Six years ago, I had an 18 month old baby. She was one year younger than her closest sibling, and followed four others. So, six total. My life was wrapped up in my kids and my life was chaotic. I began the journey into spectrum disorders and dealt with a metric butt ton of garbage that I don't wish on anyone in many aspects of my life. I was completely overwhelmed and has gotten into a *very* dangerous habit of consoling myself with food. Angry? Eat. Sad? Eat some more. Overwhelmed? Stuff my face. Happy? Fill my gut.
I rewarded any and all small - or large - victories as if I was a dog - with food. It was not a pretty sight and I was not happy. So I decided that I'd start to try to lose weight, and I told absolutely no one. Not one person. Not even my spouse.
This weekend I participated in an event called "Get Fit", sponsored by my city Recreation Center and held at a city park. I woke up early Saturday morning and went for a 2 mile walk with my husband before he went to work.(It's just about the only way we see each other any more.) I came home, ate breakfast, got my kiddos situated and ran the 2 miles to the set up of the event.
It was amazing.
Every class that the rec centers offer was a participant. When I arrived, a Zumba class was going on, and so I jumped in to that. I did the last four songs. When it was over, I meandered to some of the other stations.
Boxing was the first one I did, naturally. :)
After that, I made my way to the other stations. I took a 20 minute TRX class. (There was boot camp, partner pilates, Tai-Chi and self defense ground jiu-jitsu.)
I went to the Ropes.
This was my favorite station, by far. It was only about 10 minutes, but I was EXHAUSTED at the end. We worked arms harder than I've EVER done. I'd be interested in signing up for this. The instructor, that man standing on the metal table, was 100 kinds of awesome. Resembling nothing so much as a drill sergeant, he yelled and screamed and encouraged - at one point, he pointed at me and screamed, "Yes! That's how you do it! That's what I want to see!" At the end of the time, I went to thank him and he thanked ME, saying that I was a very hard worker and he'd love to have me in class any time.
After that, I took an intro to kettlebells. I am not new to kettlebells, being that I work out with them all the time, but it was a good class. While I was working out, the instructor said to me, "Can you stay for the next class? In fact, can you just stay here all day? You are a great student."
Both of these incidents were amazing to me. Let me explain why.
When I train, I work hard. I work harder than just about anyone else. But I work out with almost all kids. There are not many people my age - most of the students are in their teens and twenties. A 42.75 year old woman has a completely different body than a 16 year old. I don't think many of them, and in fact I venture to say the instructors as well - have any idea how much harder it is for a woman in her 40's to do the things - at the SAME level, if not higher - than the young kids. And frequently, I can't. I often feel as if I'm lagging, I'm struggling - I'm always playing catch up, the last one in, the last one to finish. I play games in my head, try to beat times, to hold planks longer, to do just.one.more.push.up, to get an extra sit up under my belt.
I have confidence issues. Yes I do.
But on Saturday, I was with people my own age, and I realized something powerful about myself.
I can do it. I do work hard. And when the field is leveled - I'm not the suck ass that I feel I am.
Six years ago, I couldn't walk around the block without sitting on the curb.
Literally. I sat three times because I was winded. The third time, I cried.
And I'm not where I want to be, right now. My tummy is pudgier than I'd like, my arms are flabby and my legs thick. More often than not, I chose a cupcake to go with my salad, and I do like my vodka.
I'm strong, and I like that. Most of the time, I like what I see in the mirror.
Requisite bathroom shot when I was out for dinner with my husband and some of his coworkers
I'm strong and I'm capable and that's what I want to share with you - you can be strong and capable. You can. It's within you.
So what if you can't walk 6 miles? So what if you can't press 100 pounds? So what if you can only hold a plank for 10 seconds? Start. Start now. Start small. Start today.
Some of you get it. Some of you are reading this, thinking to yourself, "Why is she saying this? I work out. I watch my foods. I get it." Some of you don't. Some of you don't think you have time to exercise. Some of you think you don't have money to exercise. Some of you think you'll never get there, so why even try? Some of you think you can't do it, you've failed before, you have big bones and big parents and you've always been big your entire life and you'll never be an athlete. Some of you are afraid of failing and so you won't even try.
Love yourself enough to try. After all, where will you be in five years? Will you be the same you, or will you take the small steps you can to better yourself - those small steps of which all of you are capable?
I never thought I could do it, but this weekend, one small tiny event that probably most of the participants have forgotten, showed me differently.
I did it. You can do it too.