Thursday, November 25, 2010
Jen logged herself in. “It’s time,” she said. “We’re going up on the third floor today. ” The third floor is where the kinesis machines are. They are in a private room that doesn’t appear to be a torture chamber. It’s got nice wooden floors and four innocent looking pieces of equipment hanging off the wall with thin cables. They are labeled, “alpha,” “beta,” “delta,” and “gamma.” They might as well be called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I’ll give you the Clift Note’s version of my workout: It was the best and the worst workout I ever had in my life. One hour of agony and torture. I worked my entire body with each exercise.
We finished by running laps --- sort of. We ran the straight a ways and then I lunged the curves and corners. When we finished Jen said I looked like I wanted to hit her. I told her if I could raise me arms I just might!! As I sit here writing I ache all over but it’s the best ache I have ever had in my life. As we walked towards the door she stopped again. “That’s the roughest I’ve worked you and you did good.” I didn’t hit her, I thanked her. I had a hard time moving but I was on cloud nine. I never thought I would be grateful and thankful for pain. A year ago, well a year ago it wasn’t even on the radar.
We all have things to be thankful for, I have a list like everyone else.
I’m thankful for being able to hang in there for an hour. A year ago it wasn’t on the radar. A year ago I was uncomfortable, despondent and ready to give up. All my vitals were teetering on the edge of disaster. I felt alone and isolated and nothing fit. My self-esteem was in the basement and my attitude not far behind it. If I talked about everyone in my life who pushed, cajoled and loved me into the exercise regimen I am in now I’d be here all day.
I’m thankful for C25K. In May all I could do was walk and thought well that was quite enough, thank you very much. I ran my first 5K in September, my second in October and am scheduled for my third in December. I ran five miles two weeks ago and actually cried the last quarter mile I was so happy. (I know I’m such a girl, LOL) I am looking forward to running with some Spark friends real soon!!
I am thankful for early morning workouts, late evening workouts and running down a highway in West Virginia this summer where two deer jumped out of the woods and almost scared me straight into heaven.
I am thankful for the sixty four pounds I have left behind this year. With that wonderful loss has come a new confidence, a new sense of freedom and the ability to want to do more things in my life. My marriage, my friendships and all my relationships are stronger and healthier by what I’ve left behind.
I am thankful for my health. It is the vehicle that has made me a better John. I’m grateful for the pain and the indecision and the revelations about me that have come to the fore front so far in this journey.
I am thankful for you being my friend, encouraging me, challenging me and making it all so very real. I have become who I hang around with. You are as much a part of “Team John” as anyone else.
I used to roll my eyes when someone would say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Today I know that those first few steps had a lot of sweat and tears involved in them. That’s what made it worth it all. That’s why I am so thankful.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
My nephew Jim called last night. He’s Joan’s oldest sister’s oldest child. His dad died about ten years ago or so and since then whenever he has “issues” he calls me. His dad and I were close and I don’t think there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. He died suddenly of heart attack. Jim is getting married for the first time at age forty. The hardest thing for me to swallow at age fifty seven is that I have a forty year old nephew. (I guess it could be worse. I do have a sixteen year old great niece, LOL.)
His bride to be has two children, both boys, both teenagers, from a previous marriage, and the biological dad is not in the picture because he chooses not to be. Predictably, both boys don’t care for Jim and the fact he is marrying mom and they are, to use the appropriate parlance of today’s vocabulary “acting out.” Jim is at a loss on how to handle all of this so he called me. As he stated a couple of times during the call he believes I am “wise.” Given that the last six weeks of my life have been one little failure after another I didn’t correct him with any false humility. Towards the end of our discussion Jim seemed a bit despondent. He was hoping to be perfect and it just wasn’t working out the way he thought it would.
“You’re so wise,” he started. “All this stuff comes so easy to you.”
I reminded him that the only way we gain any wisdom at all is through failure. He seemed incredulous. He had a hard time believing I had ever failed at anything or made the wrong decision. I told him I had; more times than I cared to think about and if I had any insight at all into anything it was because I failed so often in reaching out for that ever so elusive success. We wished each other a good evening and hung up. I sat in my chair and started thinking about the real wisdom of what I said. It HAS been a rough last few weeks but I am starting to see the horizon and the sun is shining. I made a few bad choices. (One involved an illicit relationship with a pan of brownies.)Every time I made a poor choice, I regrouped and went back to the process that has been successful for me in the past, but a bit wiser because of my failure.
I have hated the gym, my trainer and my running buddies for a little over a month now. I wondered why I couldn’t click my heels three times and be thin and svelte and all those other alien terms. I cussed and fussed and carried on….. This morning I sit here with a goofy grin. My granddaughter throws herself on the floor and pitches a fit, so to speak. I just did it in a much more sophisticated manner. I got mad at me, and as a wise Spark friend told me once “Nuthin’ changes till somethin’ changes.”
I owe a lot to many of you. There have been so many “I love you’s” and so many “hang in there’s,” that I felt encouraged to move on. I am back on track. I’m a bit bruised and bumped and certainly a bit wiser. There is a real blessing in failure. My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure.
Just like me and you.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Some mornings I have enough to deal with and then, out of the clear blue, I have to take on being honest with myself. Is there no end, I ask you?
I read a blog this morning about self-image and how we aren’t always honest with ourselves about how we look. It was timely for me because I had a whole weekend of people who haven’t seen me in eight months or so going “Oh my gosh do you look good!!” or “I follow you on Facebook and my gosh I think its great someone your age has started running.” (I didn’t know being 57 qualified you for an assisted living facility.) The problem is, when I close my bathroom door and take a good look all I see is this obese man. It’s more than disheartening, it’s disgusting!!! That’s what I see. I don’t see the four pants sizes I have lost. I don’t see the sixty four pounds that took a lot of hard work. I see what’s left. I see the negative, the fat, the obese…………. Call it what you will.
I don’t think I will ever understand why some of you want to be my Spark friend. I mean I look at your pictures and see how fit and attractive you look and I do an OMG!!! I sneak a quick peak at me and almost need CPR from holding in my gut to look moderately presentable. I sat back in my chair and got ready because when I get this feeling I just know an inspiration, whether I want it or not, is looming on the horizon. “It’s why you haven’t put up a picture of yourself in forever,” the wonderful voice said. “It’s because you are ashamed.” A moment of thought………… I had to agree.
Oh great, I was feeling low enough as it was and now I have to tackle all this? Yeah I do. I mean I don’t but I do if I want to take the next step in a journey that doesn’t seem to want to end. I have had a bunch of stuff, none of it good; go through my head in the past thirty minutes or so. All of the silly beliefs I have about me and then the realization that along with being an emotional eater, an eternal people pleaser, and a control freak I discover that I suffer from massive inferiority about my appearance.
Be careful what you ask for John. Sixteen hours in the car in a three day period gives you a lot of time to reflect and pray. I asked for wisdom, strength and courage to keep on this journey. The answer I got was this small, yet strong voice saying: “You need to get out of your own way. We both can’t sit in the same seat and drive the car.”
I start a spinning class tomorrow night and a relaxation yoga class next Monday. I’m worried how I’ll look. It’s silly or is it? We all have demons inside of us, those pointy tailed imps that bedevil us and irritate us at a moment’s notice. They know exactly what button to push.
One foot in front of the other I keep repeating “You are worth it, you deserve it and thank God I hang around with you guys.”
Sunday, November 21, 2010
There are so many things in my life that I am grateful for. If you are reading this blog consider yourself one of those things!!! If it weren’t for the encouragement, the Goodies, the Spark mails and the affection each of us shows each other I believe this journey would be rougher than it is some days. I believe without the support of those who care and who believe in me this journey would be impossible.
I don’t always take the time to say thank you as properly as I should, so in a really feeble effort to acknowledge your love I am thanking each of you now for being my friend, supporting my efforts and encouraging me along the way. I don’t always have the chronological time to sit at my key board and respond to you one-on-one. Please know that my daily blogs are often that response. Because you have loved me I have grown and because I have grown I have thoughts, ideas, and experiences I want to share with you in return.
As sincerely as one can do through the written word you are appreciated, loved and prayed for on a regular basis. If I have lost touch with you please know it was not be design. One of my goals for 2011 is going to be to get a better handle on my time.
I do not have many friends that I can sit down with face-to-face and just chat with. Please know that all of you have filled that very large, cold void inside of me.
You Are Loved And Appreciated
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