Happy Friday friends! You got it! Today is the third installation in SBM’s “Fix Your Life Friday” series with our resident life coach, Carrie, of Tempo Life Coaching. I think the below question is big one with any athlete, especially a triathlete who spends 10+ hours a week training. If you start this sport, you are bound to find someone (even someone close to you) who is unsupportive, or even mocking, of your choice to tri.
I love this line from Carrie’s response: Your internal coaching voice has to be louder, stronger, and more supportive that anyone else’s thoughts, comments, judgments. (Amen, my friend).
Hope you enjoy the post, and remember to send your questions in to Carrie for next week!
My question is: How do I deal with a family member (in this case my mother but it could be someone’s spouse) who is actively negative about my training? I’m talking more than just the normal “oh you’re crazy to train so much” but who goes out of her way to schedule family things that conflict with big work out days, or who constantly tells me how “selfish” and “immature” I am for spending 1-2 hours a day training (note- I watch no TV- this is my only “self” time). She will help my siblings with their kids if they want a night out drinking but she won’t ever watch my kids if I ask for the same amount of time to train. And forget about any kinds of congratulations after a big race. I know I should probably just get over it and not let it bother me. But it does- and going home for the holidays three weeks before my biggest race of the year is just going to magnify the whole situation.
You really did answer your own question with “Just get over it.” The big question is how? That, my friend, is the hard part.
When you have a family member (or close friend or partner) who is actively unsupportive in your endeavor of tri training and racing, it really cuts to the core, and those voices in your head probably start to scream pretty loud. Self doubt, resentment, hurt very likely come to the forefront. This is when you need to take the mental fortitude that gets you through training and races and apply it to those party poopers who just don’t “get” triathlon and us crazies who love to tri. Just like you use mental toughness to overcome physical pain, discomfort, exhaustion with your training, you need to bring that mental toughness to the table when dealing with your mom.
When the topic of triathlon comes up with your mom and you feel like you are defending yourself, just stop the conversation because it’s not going anywhere. Bottom line…don’t talk about your goals with unsupportive people. Criticism rather than validation does you no good. She doesn’t get it, you know she doesnt get it, stick with the people who do! Surround yourself with people who are supportive, with those who appreciate your hard work, who are excited for your achievements, who celebrate your victories with you. Enlist help from people who are willing rather than hoping for help from your mom who isn’t willing. I know several women who trade babysitting so they can all get their training in. I also know several groups who hire 1 babysitter to share while they workout together. Moms get the workout, kids get play time. Perhaps something like that would work?
As for the family events…you have a few choices. You can give your mom your training/race schedule and ask if she could take that into consideration when planning events. You can rearrange your training so you can attend these family events, you could show up late or leave early if you need to, or just skip the event all together. This really depends on how often you get together and what YOUR priorities are.
It really does come down to just “getting over it” though. Oh, I know this is hard and, trust me, I struggle immensely with this one too. Your internal coaching voice has to be louder, stronger, and more supportive that anyone else’s thoughts, comments, judgments. Remember that you can only change your attitude about things, you can’t change other people. Understanding who your mom truly is in regard to supporting your triathlon endeavors is key. She has shown you over and over again that she isn’t going to support your efforts. Stop expecting her to. Yes, it’s sad, but she’s not going to pull through for you and you’ll continue to be disappointed. This is the time to drop all expectations.
You’re an incredible, hard working triathlete, and that is true whether your mom thinks you’re selfish and immature or not. It’s true whether she supports you or tries to sabotage you. Mental toughness!!!
Try this one on for size…“I’m awesome and I’m a triathlete, take it or leave it.” Say it until you believe it. Scream it if you have to…just believe it and don’t be talked out of it.
– Coach Carrie
SBM Life Coach, Carrie Hanson, is a mom of 3 kids (ages 20, 16, and 11), a newbie triathlete, owner and life coach at Tempo Life Coaching. She has a Masters degree in Marriage, Family, Child Counseling as well as a school counseling certificate. Give her some love, and submit your questions (using the form below) for next week! Remember, if you wish to remain anonymous, you shall be!
Disclaimer: Submitting your questions to Carrie of Tempo Life Coaching does not, in any way, establish a client relationship. The purpose of Fix Your Life Fridays is fun, interaction and accountability. Let’s keep it there! If you want to remain anonymous, you shall remain so.
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