One year ago this month I underwent a major procedure that, in hindsight, was a turning point in my health and fitness journey. I had already lost most of the weight I wanted to, with the exception of those last 10 pounds I believe I will be buried with. I was going to exercise classes regularly and loved the cardio component but really wanted to work on other types of fitness too. I also wanted my body to match the work I put into all of this! After 3 very large babies and a weight loss of 70 pounds I was in a situation where it was time to have sit down with my doctor. We decided together that the next necessary step was to, excuse the grossness coming up, remove all the excess skin left behind. Being a diabetic, I had skin issues where the "extra baggage" was causing friction and I was just too uncomfortable to be who I wanted to be.
So last May I got it taken care of! Physically it was incredibly painful and difficult with several nasty issues arising that I didn't expect. Emotionally I felt like I turned a page and couldn't wait to get moving again!
I tell you this as part of the back story of what occurred Sunday. As soon as I was able I started to run. I started with the shortest of walks shortly after the surgical drains were removed and by July I was actually running! At the time a mile seemed insurmountable and I remember chatting with my friend and fellow running novice saying we couldn't wait until two or three miles was considered a short run! I laughed, knowing that day would never come but dreaming would always be free.
We eventually built our mileage and stamina up (her more than me!) and registered for our first 5k. It was the Color Run last November and what a blast we had! And I crossed my first finish line! I was hooked.
I ran another 5k in December and a 4 miler in March. A week after that was the Spartan Race. I lived in fear and terror for months! I knew I could not do it. There was no way I could run the almost 5 miles and deal with all those obstacles; barbed wire, mud boggs, walls to be climbed, cement blocks to be dragged, tires to be flipped. You get the picture. But come that day in March in 39 degree pouring rain .... I, along with an amazing team, became A SPARTAN!!!!
I kept running though. My friend and former co-novice had become part time brainwasher and encouraged me to register for a Half Marathon! www.runlikeadiva.com It looked so fun and exciting. I got caught up in the idea of being an official Diva, with a medal to declare it so! The race was this past Sunday.
I was blessed with friendships that sustained me when I was panicking that I could not start, could not run and could not finish. The women that trained with me are nothing short of astonishing. There was never doubt, only encouragement. I learned more than I ever thought I could about running, strength and myself.
On Sunday morning we took off and within a few hours, we were Official Carolina's Divas and I was a Half Marathoner!
I am still in utter amazement and floating. I thought it might be a bit tacky to go for my first run post race wearing my tiara, boa and medal but, believe me, I was tempted! Maybe shopping for groceries will be a better set up for those accessories?!
I share this with those who know me personally and want to thank them for supporting and encouraging me, for not trying to talk me out of it, though I know they wanted to and probably thought they should, and for just saying the right thing when I needed it most. I share this with those I don't know personally or those who are where I was in July to hopefully encourage them that all dreams are possible. Sometimes you have to tweak goals or plans but you don't ever have to give up. You just have to want it more than you don't want it.
If you want to change, than you have to change.