MY STRUGGLE WITH ATHLETE’S IMPOSTERS’ SYNDROME

MY STRUGGLE WITH ATHLETE’S IMPOSTERS’ SYNDROME

Athlete’s imposters’ syndrome. This is something I had struggled with a lot growing up. I was a runner, an Irish dancer, a downhill skier, a basketball player, a touch football player… Yet, whatever sport I was playing, these thoughts would always creep up on me:

“She’s better than I am.”

“I have lots of practice to do.”

“I wonder if I’ll ever be at so-and-so’s level.”

“I’m not good enough.”

Turns out I wasn’t alone, though. I brought this subject up with my sister, Heather, and she told me she felt the same way. My sisters and I were thrown into ski lessons as soon as we could walk so we’ve felt comfortable on the slopes for pretty much our whole lives.

When we got to high school, Heather and I began to race competitively (she was always better than I was) but I just recently learned that she had felt like a “poser” or imposter every time she raced. We had literally been skiing for 10+ years at this point, yet there she was, feeling out of place and like she wasn’t legit enough to fit in with the other racers.

Why?

Because she hadn’t been “competitive” until she was a teen?

What was it about us that made us feel so inadequate? Why did we struggle with confidence in things we were actually GOOD at? Part of me thinks that’s just what comes with being an awkward teenager, but I also know a lot of people who never struggled with this (or I guess, more likely, never talked about it).

As I grew up and began to get to know myself a little better, (aka reading approximately 1700 self-help books) these thoughts started to go away. I started to care less about how others surrounding me performed because I realized that 1) I’m no longer competing for any trophies/medals/titles and 2) I’m an adult. I don’t need to compare myself to anyone. HA! Easier said than done, I know.

So, you may be asking yourself: What does this have to do with hiking?

Well, these nasty, annoying thoughts crept their way back into my head about a week ago when someone asked me for hiking advice.

I’ve only been ‘seriously’ hiking for about 3 years now but since then have tackled some wicked tough day hikes like the Bruce Trail in Tobermory, Mount Marcy in Lake Placid and Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

I’ve summited Mount Kilimanjaro, an 8-day trek that ended with a midnight summit night and I’m just about to start my training for a trip to Everest Base Camp in 8 months from now.

Yet, here I was, feeling like a complete imposter when asked for advice.

What made this person think I was legit? I only started hiking a few years ago! Yes, I have a hiking blog with my best friend that I’m super passionate about but little does this person know that I still consider myself a COMPLETE newbie.

This is where I caught myself though.

I’m a newbie. I haven’t been hiking for years and years and I just discovered Merino Wool this past winter. I’m a newbie. I only JUST figured out the proper amount of water to consume while hiking and I still wear a baseball cap on sunny days that has zero back of neck protection from the sun so I sometimes burn. I’m a newbie. My sense of direction is and always has been horrible and I’m still convinced I could survive off Cliff bars alone (shout out to Kristi for never laughing at my hilarious poop joke). I’M. A. NEWBIE.

And… I’m okay with that!

This is a learning process for me. This blog, these community hikes we organize, the various speaking engagements we’re asked to participate in; I’m learning AS I’m teaching.

Isn’t that half the fun?

Vicky

Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedIn

GIANT MOUNTAIN + ROCKY PEAK RIDGE, NY

GIANT MOUNTAIN + ROCKY PEAK RIDGE, NY

Location: In between Keene Valley and Underwood on the 73, NY, USA
Starting Point: Giant Mountain Primary Trailhead 
Elevation: Giant 4,626ft (#12 on High Peaks List)
RPR 4,390ft (#20)
Ascent: Giant 3,050ft
RPR 1,400ft
Route We Took: Ridge Trail to Giant Summit, to Rocky Peak Ridge, back to Giant and down Ridge Trail
Total Distance: 14 km
Time: 8 hours
Level of Difficulty: Moderate (compared to other High Peaks)

This was day 2 of my solo-hiking trip in the Adirondacks to crush out a couple more 46er peaks (the day before I did Cascade and Porter).

The terrain is pleasant to start to the ascent as you make your way through a typical whimsical Adirondack forest.  Then be prepared for lots of rocks and rock slides.  You reach a junction that either sends you to the Giant summit (SO CLOSE) or towards Rocky Peak Ridge.  I decided to summit Giant first.

It was manageable with a bit of scrambling.  The summit was quite busy but it was a beautiful and bright sunny day so it was easy to hang out for a while.

Panorama view from Giant summit.
An example of scrambling up Giant.

Then it was time for Rocky Peak Ridge.  After descending back to the junction, you take a left towards RPR.  At this point, you have to go DOWN Giant and BACK UP RPR. This was the steepest and toughest part of my 2 day hiking days.

Summit of Rocky Peak Ridge looking at Giant.

Rocky’s summit was a lot less busy and just as beautiful. It was even more rewarding seeing where you just came from as Giant is right in front of you.

The toughest part is getting back up Giant.  Since you’ve already put in a long day, the steepness and rock slides are that much more challenging.  But you can do it!

The view of getting back UP Giant from RRP.

Once you get back up Giant be prepared for the long descent back down.  These mountains are both worth it but make for a tough day.

Lots of hiking love,
Mary Anne

Mary Anne Ivison

Mary Anne loves hiking, mossy rocks and her gig as a radio personality. She is in pursuit of becoming an ADK 46er and touching every mountain on planet Earth.

More Posts

CASCADE MOUNTAIN + PORTER MOUNTAIN, NY

CASCADE MOUNTAIN + PORTER MOUNTAIN, NY

Location: In between Lake Placid and Keene, NY, USA
Starting Point: Cascade Mountain Foot Trail
Elevation:  Cascade 4,098ft (#36 on High Peaks List)
Porter 4,060ft (#38)
Ascent: 1,940ft
Route We Took: Cascade Mountain trailhead to Cascade summit, back down to junction, head to Porter summit, return to parking
Total Distance: 10 km
Time: 5 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy (compared to other High Peaks)

This was my first attempt at climbing any of the Adirondack 46ers and heard Cascade and Porter combined are great “starter mountains” (even though Vicky and I did Mount Marcy last fall, we had no idea it was a 46er at the time).

Don’t be fooled by the easy ranking though, this is in comparison to the surrounding mountains.  Cascade is a perfect day hike and best “bang for your buck”.  It’s pretty, only takes half the day, not too tough and has spectacular 360 views when you get to the summit.

Porter isn’t exactly worth it unless you’re attempting the 46 peaks.

Lots of hiking love,
Mary Anne

 

(Top image view from Cascade summit)

Trailhead
View from Porter Mountain

Mary Anne Ivison

Mary Anne loves hiking, mossy rocks and her gig as a radio personality. She is in pursuit of becoming an ADK 46er and touching every mountain on planet Earth.

More Posts

JOURNEY TO KILIMANJARO: OUR FIRST TEAM HIKE

JOURNEY TO KILIMANJARO: OUR FIRST TEAM HIKE

Yesterday was a big day for us HikeAddicts; We did our first team hike with Dream Mountains! Mary Anne has been meeting and training with this group since the Summer but since I’m a late comer, this was my first time meeting the team and going on a hike with them.

We took on Wolf Trail, a favorite for both of us, and completed it in about 2.5 hours, which was a lot quicker than I had expected with it being WINTER and all. This was my first dead of winter hike and got to break in  my crampons that I got for Christmas- WOOHOO (it’s the little things, friends).

The best part of the morning was getting to meet the people I’ve been in contact with for weeks now and realizing just how dang small Ottawa is. Almost every single person I met knew someone I know. All it takes is “Oh, you play touch football too? Do you know ___?” or “You ski at Mont Ste. Marie? What’s your last name? I know your Grandad!” (anyone in my family can relate to that second one; my Grandad is the most popular guy on the planet).

(Mary Anne took this on our way up)

The actual hike was a chilly yet refreshing one. The first 15 minutes in the parking lot were definitely the most challenging since we were all just standing around shivering but once we got started the blood began to move and I think we were all okay and dressed warmly enough. When I checked the thermostat in my car it was -9 degrees (Celsius, of course) but that didn’t factor the windchill so the best way to describe it would be face numbing with a touch of slow-motion texting fingers. All Canadians know what I mean by that… Except maybe Vancouverites, you guys will never know. 😐

Luckily, there’s not much texting to be done in the middle of a hike.

It was sunny and bright which kept our moods and confidence skyrocketing. Kilimanjaro will be a cinch… Right? JK JK.

We took a break at the half way point for a snack where I learnt that “PACKS OFF” meant you have no choice- you take your friggin’ pack off. I didn’t bring snacks, thinking it’d be a quick and easy hike but my new friend, Bob, shared his homemade dehydrated strawberries with me. Aw man, now I need to buy a dehydrating machine.
(Photo cred: Harry Binks)

(HikeAddicts, baby!)

We began our descent after about 15 minutes of chatting/ taking pictures and I noticed the way down was a lot quieter as I think we were all getting a little more chilly with the lack of incline workout warmth. It went by super quickly though and before I knew we were high-fiving Kristi (one of our team leaders) in the parking lot.

(Snagged this shot on our way down)

Overall, the hike was wonderful and I’m counting down the days until the next one!

Vicky

 

 

 

 

Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedIn