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Tackling the scary stuff

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I wish I had a bit more time so I could blog more; a lot has been going on lately on my journey-- struggled with motivation for a week as I hit a plateau, but stuck with it and started finding it again. SparkCoach has been helping me with consistency and I have been maintaining most of my streaks, which become more and more motivating as they get longer. I don't want to break my streaks after working so hard! But tonight I am not going to address any of those things...instead I want to write about my SparkCoach assignment today which was to do something I'm scared of.

This was a tricky one for me, and one I wish I had more prep time for. Initially, I had a hard time identifying a practicable goal for today. On the other hand, I DID tackle something that has been a lifelong fear just the other day...but more on that later. First, the scary thing I tackled today.

It was a very busy day at work today with a very intense incident at the end of it that left me feeling pretty stressed out and a bit down. I had to go to the grocery store afterwards and my first thought was "Great! I'll buy a little treat as a pick-me-up." My second thought was "Hey! That's emotional eating and you can do better than that!" My third thought was "Oooh, but you know what would be nice when I get home? A gin and tonic, or maybe a glass of wine, to relax and take the edge off." Fourth thought: "Hmmm, isn't that kinda like emotional eating? Let's save it for Thursday when I have after work plans with a co-worker." Fifth thought: "Well, okay, but I'm still stressed and down!!" And my healthy habits kicked into gear and got me into my running clothes shortly after I walked in the door of my apartment.

So what about the scary thing I tackled today? Keep in mind I started running only 5 months ago, working up from 15 second intervals my first week on up to doing my first 5K at the end of May. While deciding which way to head on my run, I remembered a running route that I'd thought of months ago, thinking "Wow, that would be EPIC! I'd like to try that in a year or so." This route takes me from my house, on wooded trails down to a park and then to a 3.5 mile running trail loop and then back home through the park and on the same trails, but uphill at a gentle grade the whole way home. Altogether, an 8 mile run. I set off on this run with a good attitude, but having no idea whether I'd be able to make it or not. My previous longest run was about 6.25 miles. I told myself I could turn back instead of going around the whole loop if I needed to. I told myself I could stop and walk if I needed to. I told myself that I didn't need to run the last two uphill miles if I couldn't handle it. But I didn't stop... I didn't walk... and I didn't need to take a break on the uphill grade on the home stretch. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Right now I am tired, but feeling great! Did this run scare me? I guess that depends on how you define "scared". But it definitely felt intimidating and well outside of my comfort zone. It felt like I was rushing into something that I should keep training for instead of just going for it today. It felt like a huge and possibly insurmountable challenge at my current level of fitness. But in fact it was well within my ability. I felt great on a couple of the uphills that would have had me gasping just a couple months ago. I didn't wimp out when I had options like a flatter trail versus the more up-and-down one that I used both ways. It was tough, but it was not too tough. I'm pretty psyched, in case you can't tell!

Okay, so what about that lifelong fear that I tackled on Sunday? Well, maybe not quite lifelong, but definitely all my adult life. I once went bathing suit shopping with a friend, and this was about twenty years ago when I was still slim and somewhat fit, and when I tried on a bikini my friend started laughing at me like seeing me in a bikini was just about the most ridiculous thing ever! So I've never owned, never mind worn a bikini in public! Getting older has provided a lot of benefits and one of those is that even though my body is lumpy and has stretch marks all over it and is in every way a work-in-progress, I'm kinda getting over being embarrassed by it. Especially with all the hard work I've been doing, I feel a bit proud of my current shape even though I still have a long way to go. But I tell myself every day that my body is strong (and getting stronger), fit (and getting fitter), healthy (and getting healthier) and that I have NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Long and short, I bought a bikini on Friday and actually wore it to the beach on Sunday!

So here is the second scary thing I'm doing today: posting a photo of me in my bikini at the beach, lumps, bumps, stretch marks and all the myriad imperfections included! Here ya go! emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KJACOBS1111
    Well, I already said you look great on your picture wall, but you should hear it again! Congrats for facing fear AND on the epic run!
    1674 days ago
    The shades and smile caught my eye, I can't do the bathing suit yet but I've never been into that since I'm so fair. Good job for overcoming your fear! emoticon
    1674 days ago
    What catches my eye is that beautiful, confident smile. Carry on!
    1675 days ago
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