Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I made a choice.

Disclaimer:  This post shares things that was so difficult for me to admit to myself for so long.  It is from my heart.  I am VERY passionate about the decision I made and wanted to share with you..... 

This past winter.....around the end of February I made a choice.  I began a life-long journey to become healthier!  A friend agreed to go walking with me every week day morning.  We would meet up at 6:30AM. It was cold.  It was dark!  It was EARLY!!!  WAY. TOO. EARLY!!!  She was so bright and chipper every morning.  I was a train wreck.  A grouch.  Period.  I persisted. She encouraged me.  I got used to the dark. The cold.  The early morning cell phone alarm.  I suggested we start even earlier.  We moved it to 6:15.  Then it was 6:00.  And now...5:45AM!!!  You know. I started being the chipper, happy chattering magpie every morning!!!  Me....the girl that was a perpetual night owl, started becoming a morning songbird!!! 
~waiting for the race to start with my brother~
I was able to make all of my race clothes, running skirt, shirt & compression capris!!!

You see....this was a miracle for me.  I had finally recognized and admited to myself that I had been going through some very dark times in my life.  All was not well.  I had been depressed for years.  This resulted in gradual weight-gain and of course that goes hand in hand with feeling even worse and grouchy and lashing out at others around me.  I had no patience.  I wasn't a very happy person to be around.  I'm being very honest here.....I'm not going to sugar-coat it.  I knew I needed to do SOMETHING!!  I didn't have money for therapy.  And, frankly.....the thoughts of sharing everything that goes on in my head and in my life to a total STRANGER, scared the stuffing out of me!!!!!  I have a thing about taking no medication.  I'm all about trying to fix things naturally.  The first few months were tough.  It was hard.  The first time I barely walked 2 miles, huffing, puffing, out of breath and I was sore!  Yep...I was out of shape..big time.  But, you made be feel better.  Just that little walk.  The fresh air.  The peaceful, cold, dark early morning air.  The sights and sounds of the beautiful world God created.  It helped me.  I walked more and more. 
~ipod in....ready to run....waiting for the sound of the gun~

One month....I logged over 100 miles just walking!!!  Every time I would feel stressed, or I was having a rotten attitude about something that wasn't going right....I would walk, and walk, and WALK!! It was amazing how insignificant I would realized that 'thing' was that was bothering me by the time I got down the road a bit.  Eventually, I decided to try running.  The first time I ran....only about 1/4 of a mile....I thought I was going to die!!!  I was gasping and wheezing.  I kept checking my heart.....I thought for sure it was going to leap right out of my chest!!!  My lungs were on fire!!!  Looking back, I simply think I tried to run far to fast that first time.  But,I wouldn't give up.  I read loads of articles online about running form, stretching, etc....I tried to run a little more each time.  My goal was just to be able to run one mile without stopping.  I finally achieved that goal.  That was all I wanted to do.  But, then, I started to run a little more and a little more.  My brother, who has ran a full marathon before, told me we should sign up for a race.  That scared see.....I'm the type of person that never tries to do something that I think I can't do!  I have to think through EVERYTHING about a particular hobby, etc....before I try it out.  I am scared of failing.  There, now you know another one of my deep, dark secrets.  :)  Well, finally...I agreed to sign up for the 5k event at the U.S. Air Force Marathon. 
~2000 runners waiting to cross the starting line~

I plugged away at training.  I ran in 100 degree weather.  I ran in freezing cold weather.  I ran in the dark.  I ran in the daylight.  I ran in light rain.  It was NOT easy.  I made myself keep at it.  It took a LOT of self-discipline. It was hard.  VERY hard.  
~fighter jets circled the course as we ran our 3.1 miles~

I've lost 18 pounds of fat and gained muscle I didn't even know I could have!!  But, most importantly, I've become a happier, healthier person.  My family is happier 'cause this mommy is happier!!!  I'm not going to give up.  I'm going to keep at it.  This past Friday evening, I ran in my first 5k official race ever!!!  I'm now training for my next race on Thanksgiving Day
~my Dad waits at the Finish Line for us~

 I can't even describe the feeling that came over me as I saw the Finish line.  I got tears in my eyes and tingles all over.  I was a finisher!!!
~My brother and I in our first 5k together~
U.S. Air Force Marathon 2011

 I'm all choked up even typing this up.  This has been a journey for me.  A discovery.  A new direction.  I never want to go back to the dark times I experienced.  Running has given me the stress-relief I so desparately needed.  I'm sharing this....not as a 'look at what I achieved post'....but hopefully as an inspiration/encouragement to someone else. I don't know everyone that reads my blog.  I don't know what you are going through or even how you're feeling right now.  I just wanted to share a bit about the journey I'm on right now and encourage you.  You CAN do it!!!!  Fresh air and a little bit of exercise will do wonders for anyone's outlook.  I'm still daily taking my own medicine.  This is a life-style change for me. A choice God is helping me make.  Every. Single. Day.


Mel said...

I think a lot of us share the very same secrets you have.
Many of us are in that same boat desperately trying to row to shore.
Thanks for sharing.

Angie Davis said...

Wonderful to read! God has used walking and running to improve my perspective greatly too. Keep it up!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations! This post is such an inspiration! Just this week I began to uncover some of the "layers" in my own life and deal with issues of personal discipline. I'm thankful for my women's group and a friend who has offered to hold me accountable. I'm hoping to have a victorious story like yours one of these days! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this.


sarahmfry said...

Congrats on the 5k...but even more on the "medicine" you've found. It's the same kind of medicine my body and spirit crave. Smiling with you, friend : )