Thursday, December 15, 2011
In early November I took part in a 10K race. I wasn't ready but I was willing, after all I had made the commitment. Truth be told, I thought about down grading to the 5K. No one would judge me for doing it but I knew I'd always regret it so I didn't.
It was beautiful day in the bay the morning of the race and I made it to the start line with plenty of time and little anxiety about the race.
I generally feel out of place on race morning, even as I absorb the energy of others. I go to these events alone and that's hard. Sharing something with a friend makes it even sweeter and a little more special. Once again I learned that I wish more of my friends took my wellness journey more seriously or at least want to participate. Even if participation is taking pictures and cheering me on from the sideline.
The Mermaid race in San Francisco is really well organized and we started right on time. The 5K's took off at 8:00 a.m. and us 10K's took off at 8:15. I stayed to the back of the pack knowing I'd be walking most of the race. There I met a group of women having a fantastic morning and they included me in there fun.
I learned, the hard way, that a 10K is a very long race. HA! Of course, it would have been easier should I have conditioned for it but being hard headed and dealing with a failing knee I skipped that part. *FACE/PALM* The first 3 miles my body was feeling good. At mile 4 I caught a pebble and had to stop. It was then that I found my leg muscles were fatigued. At mile 4.5 a girl in a stroller leaned over to slap me five as I ran by. As we touched she looked me dead in my face and simply said, "Go!" This was by far the BEST moment of the day. I found inspiration from a small child who had one simple message - GO! It still touches my heart. At mile 5 the bottom of my right foot started to burn. At mile 5.5 my leg muscles were screaming for me to stop. Ya, not an option! At mile 6 I could have sat down in the middle of the course and cried as both feet were now burning and my hip and knee were ready to give out. It was at this point that I had a serious talk with myself ... In short, "Girl, if you want to participate you have to put in the work ahead of time! Stop with this madness." For this race it was a little too late.
When I crossed the finish line it was bitter sweet . . . I had accomplished one if my 2011 goals, finish a 10K race and I had finished under the time I had set for myself. *FIST PUMP* Yet, I had no one to celebrate with. There were no high fives, giggles or embraces to follow. I again felt lost among 1,500+ women. YET, I walked around with my head held high . . .
The biggest lesson of the day -
That a race participant should never be told that it's okay to come in last, someone has to. Although this is a factual statement it is nonetheless demeaning. I've joked about coming in last before but until this 10K I'd never had that be a reality. Ya, I came in dead last - it didn't take away from my race experience but it did sting a little. I'll never again tell anyone that "it's okay because someone has too" - I'll have a little more compassion next time. Even if that is only for myself.
In the end, the day was a huge success. I finished a 10K and I came away a winner. The Mermaid Series does not give out finisher "medals" instead they do give out finisher necklaces with a charm on it. This years charm was a runner, last years was a flower. I cherish my finisher necklaces and I wear them with pride!
I'll do it all again in 2012 but next time I'll do some conditioning work! *GIGGLES*
Race day photo's:
A cold Start:
On the Course:
Breath taking view:
I earned it!
EDIT: I just looked up my finishing time. My goal was to finish under 2 hours.
I came in at 1:41:13, which is a 16:18/M
Thursday, December 08, 2011
It was a blessing that the 6:00 Zumba was cancelled tonight and I decided to return home prior to boxing class. At 6:45 p.m. we said good-bye to Ms. Sara as she passed in my arms. My constant companion of 16 years will be forever missed. Rest in peace baby girl, rest in peace.
Before we left for vacation I asked Ms. Sara to hold on till we got back. I asked her to stay strong and wait for my return. She did just that! My heart is heavy with sadness. Without fail she loved me unconditionally as I did her.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
My first triumph yesterday was beating back fatigue by fighting it with exercise. It is true that I was tired when I left the office but it was more mental then physical.
Zumba class was electric!
After class I wasn't much in the mood to spend the next hour on a machine so my second triumph of the night was to pamper myself by going to the sauna. Being wrapped in the heat was glorious.
Boxing started with only two of us in class. I noticed right off that my skills at jumping rope had improved. [FIST PUMP] It's still not an activity I enjoy [SHOCKING] but noticing an improvement in my skills and ability certainly helped pass the time. The class grew in size as time passed - one newbie (a weight lifter) and a regular (not a veteran).
As I said in a status update not long ago I am thinking about breaking up with my sparing partner. She tries to "help" too much which actually hinders my growth in class. Even the instructor scolds her for trying to make it "easier." I don't need easy, I need to be challenged! That being said, I was asked to work with the regular last night and things went okay. The regular has a friend who generally comes to class with her and they fit well together - they tend to giggle a lot, take many breaks, use their cell phones [GASP], and aren't very attentive. No, I didn't enjoy working with her and I'm quit sure she didn't enjoy my militant attitude - I mean, she nearly fell on the floor when she became overheated. OOPS, my bad - "do you need a break?" Seriously, I wasn't trying to be all mean or anything but if you come to workout, workout! If you need a minute to recover, speak up already! There's no shame in asking for a water break or a "let me catch my breath" moment!! We both were happy when the kicking portion of class was over.
As we started our combinations on the heavy bags [JUMPS FOR JOY] in walks the regulars friend all fresh as a daisy. She stands all innocent like twirling her hair [EYE ROLL] and finally put on a pair of gloves. Without fail she joins her friend, and me, on the heavy bag (we have two heavy bags - my sparing partner & the weightlifter are working on the other) and apparently she really doesn't care all that much about her foot work because she blatantly dismisses the instructions given.
THEN IT HAPPENS . . .
I feel the pangs of insecurity crash into me. I felt small, yet as large as a baby elephant. (Which are terribly cute in my opinion) I checked myself out in the mirror and quickly found every flaw there was to see in my stomach and legs. Yes, the same legs that carried me 6.2 miles during my race on Saturday morning! What brought it on? The regular and her friend "hid" behind the heavy bag whispering. Clearly a trigger of mine. I don't know what they were whispering about and I tried to ignore it. [SIGH]
THEN IT HAPPENED . . .
I got mad. Smoke coming out of my ears - seeing red mad. I wanted to snap both of those girls in two. A sad, but accurate, mental overreaction. What I did instead was smile at each of them and then stepped up to the bag. As luck would have it, we were working on power punches and my power exploded. On any given day my power punches are fierce. However, after I mentally lost it my power punches were explosive. It's customary for another person to hold the heavy bag while another punches. Needless to say, the regular was not ready for my first blow. She staggered backwards with the bag and barely found her footing. When she recovered I threw another punch. The instructor immediately noticed a change and came over. When I was finished with that set, he had me move to the other bag so he could hold while I completed my other two sets. Still I threw punches that even moved him and the bag! When I finished, I was out of breath, arms spent and a little less wounded but no less angry.
As I reflect on my evening, I understand that their actions were merely a trigger for me. In the past I've been known to channel insecure feelings while amongst the masses and I will often shun them, allowing myself to feel nothing. Last night I allowed myself to process, assess and take appropriate action. My mind can be cruel in its own right and if I bow to its force when it turns negative I crumble inside and suddenly I'm a child that has been broken. I'm not sure where that all comes from and in truth, I've been aware of it for sometime.
In my discomfort last night I was able to open up my mind and find a path I'd long since forgotten. A path that will be uncomfortable to walk down but one I must explore. [SUDDEN TEARS SPRING TO MY EYES, I must be on to something to cause such a physical reaction]
Somewhere inside lives a chubby little girl who's afraid everyone is looking at her whispering. She's afraid they see her. She's afraid she'll never be what they want her to be. She is paralyzed.
END NOTE: As I typed that last paragraph a childhood memory flooded back to me. It's painful and now raw. Part II shall come soon. I must get the poison out so I may heal.
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