Sunday was such a huge day in my half marathon training. I really do not think words can describe how painful it has been for me emotionally not to be able to run. Ever since my accident in May, I have not a a single day that has been pain-free physically. However, I have also not had a day that has been pain-free emotionally.
Running for me had become such a symbol of everything I have accomplished since my weight loss surgery almost 4 years ago. I love the feeling I get as I cover more and more ground as well as the complete freedom from my former obese self that comes with running. Many days I truly picture the 325 pound Erin in my head and feel I am running from her and towards the healthy and happier Erin who can be active and do more with her kids.
This was me with my dad right after his heart attack and quadruple bypass in 2008. It is also just a month before my gastric bypass. That girl on the couch would never even dream she could walk a mile. To suggest to her that she could be an athlete would have been a joke- worse than a joke. Her place was on that couch and not running the roads.
This is a family that now does active things together and are all healthy and happy and thriving! There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT TASTES BETTER THAN THE FEELING OF BEING HEALTHY AND ACTIVE FEELS. NOTHING- NOT EVEN DORITOS!
Not being able to run has really been rough. Of course I realize there are people much worse off and I could have gotten hurt much worse, but it does not change the facts of MY reality and my reality is that I have to walk now- fast walk for sure- but walk nonetheless. I think deep down a little part of me has been dreading this race.
I have dreaded letting the WLSFA and my group of runners down as well as myself! So many are trying to raise funds and by the way there is still time to join us as a virtual runner at this link!
I know it will be a blast as Disney events always are, and I know we will be raising a lot of funds for a great cause and that means the world to me, and I know it will make me so excited and proud to see so many finish their first race, but not being able to run myself has been doing a number on my psyche. There has been fear. Fear of failure, and of not being able to finish. I have never not finished a race I have started. Life and my back and other obstacles have kept me from training as well as I like to train for a race.
Something about Sunday changed that. On Sunday when we did 9.63 miles, it reminded me that I CAN do hard things. No I couldn’t run it, but I did it anyway. When I started to give out at 9 miles, I had my hubby and kids cheering me the rest of the way and telling me how proud they were of me and it made me remember the first half marathon and how it felt to have them cheering me over the finish line.
Yes This will likely be the hardest thing I have ever done, but guess what? I CAN DO HARD THINGS. My mindset now has swapped from disappointment and self-pity to one of hope and excitement. I had to realize that regardless of what position I finish the race in, I WILL GET THE SAME MEDAL AS THE GUY WHO WINS!
After I finished my 9.63 miles Sunday, all I could do was cry. It was so emotional and at first I could not understand why. Of course anyone who knows me knows I am a total sap, but it was much deeper. I had gone the farthest distance since my injury and something about that felt almost as good as completing the race.
I am so excited about raising funds for the WLSFA and about opening up to so many the idea that yes they can go on from their former obese selves and be athletes if they so choose. It is such a liberating feeling.
In the last week, my dread and fear has been replaced with excitement, pride in this group, and hope for the future and what it holds for anybody out there who truly has a passion and desire to beat their obesity for good.
It does not matter if the race is a 1 miler, 5k, 10k half or full marathon. What matters is that every step you take is a step further away from obesity and the diseases it brings. Be proud regardless of how many steps you take. I am very proud of all of my Fit and Flourishing clients who take steps towards their health every day and I am proud of this team of runners and walkers who are all coming together for a great cause!
Have a great weekend and take at least one step towards a healthy future for yourself TODAY!!!