26th May 2016
Oscar, for the uninitiated, is a cat. I’d say “my” cat, but that would be wrong on 2 counts. Technically, he is Twin2’s cat. And more importantly, Oscar is of the opinion that he owns us. He is a cat that likes to be outside, basking in the sun. He has a title: Lord Oscarmort and he thinks he is a dog. He also thinks he is lord of all evil (he is plotting the biting of all the bad birdies in the world). And rather than think, he’s 100% certain that he is in charge of all things. Particularly me. He is short on human interest – apart from near meal times. But he is big on self belief.
Moving to Queensland has been a traumatic experience for my moggy. Not only did we snatch him away from the one huminion he truly liked (Margot, our next-door neighbour) – but he has also had to endure life indoors. Indoors is the ultimate insult to the ginger lordling. Bad birdies reside outside, and he needs to be ready to bite* them.
Apart from an unfortunate run in with a fox, life in Whyalla was all about ruling his dominion with a furry iron paw. And occasionally biting holes in bags of food, if huminions were in dereliction of their feeding duties within the required timeframe: i.e immediately.
Then we moved to Brisbane.
Poor Oscar – how times have changed.
Every time he has stayed out overnight, it has resulted in trauma. (Honestly, I lay awake worrying more about him than the kids – they are way more trustworthy). We have a system to try and entrap him before bed time, but sometimes the system fails. And if he doesn’t come home, I can put money on him coming back damaged the next day… Queensland city cats are complete thugs and our kittenchops that was acquired on the basis of “free to a good home” is costing a small fortune in vet bills!
Are you wondering where on earth I’m going with this and what it has got to do with triathloning?
Well, here’s the thing! I suddenly saw a link!
Because Oscar, despite repeatedly getting hurt, is undaunted in his approach to life, night-time shenanigans and lording it over the world.
And so, despite my run in with cleats last week, I realised that I had to be more Oscar and give them another go.
Thus, Monday, I took the bike to the crit track – perfectly timed for when the rest of the world was going about their daily business AND NOT WATCHING ME, I went back into action and took the risk of displaying my limitations using cleats.
With much trepidation, I cycled round the track 100% unclipped. 😀 Then, having got a feel for the bike and a wee bit more confidence, I clipped one foot in cautiously and cycled around, practicing clipping in and out.
Then I progressed to clipping both feet in!!! (It felt very cool).
I unclipped and stopped several times, and all was well. There was no falling!!
At least there wasn’t until I got really cocky and practiced a sharp stop. That’s when I realised that despite my long held belief that I put my left leg down when I stop, I don’t. I am right-handed and right-footed in everything else in life, so what possessed me to think I favour my left foot in cycling, I don’t know…
I unclipped on the left, and realised too late that it was, in fact, a total waste of time…
Other useful lessons learnt – cycling gloves are handy for protecting pandies. I need a pair!!!
So this is what I learnt from Lord Oscarmort – no matter how many knocks you take – you have to keep getting back up. If it’s something you want to do, you have to summon up the courage to get back out there and try one more time.
Because practice makes perfect.
So, next time your confidence takes a kicking, be more Oscar – get up, dust yourself off, go outside and lie in the sun. (Or maybe have another go at whatever it is YOU want to do). We will not be deterred!
*Oscar has only ever bitten bad birdies in his dreams. He also holds the accolade as world’s clumsiest cat, so issues a 5 minute warning in the form of his lumbering onto the scene, which effectively scares all wildlife off well before he gets into mischief.
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