I have had this post floating around in my head for a few days.
I was looking through a container of crayons, pencils and various coloring implements the other day and came across my Princess medal from 2012. I haven't really displayed it, because I felt like I hadn't earned it, and was quite frankly ashamed that I even had it in my possession. Then the other day at work I saw my Diva 5k medal hung proudly in my cubicle. I got in the car and came across my Battleship Half Marathon medal in the car. I have a lot of friends that have personalized medal hangars, and special places to display their race medals. It occurred to me that I have been showing absolutely no pride in my accomplishments, because yet again, I felt what I accomplished wasn't worthy of showing off. But why???
The fact is, most people at my size, BMI, and fitness level have given up on themselves. Not only have I not given up on myself, I'm continuing to push myself to accomplish things that people half my size and in far better shape are afraid of attempting. Was I trained appropriately for my Princess Half Marathon last year (2012), no, but I still showed up, pushed myself, and with Plantar Fasciatis (or however in the world you spell that), IT band issues and a massive ankle spur, made it 2 miles. I went out and I tried.
I did the Diva 5k in May of last year in 52:15, a little over 17 minutes/mile, which if I had continued training, would have been more than capable of getting my pace to under the 16 minute mile required by Run Disney.
I started doing CrossFit in July, to also make myself stronger. It has absolutely worked. I've gone from lifting only a 35# bar, to being able to backsquat 125#. I can deadlift 225#. I can lift a lot of weight now, I have been complimented on my form repeatedly.
I intended to train and be ready for this year's Princess, and do a half marathon here locally to get a good finishing time, but yet again, I sabotaged myself, and didn't train. I went 12-1/2 miles in about 4 hours, and again, while I didn't finish, I am incredibly proud of my accomplishment.
In January I registered for and competed in my first ever CrossFit competition. My goals going in were to not embarrass the box owner, not finish dead last, and not embarrass myself. I found myself getting compliments from competitors on both days, spectators came up and told me how impressed they were with my drive and refusal to quit. I found myself on the "Women of CrossFit = Strong" facebook page, submitted by a friend, and my picture and store were all over facebook for a few days. It was touching, and inspiring and impressive. I never saw myself as an inspiration, but I keep getting told that I am one.
Then it was time for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon. I was starting in Corral D. I should have had a sizable lead on the balloon ladies/pacers, and I did. I had about a 25-30 minute lead on them which with my slow pace was only about a mile and a quarter. I figured I'd have to be moving it, because I would likely see the balloon ladies at mile 6 or 7, but I didn't see them until mile 8-1/2 or 9. I wish I had had the foresight to turn around and see how many people were behind me. I understand there were around 1,000 or so people behind me still at that point, but just seeing the balloon ladies put me off my game, and I just gave up on myself. I let the normal aches and pains that someone should feel at that point get to me, and I sat down on the guard rail at mile 10 and waited for the bus. I should have kept pushing, but I didn't have the mental strength to do so.
I should be incredibly proud of what I am doing. A lot of women my size have given up on themselves. They have quit trying to do anything to change it. We see them every season on The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and similar shows. I was in that place 2 years ago. I honestly believed the only way I could possibly lose this weight and regain my life was to go on BL, so I even drove to Orlando to wait in line to get 20 minutes with a casting director hoping I would find myself on The Biggest Loser, season 12. I am NOT giving up on myself, I continue to sign up for races, I continue to go to CrossFit. I will continue to push my body to its limits unless and until I get myself to a healthy weight. I will continue to do whatever it takes to regain my life and the body I used to hate because I didn't understand it. I didn't understand that my body wasn't mad to be "skinny", but instead, to be rounded, and voluptuous and beautiful. Now I get it, so I just have to keep pushing myself to find the body that is underneath this layer of fat. I will find it, however long it takes, and when I do, I will continue to push my body to its limits. There is a lot of life left in this body, but I won't get a chance to enjoy it if I don't keep pushing to find what it is I can do. I look forward to being able to run a half marathon and not have to answer the question from my children of, "Do you think you'll finish this time, Mommy?" or "Mommy, Why didn't you finish? When will you be able to finish?" I want to inspire my children, to show them that you NEVER give up, and that we can all do whatever we put our minds to!
Till next time....