“If you don’t believe in yourself, neither will anyone else.” This is the quote I chose to include with my senior photo in our high school yearbook a good fourteen years ago, and it’s interesting to reflect back on this concept. I absolutely gain strength through those who believe in me, and I know I couldn’t be where I am today without the people who have supported me through various points in my life.
There are too many to possibly name everyone, but I think it helps to look at some specific examples. My mom has been a great source of strength through major life changes and is the person I call for everything from deciding what to do with my life to finding the condensed milk in the grocery store. She flew out to support me for my first half marathon and assisting me through my first Half Ironman. My friend Erin and I have supported each other through deaths, marriages, and divorce, and she recently flew out to surprise me for my 33rd birthday. My husband Zach supported me when I decided to start LIM359, has helped me through numerous triathlons, and reads these blogs before I post them. Many of my teachers throughout the years supported me and encouraged me to chase my dreams. The Achilles running group supported me and helped me stay accountable for 1 run a week when I first started running and could easily miss a week if they weren’t expecting me to show up on a Monday. My Skirt Sisters have provided me with an amazingly positive environment to celebrate our athletic accomplishments as women, and Skirt Sports founder Nicole DeBoom has given me an outlet to share my story through her podcast. My LIM359 family has providing me with so many positive connections, and I am always thrilled to see them jumping outside their comfort zones. Because of these connections, I am a better person.
That said, I still think there’s at least some truth to the quote I chose to accompany my senior photo. While I am deeply and truly thankful for the support I receive from those around me and know there is no way I could be who I am without them, I still think that believing in yourself will open the door for others to believe in you as well.