Sunday, March 16, 2014
It’s true that I think this sometimes. Why do I think this? More quizzically, why did I find myself tearing up at the finish line of an 8k yesterday?
I have been in the technically “overweight” category for a good deal of my adult life. For the most part this wasn’t much of a problem. I’m a tall woman, carry it well up to a point and didn’t physically feel affected by it. Generally I shifted up and down between 160 - 180 depending on my daily activities. About 8 years ago, the zone of fluctuation ticked up to 180 - 210 crossing into the "obese" category. During that time I started not feeling like myself. Looking back I believe my weight gain story can be told very much through the lens of stress and its deleterious effect on my life. I did try to do something about it. But my efforts were unfocused due to the combination of major life struggles and multiple areas where I focused my life energy. About 6 years ago I went back to school and became super sedentary. I stopped having a fluctuation zone and started piling on the weight with no end in sight. Hello 260ville. When I started school, I thought that I would have more time to work on my health and weight since I was no longer working full time. Clearly I failed at that effort. But one of the things I did initially was sign up for an 8k. I thought signing up for a race was a good goal to help in my efforts. Unfortunately I was a novice at the planning aspect of the goal setting. I was not a runner and did almost nothing to prep for it. The exercise I was doing was mostly weight lifting, not cardio. Race day came and I spent a freezing day out in the cold more or less walking this race. And for what reason I don’t know. I looked around and felt like it was mostly pointless. Seriously. If I wanted to walk five miles I could just get up and do it. I didn’t need to pay 40 bucks, get up at the crack on a bitter cold morning and do it on an overcrowded wind tunnel of a street with five thousand strangers. That just sounds dumb. There was nothing fun to me about it...
Fast forward 5 years. School is done. I weigh (what feels like) a ton. And I am getting back on the horse and working to get ME back. As with most things in life, school was a mixture of good and evil. Scoring way too many points for Team Evil’s side was the crazy amount of sedentariness combined with an even crazier amount of stress. On the good side it taught me so much about the process of goal setting. When I went back to school I was desperate to finish. Yet I wasn’t sure I knew what it took to make it to that finish line. All of my previous schoolerization attempts had crashed and burned. In order to survive I had to develop an internal goal setting super hero of epic proportions. School gave me lots of opportunities to flex the muscles of goal setting and achieving, particularly of the long range variety. I had this long range goal of graduation. But to get there I had to face repeated short range challenges. I had to study unit after unit. I had to pass test after test. I had to advance semester after semester. I needed to pass certain courses with A’s without fail or not be able to advance down the road. It. Was. Grueling. And I am bringing those hard won lessons to bear on my current goal of losing weight. I do not believe Team Evil will be able to stand against the power of Super Sha: The Lean Mean Goal Achieving Machine.
Quick digression: For anyone interested in the crazy images my over-active imagination produces: As I was writing this blog and named my twin nemeses of stress and sedentariness “Team Evil” the images flashing in my mind were those two crazy bad guys from the second Matrix movie. You know those albino dreadlocked twins who have the very scary ability to materialize into your vehicle even as you are trying to make a getaway
Yesterday I biked over to watch that very same “pointless” 8k to cheer on a friend of mine as she ran it. Now I know I get teary eyed at race line finishes. But as I teared up at this one, I knew there was an added dimension to it. Now I am dreaming of being able to run. I am dreaming of becoming an athlete. I am dreaming of maybe running a race someday. Only this time, instead of being merely a dream, Super Sha has a plan with incremental steps to reach it along the way. I don’t know how far I will take this. But I know I keep setting goals. And I keep reaching them. And my sights keep getting set farther and farther out. And the horizon continues to become more enlarged, more expansive, more beautiful and alluring. And even though I still think races are kinda stupid… I also think they might be kinda awesome.
Stay tuned peoples… ;)
p.s. I'm pretty sure one day I'm gonna run a race and wear a cape while doing it.