I love to write. I have recently started a project. This new project is to basically write 'lessons learned' about my weight loss. I've got a few pieces written. Some is very introspective, others are more general. Today I was out jogging and I had some thoughts come to me. I went to work and I wrote.......this is the first draft, simply my first thoughts of what came out of my mind today.
I wasn’t paying attention to the TV that Sunday morning. I was working around the house while my husband watched the morning news. I don’t know what caught my attention but something did. Was it the word triathlon? I don’t know. I had long been interested in completing a triathlon as it seemed like the ‘ultimate’ sport…three things rolled into one. Was it the promise of getting my life in line health wise that caught my attention? I don’t know. Whatever it was, the news report caught my attention. I watched as they ran clips of the lucky chosen viewers from the previous year as they completed a transformation in their lives which culminated in them participating in a triathlon. I sat on the edge of my seat watching with interest. The report ended with the call for video applications. Yes, they were looking for a new group of people to work with to train for a triathlon that would take place in about 9 months. They would provide the tools and the training; I would simply need to provide the grit to complete the training and ultimately the triathlon. I sat there quietly. I didn’t say anything to anyone. The television continued to play, but my mind was stuck on the concept of becoming one of the tri-athletes for CNN. Over the next few days and weeks I spent a lot of time in thought about this possibility. I scoured the Internet for the I reports from the previous group of participants. My desire to apply and to actually do it increased each day. I finally broached the subject with a few people. I got the green light from everyone that I talked to. I made my video and submitted my name as a hopeful and then I waited. I wanted this. I wanted it so badly. I wanted to complete an item off of my bucket list but even more I wanted so badly to get my life in line. By the new year I knew that I didn’t make the cut. I was not chosen. I was disappointed. I felt hopeless. I didn’t feel as if I had any valid options to me on my own. I gave up. I felt like I had absolutely no chance to make the changes necessary…not with out the assistance that I would have gotten from CNN. I wasn’t despondent, life went on, but I threw my hands up in the air and consequentially gained more weight. A year went by. They called for a new round of applicants. I briefly contemplated applying once again. I didn’t do it though. I was still mired in my helpless pity party. Then one day I woke up, figuratively speaking. I knew that I wanted to be healthy and it didn’t matter what it would take. I was ready to pay any price. I started moving more. And then I started to run. It was slow going. I had to research information on my own. I didn’t have a coach standing at my side advising me. I did it on my own.. I started thinking about getting a road bike. I started saving my extra pennies so that I could buy an entry level road bike, and in the meantime have decided to be happy with my current bike. (and just stay off the roads) I didn’t start doing these with the goal of running a triathlon. I ran because I wanted to be healthy.
Excuses. I have always been full of excuses. I wasted one year of my exercise life by making excuses about why I couldn’t get out and train myself to participate in at least aspects of a triathlon. There was always an excuse. If it was the fact that I didn’t have the coaching I found another excuse. My knees are riddled with arthritis so they are a prime excuse. Housewife duties? They make great excuses also. Too cold? Too hot??? Rainy??? Snowing??? My gym (any gym really...living in the country is a pain sometimes) is about 20 minutes from my house... that is a huge excuse as to why I can’t work out. Give me more time and I can fill pages with the various excuses that I have used. Excuses were my best friend.
Are there valid excuses? I’m sure. Are there workarounds for almost any excuse? Yes. But it is truly amazing how the excuses fall away when you desire something from that deep place within your heart.
I’ve made this commitment to be healthy. I’ve made a commitment to really give running a valid fair shot as a part of my life. I want this healthy lifestyle more than I want anything else. (Maybe I should be honest and say that I want to be thin more than I want anything else.) Because that desire is so intense I am willing to push myself to great lengths to succeed.
I push my body out of its comfort zone on a continual basis. When you are pushing your body out of it’s comfort zone it is the perfect environment for change….good change. The problem? Being pushed out of it’s comfort zone means that most days I wake up and my body is stiff and sore. It’s different muscles at different times. It’s part of my life right now. I accept it as a necessary step to the rebirth of myself. Aching muscles are no longer a valid excuse.
Cold weather? I completed the c25K program and never, not once did the temperatures raise above 35 degrees. There were days that I ran with temps in the single digits and teens. There were days that I ran with snow falling around me and yes, I have run in the rain. Heat? Well, that’s rolling into my neck of the woods and I am out there sweating it up. The weather will NOT stop me. I may adjust my run schedule a bit to accommodate the weather as much as possible…but if I am scheduled to run three times in the week I WILL run those three times. (Even if it means going to the gym and running on the much hated treadmill.) Weather is not a valid excuse.
Arthritis? Yes, I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was about 28 years old. Arthritis in my knees. I take the steps that I need to in order to make sure that my knees don’t hurt. But not all precautions are foolproof. Yes, my knees hurt. I know why they hurt. I know that I’m not injured. I also know that the more weight I remove from my body, the less pain I will feel. (and consequentially the knees are what may ultimately make me decide that running is not my cup ‘o tea). Right now they are just an invalid excuse as to why I should stop. (Ironically, my knees are feeling good on my runs…..it was the Thirty day shred that ripped them up…….and I DID stop the thirty day shred for time and knee issues)
Excuses are no longer welcome in my world. Will I run in a triathlon? I don’t know what the future holds. I will say this…..if I decide to do it there will be NOTHING that holds me back! (And possibly could there be a duathlon in my future??? Hmmmm food for thought.)
I was running on the battlefield thinking about my failed attempt to be selected for the CNN triathlon training group. The usual disappointments flickered in my brain. But then I looked at my progress that I had made on my own. Maybe a year later, but I’m finally making progress! I am dang proud of myself. Furthermore, I instantly knew without a doubt that had I been picked a year and a half ago that I would have failed miserably. I didn’t have the drive and determination to succeed. I would have hated every minute of the pain. I would have tried to back out when my knees started to ache. I would have NEVER had the fortitude to run in bitter cold, with high winds and falling snow. I wasn’t ready and thus they made the best decision.