I’ve never been a great athlete. Truth be told, what I lack in skill I make up in enthusiasm.

You know those memes that start with “My toxic trait…”? Well, for years I’ve been stressing so much about becoming as fast as the fastest in my group that I forgot to enjoy the journey. So yeah, my toxic trait is that I’ll still be the most competitive person on the field, even when I’m the worst at the game.

But yesterday, something else happened… I invited my tri coach and his buddies to join me for a swim at my usual spot, and it took me twice as long to swim the same distance.

And I realised it didn’t matter. I wasn’t sure of they’d be waiting for me at the cars or if they’d leave (they waited), but in the time it took me to finish my rather challenging 1.7km dam swim, I had so much fun. I stopped feeling that I should be as good as them – and they are really great swimmers – and instead focused on my controlled breathing and the sheer joy of navigating the choppy and somewhat scary dam water.

If nothing else, this is personal growth! It’s me against me, and that’s all that matters in the end.