you’re good enough. And if you ride bikes and/or if you race you’re already winning. Not like in an “everyone’s a winner” type of way but in a “don’t be so damn hard on yourself” kind of way.
Happy New Year. Make it great.