Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That First Mile

I have an embarrassing story. In fact, I may have mentioned it before, but I'm going to tell it again.

I just finished jogging around Green Lake, and although when I started it was misting, while I was halfway around the lake it started dumping rain. Rain drops were cascading down my face, down my neck, I was soaking wet. When I first moved to Seattle I was worried about the weather, I was afraid I would hate the rain. Now that I've lived here for three months, I can safely say that the rain is soothing. I love it. Even when I run, the drops have a way of cleansing you from the outside in.

Rain Outside Our Living Room Window

As I ran, and the rain continued to pour, I thought about how different my life has become. I flashed back to 2006 when I was stifled in a poorly mated marriage. I stopped running for a period of time, a few years, and I didn't focus much on the food I was eating - I ate all kinds of crap, anything that sounded delicious. That year, I topped off at a yearly doctor's exam at 183 lbs. I am 5'6 and 3/4" (I always have to add that almost inch). That doctor's appointment was a changing moment for me. I decided that I was being stupid, that just because my husband wasn't in love with me, didn't mean I couldn't love myself. So, I started jogging. At first, I could only go about a block. My lungs would burn, and I'd be wheezing up a storm. I hated the fact that when I ran I could feel all of the extra fat on my body bounce, and I was frustrated that I didn't fit in any comfortable workout clothes. I was disgusted with myself. I was in a love/hate relationship with my own body, and struggling with my self worth.

Once I was able to jog one mile, I decided to set a goal. A big goal. I signed up for a half marathon. I didn't care how long it took me to do finish, my only stipulation was that I was not going to walk - no matter what. It took about half a year to train for the 13.1 miles, but I did it. During the race, in the final couple of miles, as I trudged through, I was neck-in-neck with two speed walkers, it was hilarious!

Finishing that race was one of the most challenging and surprising things I've ever accomplished. It showed me that I'm capable if I put my mind to it. It was not easy, that's for sure. Some days I didn't want to run, but I didn't want to give up. By the finish of the race, after all the months of training, I was down to around 150 lbs. I was healthier, and I promised myself that I would never give up on myself like that again.

Crazy memory, huh. It nice to have ups and downs in life. The downs are truly what makes you strive to improve and appreciate things.

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