May 25, 2012

Kick in the pants. AKA The story of how a wanna be Ironman triathlete learned to respect herself.

A lot has happened since my last post.  Much travel and a turning of the corner for me. 

On my April trip to Mexico, I did not really work out at all.  I ate moderately OK but in general my sweet tooth got the best of me at Starbucks every night.  I came back to a 2# weight loss over the trip which I was happy with since I only wanted to maintain.

On my second trip to Mexico a few weeks later, things were different.  The reality of a Half Iron race just a month away plus a sudden doubt of my training left me panicky.  It scared the crap out of me.  I saw my reflection in the mirror and wondered... why did I think that I could do this?  A half Ironman race, sure done it before.. but an Ironman?  Who was I kidding?  I was an overweight, under-trained undisciplined person posing as an Ironman in training. I would still rather sit and watch TV then go do endless laps in the pool.  And honestly most people would.  But I should want to do more.  What was wrong with me?

It turns out that what was wrong with me was a lacking of the courage to start and take myself for real.  I feel like a fraud when I say that I am doing Ironman Florida.  I feel as if people look at me and think "really?  You?  Ummm, OK. Suuuure."

Something happened in me internally that switched and just like that, and I am not exaggerating, just like that it all changed.   The fear of Ironman got to me.

Instead of turning away and quitting or giving up, I dug in deep and pressed forward.  I wrote this down on my notepad and read it out loud every morning, every evening, and every time that I saw it.

I am an Ironman in training.  I am an athlete.  Not only can I do this, I will do this, and starting today I will treat myself as I deserve to be treated.  I will fuel myself as I need to be fueled.  I will support myself and most of all, I will STOP with the excuses.  I am not too slow, I am not too fat, I am not too lazy or undisciplined.  What I am attempting to do is something remarkable, but it does not define me.  I define myself by my actions.  So what am I going to do today/tonight/tomorrow to make it happen?

This was the kick in the pants that I needed.  My goal for Mexico was simple - get in the training.  Something that in all the years of travel I have not been able to accomplish due to my own lack of willpower or motivation, is to execute my training as I have planned.   This trip it meant so much more.  I knew that every day I needed to make forward motion, to make real deposits into the bank of Ironman because in 5 or so months, I am going to be making a large withdrawal.   So, I did.  And after the first night, I wanted to keep on going. 

Every single night I was in the gym or in the pool running, biking, or swimming, and most of the time all three.
While people were sleeping, I was working out and training.  I was fuelling my soul and my mind, and digging deeper than I ever had before. 

I was an Ironman in training. I am capable.  I am an athlete.  I need to start respecting myself and treating my body like the body of an athlete.  A body of an Ironman.  And my body responded in an amazing way.

One I showed myself respect, the weight started to drop off me in a rapid, but healthy, fashion.  My appetite has changed.  My cravings have changed.  My performance has changed.  I now look at myself as the woman I am, not as a woman in disguise.

Once I came back to Michigan,  I continued on the same path - eating clean and nearly vegan, watching portion sizes, getting sleep, making time for workouts, putting effort into everything that I do.  And everything has continued on the right track. 

As of today, I am down 30# since Christmas. I had to reorder my wedding dress 2 sizes smaller since it was beyond alterations. I am stronger and more confident than I was just a few short weeks ago.  I am in control and no longer the victim.  I am also looking forward to the year ahead of me know.  I no longer doubt it because I am working so hard for it.  I have no idea what will come on November 3rd, but I do know that I will be ready for it.  Why?  Because I am earning the right to participate.

No excuses in achieving the goal!  If you want something bad enough, you will want to work for it! 

So today, think of your goals.  What do you want to accomplish in the near future - think about this year, this month, before 2015, whatever. Are you putting forth the effort to achieve those goals?  Are your goals realistic and something that you want to work for, not just want to achieve?

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