Last month at the Portland Rock'n'Roll, I stopped by the Got Chocolate Milk? booth and recorded a short video application for their Team REFUEL project. I didn't hear anything back, so I figured that it was that--it was fun to sit in a chair, pretend I was a "star" for a few minutes and extol the virtues of chocolate milk since it IS my go-to post workout fuel. Then I received the following email last night:
"Congrats – you are a May Team REFUEL finalist! That means you submitted a killer video application to join Team REFUEL! Now get ready to spread the word - voting for May applicants starts tomorrow at 5:00PM EST!
"Remember, it’s all about votes, so rally your family, friends and teammates to vote for you online at http://www.gotchocolatemilk.co
m/vote. Users can vote once per day. And voting goes to a good cause – for every vote cast, $1 will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
"If you are one of five top vote-getters by the end of the month you will become a sponsored athlete of Team REFUEL and have the chance to race in Europe and be featured in a “got chocolate milk?” ad!"
Can you say EXCITED?!
Maybe everyone who submits a video is a finalist, that's entirely possible. No matter; just the thought that I MIGHT have a teensy tiny shot at a sponsorship for running (me??) is pretty cool. And hey, all the votes generate money for a good cause, too!
When I do something like that--boldly stepping up to do a video--it makes me stop and shake my head a bit. Who IS this person? Some days I hardly recognize myself; I've always been the shy, insecure girl too afraid to step up and say I'll do it, let me try. Too many years of being picked last for the team, of being the slowest, least coordinated kid in the class, made me reluctant to do anything to bring attention to myself. Now I'm jumping at the chance to try things and do things that I never dreamed of. Run anything up to a half marathon? You bet, I am in! Do a video that might actually be SEEN by other people? Why not? Do a Ragnar relay with a bunch of strangers? Me, pick me! Join a group fitness class? Okay, let's do it! Such a change for me, to put it mildly.
The latest adventure that I have tackled is signing up for a coed softball team. Me, play softball? Eek! What was I thinking?! Running is fine; it's pretty much a solo activity, although I may run with other people at times. Softball is a TEAM sport, though, and remember, I'm the geeky unathletic girl who doesn't get picked for teams until there's no one else to choose. I'm excited to do it, though, even if I'm terrible at it (entirely within the realm of possibility). I went out and got a glove and even my own bat, and I'm looking forward to breaking through another one of my fears by doing a team sport. It's amazing what is possible once you start breaking down the walls that have held you captive for so long.
Life is not all sunshine and rainbows, however, and I don't want to give the impression that it is. There are plenty of days when I do NOT want to go workout or eat what I know my body needs. Days when I skip the workout and think sitting in front of the computer or TV with a bowl of pretzels and a jar of Nutella (don't ask--the combo is EVIL!) is much more appealing than the healthy lifestyle I've been working so hard to develop.
Reality check: ***I know that I am going to have to fight to maintain my weight and my new healthy lifestyle. Period.***
I'd like to think that my new habits are firmly established to the point I don't have to think about them at all. I suspect, however, that I will always be tempted to go back to the sedentary lifestyle that was so easy and comfortable. Old habits may have been pushed aside to make way for new ones, but those old ways still have a strong draw, especially when I'm overly tired, sick, or emotionally raw. I had to work through some tough emotions recently, and it was the grace of God and the prayers of a good friend that helped me make it through without sliding into a major downward spiral with decidedly unhealthy choices. It is SO EASY to slip back, and momentum can carry you a long way once you make that first poor choice! Even the worst downward spiral can be reversed, though, by making one small good choice, then another and another. That is the power of momentum; we can let us carry it down, or leverage it to take us further in the direction we want to go. The choice really is up to us to make.
I am so grateful for the tools and the support here at SparkPeople. I hope I can give support and encouragement to my SparkFriends and those just beginning here, though it seems like there are never enough hours to do all that I'd like to in that regard. I aim to beat the statistics that say most of us will gain back the weight we lose, and I know you have the same goal. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be part of a new trend, of people who get to a healthy weight and learn to stay there for life? We have the tools to do it here!
Oh, and just a reminder, if you want to see the (BRIEF) video that I did, go to http://www.gotchocolatemilk.co
m/vote and search for 'denise' to find it. My last name is wrong, but you should find it from my first name. Vote (once a day), and who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to do a real ad for chocolate milk--it really is my favorite way to refuel after a workout or a run!