This week, I have spent some time reflecting on my journey over the past 3 years. So much has changed, yet each change was independently small. The changes have continued to build, and this week, I was able to notice how far I have come.
For those who don’t know me, I was recently overweight and not very active. I played roller derby with a local league, but did not change my eating habits in order to lose weight. Just about 3 years ago, I decided I was done being over 200 pounds. I was done feeling out of shape. I was done worrying about things, and dealing with large amounts of anxiety. I decided I wanted to enjoy life.
I was able to drop below 200 pounds for the first time in my adult life, and ran my first 5k without…without walking at all. Then, I felt accomplished. I reached the goal I had set for myself, and went back to normal life. Slowly, the weight came back. And, before long, I was over 200 pounds again.
One morning, I woke up and remembered the resolve I had felt previously. I changed my mind that day. I began training for longer runs, and very quickly, found myself training for a marathon. Sid-Garza Hillman frequently recommends that a person look at themselves and decide, “Do I want to be that person who…?” In this case, I looked in the mirror, and said, “Do I want to be that person who is always losing and gaining weight, and never happy or do I want to stop worrying about my weight and focus on being healthy?” Focusing on becoming healthy won.
I no longer feel like the number on the scale defines me. I am happy with my body, my skin, and my nose. I feel confident and secure, and no longer worry what other people think about me. I decided to focus on myself and what makes me happy, and in return I am a happier person, better boss, and a more relaxed parent.
Running has changed my life. I am comfortable in my own body, and even though I have lost weight (over 40 pounds to date), that’s not the best part of my journey. I am testing myself and pushing the limits farther than I ever imagined could be possible. I am seeking out challenges that never seemed possible. I am reaching goals, and making new goals consistently.
I realized that life is more than work, bills, and stress. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I had really lived my life, instead of just going through the motions. I am going to spend the rest of my life searching for things that make me feel alive, and doing them. Next up, a 53.8 mile race on the Arizona Trail in November. Plenty of stepping stone goals will be paving the way between now and then. Who knows what will be next? I sure don’t!
What’s your passion? What makes you feel alive?