Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Athlete

I think I'm about ready to call myself... an athlete. 

Not because I can do anything spectacular.

Not because I completed a half marathon.

Not because I've been working on being a Healthier Me since February 2010.

But because... in the past few weeks... I've had some experiences that indicate that my body wants to move.  That my body can move.

My trainer, having not really seen me in a few weeks (our schedules didn't intersect), asked me if I'd lost weight.  I had no idea- I don't weigh myself often enough to keep track.  She said that she'd bet I'd lost 5 pounds.  After my workout, I weighed in.  Down 6 pounds! 

I spent time with my family in Ohio on Saturday.  We took the kids to a park and were trying to fly kites from the outfield of one of the baseball fields.  My brother ran it and got the kite to fly a little.  No wind made it a challenge.  I was game to try it out.  He warned me of the mud so I kicked off my sandals and hit the outfield, running in bare feet in the muck.  And I loved it.

Jeff was working on my bike and I'd come out to help him with something.  I'm in bare feet and scrubby old clothes (shorts, tank top).  He goes riding down the street to check the tires.  I run after him, quietly, barefoot and he is unaware of me until I run right up next to him!

Last night, I rode my bike to church.  It's a little over 5 miles.  Ate a light dinner (2 small squares of pizza and a salad).  Had our healthy living group- went out and did week 1 of Couch to 5K with a couple of our group members.  Came back to church and the group did yoga to finish out the hour.  Then I rode my bike home. 

When did I become this person?  I still feel like there is this couch potato side of me and I certainly enjoy that down time as needed.  But where did I get the ability and muscle and endurance to ride and run and stretch and ride?  Where did I get these urges to kick off my shoes and run barefoot?  Where did this desire to push a little harder come from?

I know several people who are getting started on their own personal journey to healthier living right now.  I want to talk directly to you if that's you.

When I think back to how I was 2 years ago...

I loved myself.  I didn't like that I was out of shape but my health wasn't my priority.  I overate crappy food for lots of different reasons.  I remained stagnant and lazy for lots of different reasons.  Some were valid, some were excuses.  But I had to not like it all enough to start making some seriously different choices. 

And it clicked.  Through a series of small events in early 2010, things started to click and make sense like never before.  There was no prescribed diet or points or counting that I was doing.  I wanted to run.  Never in my life had I wanted to run.  But I wanted to run.  I needed to fuel and hydrate properly in order to run so my eating habits changed.  And things just started clicking and have kept on clicking.

There are days I'm not motivated.  There are days I skip the gym.  There are days I indulge in sweets or overeat in a restaurant.  There are days I beat myself up a bit too hard.  There are days I get scared that I'm going to go back to being on the couch eating a half gallon ice cream right out of the container.

But each day offers something wonderful. 

A fresh start.  A clean slate.  A chance to start over with healthy choices again. 

I'm doing it as best I can each and every day.  You can, too. 

Now I know that I can bike and run and do yoga in a couple of hours.  Now I know that I can kick off my shoes and run fast enough to make a kite fly.  Now I know that I can complete a half marathon.

But the thing that I think really makes me an athlete?

My head and my heart believe in the abilities of my body.  That's what makes me an athlete.



Garret said...

I'm an athletic supporter.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Yes, yes you are.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Fantastic! Great job :-)

I did some barefoot running on a crushed clay track Monday. It was a lot of fun, and so soft. I have some vibrams, but they give me blisters (ironically!) I like the idea of barefoot shoes though. I may just have the wrong ones.

Natalie said...

Awesome! I recently started getting in shape again, and I have to say it feels good! Congrats on being an athlete :) Keep it up! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I look forward to reading more about you!

Alison said...

...and you can do cartwheels. ;)

Dillypoo said...

Sound advice to anyone beginning their journey. Take it one day at a time and don't give up if you have a misstep.

And congratulations on becoming an athlete! You should put your face on a Wheaties box. :=)

C. Beth said...

What a GREAT post! I'm so proud of you for your own journey and for inspiring others.

crystal.cattle said...

I think they way you are going about your health is awesome! Good for you. I have been a walker for awhile, but slowly have been adding a little running. It feels so good to stretch those legs. Good luck and thanks for the post.

Amy said...

I totally think that the head/heart thing is the toughest part to achieve. Congratulations!

Karen M. Peterson said...

It's stupid that my broken arm has had to keep me from doing things like running, but I've been focusing on walking to keep myself going. When I get to the point where I don't want to do it, I think of you. Because you started from about the same place I did and you've been so amazing. You really do inspire me.