The almost obese athlete.....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today something extraordinary happened. I knocked something huge off of my bucket list. Today, for the first time ever, I ran a half marathon. Well, not an official half marathon. I ran 13.1 miles at the park without stopping and I did it in 2:38:20.

There are several reasons why this is extraordinary. The first reason is that I am an almost 41 year old 188 lb woman. I just barely left the obesity range. How many obese people do you know that can run 13.1 miles?

The second reason this is extraordinary is because I am realtively new at running. I ran for 4 months in 2011, stopped for 1.5 years, and then started up again late July. I made it to the 10 mile marker once in 2011 and once last Saturday.

After my 10 mile run on Saturday, I was so proud of myself, and feeling so confident that I decided to sign up for my first half marathon. I will be running the Tryptophan half marathon on Thanksgiving morning. I have had no training whatsoever, other than when I first started running I did the C25K plan. Other than that, I did nothing special. The only things I was armed with was a hot playlist on my Ipod and a pair of New Balance running shoes.

The third and most important reason that what I did today was so extraordinary is because I learned something really important about myself. There is nothing I cannot do if I really put my mind to it. For so long I would let my mind talk me out of things. “You will look fat in that, don’t even try it on.” “He must only like you because he is one of those guys that have a fat fetish.” “It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose you will always be fat.” “You do not have what it takes to be a runner.”

Well I guess I showed that nag that stays lodged in my brain so much of the time and whispers mean, defeating, discouraging things in my ears. Today, I not only ran 3.1 miles farther than I ever have, but I even shaved off 8 seconds off of my average pace per mile when I ran 10 miles. This is quite a feat, because the more miles you run, the slower you usually get.

I have never been more proud of myself than I was today. When I got done I shot both my arms in the air and fist pumped the sky. I smiled wider than The Joker in Batman. Then I burst into tears.

They were tears of joy. Tears of accomplishment. On the way home I burst into tears 2 more times. I think if I am being honest, some of those tears were for the 267 lb Shelby that lives so many years, decades even, of misery, shame, self loathing, and worthlessness. I wanted to find a time machine and go back in time and go to her. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to dry her tears. I wanted to tell her that I believed in her, and that if she would only believe in herself she would have such a higher quality of life.

That third time that I cried today I cried the loudest and the longest for her. I cried because I knew that I could not go back in time and prevent her from all the misery and all the hurts that she would experience. I cried out of anger for all the times that lying snake in the grass little ball of negativity would tell her that she could not do something.

Today I feel like I was born again and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have slayed that monster that haunted that poor fat girl for so long and that has hung around and nagged me throughout my entire weight loss journey, always trying to poke holes in my accomplishments and milestones and make me think I will never be enough.

I am enough. I am more than enough. I am capable of great things and it is because I am determined, driven, and I believe in myself.

I will leave you with this thought, because this pretty much says it all…..

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