Relentless Forward Progress. And Drooling.

In case you didn't get the memo, I am a little crazy.  Leading up to December 25, 2008, I had only done three 5K races in my sporadic running 'career'.  Prior to going through treatment for my ED, I was a treadmill runner, generally only running on days when the scale told me to. When my treatment professionals asked me to put running (and all things exercis-y) aside until my health improved, it felt like such a double-edged sword.  I didn't want to get 'fat', but I also wanted to get 'better'.  Not to mention, exercise and running were like a crutch to me.  I abused running, so I hated running.  I associated running with all things weight-loss.  But I wanted to lose weight.  But I hated running.  But I wanted to lose weight...

Fast-forward to today: Weight-loss, schmate loss.

Rewind to the year 2007: I view this as the year that I 'reset' my life.  I SO wish that I was blogging back then because it would have been so entertaining for everyone to witness.  I finished my ED treatment early in the year, bought my own condo, met my future husband, finalized a divorce (yes, the new man appeared before the divorce was final.  I admit it, I'm a tart), and I learned how to listen to and honor myself and my body.  I wasn't focused on exercise or weight or even food.

I was focused on learning how to live.

And my jeans still fit me the same in January as they did in December.

It was at that point that I learned a valuable lesson about life: if I'm enjoying my life and living it to the fullest, scales and jean sizes just don't matter.

On the other side of the coin, I realized that NOT obsessing about it did me as much good as obsessing about it did.  My 'weight' (whatever that is) did not change.  Obsessing about calories and exercise was a complete waste of energy for almost THIRTY years.  THIRTY. YEARS.

Then, I felt guilty for essentially WASTING 30 years of my life; consumed with myself and weight loss and dieting and calories.  I felt incredibly selfish, and I started to realize how completely narcissistic the whole thing really was.  I mean really.  Was I really so shallow that I was going to let the way I look continue to be so all-consuming in my life?

Not that the way that I look doesn't matter to me at all, but to allow something like that to suck the life out of me felt unreasonable and illogical.

After I wallowed in self-pity for a while (not long), and felt confident that I would be able to incorporate exercise in my life as a way to FEEL better rather than LOOK better, I started working out regularly again.  I gradually started to realize that I can have fun and work out at the same time, and it was at that point that I tried running again for the 43,281st time.

This time when I tried running, I was focused on how my body felt.  This time, I was doing it for different reasons.  I felt like I was the boss of my workout (rather than letting ED control it), and running actually felt liberating for a change.

Liberated is a good feeling.

And I'm not complaining about being liberated.

The problem is that it seems like ever since that fateful Christmas Day in 2008, when My Sista convinced me (p.s...that is a link to my first blog post ever) to run The Boilermaker 15K with her in July 2009, I haven't been able to stop signing up for stuff.

This compulsion to be a "YES-(WO)MAN" is not limited to running.  It has trickled down to all things life-related.

When the ink was barely dry on my Boilermaker 15K registration confirmation page, I signed up for the Frederick 1/2 Marathon (May, 2009), because my friend/master trainer/running coach asked me to do it.  Moments after that, I registered for the Clyde's 10K because my friend asked me to run it with her.  Then, 47 minutes later, I signed up for The Baltimore 1/2 Marathon, because my sister asked me to.  A millisecond later, I changed my mind and mailed a check to upgrade to the full marathon.*

*(the timing of these actions may have been changed because I'm a drama queen, but the actual events are real)

In the midst of all of this impromptu race training, I was also signing up for Healthy Living Summits, part-time parenting, vacations, getting plastered and enduring embarrassing falls in ladies life (and suffering head contusions).

I went from letting my life just kind of 'happen' for nearly 30 years to devouring every single opportunity that presented itself.  This was a huge change for me.  You're dealing with someone who (in my 'past life') was too scared to ask a waitress for ketchup.  I was afraid of everything.  And nothing.

As I was making all of these decisions that were uncharacteristic of my former self, I never batted an eyelash.  I seriously didn't really consider the weight of the fact that I was signing up to do things that I had never imagined that I would ever do in my lifetime.  For someone who is scared to ask for ketchup, even a 15K race is a major accomplishment.

Heck.  Going to a salon to get my hair cut was a major accomplishment back in the day.

Over a two year period (2006-2007), my comfort zone was virtually widened by miles and miles.

Nowadays, I look at goal-setting and life decisions as a normal part of staying happy.  I also look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new about myself and my life.  For that reason, I consistently take on more than I can logically handle.  Just when I think that I've reached my breaking point (work, school, running, kickboxing, part-time mommying, friends, trips, vacations, freelance work), I say "YES" again, and take on even more.


[sidebar: I haven't done a shot since that aforementioned incident where I played slip-n-slide on the floor of a public restroom...**shudder**gag**]

This year, I've made a goal to run one 1/2 marathon (The Disney Princess 1/2 is in 17 days), two sprint triathlons (the Celebration Sprint Tri, and the IronGirl Syracuse), and a full marathon (probably the Marine Corps Marathon).  And go to FitBloggin.  And see another NKOTB concert (at The Borgata on May 28th, woo!).  And plan a wedding.  And get married.  And kickbox.  And take a honeymoon.  And work full-time.  And complete 6 more classes for school.

Do you see where this is going?

Challenge.  Constant, never-ending challenge; but I'm enjoying every moment.

p.s...can someone please point me to a reliable training source for my first triathlon (**panic**faint**cry** drool**snot**snot**)

p.s.s...this post was actually supposed to be entirely about training for my first triathlon, but it went in a completely different direction, and the triathlon training question became a p.s.  This is yet another example in the long list of 'Proof That I am Flaky'.

* Have you joined my Facebook Group yet?

* See how my training is going over here!

* Looking for my eBook?

*Check out my body image project!