1:35:14

21 09 2010

Wow, where does one even begin to tell the events of this past weekend?

Should I begin with the Friday before the event where I thought it would be a good idea to practice taking the tires off of the rims of Peppermint Patty only to discover I A) don’t have the slightest clue how to get the tires off of the rim (even though I watched countless videos on youtube and it seems simple enough) and B) am really good at gashing my inner tube to the point that I was frantically calling the bike shop 30 minutes before they closed to see if they could fix my flat.

Should I begin with the Saturday before the event and finding myself at the Trek Triathlon Expo, crying my eyes out because I was picking up my race packet, getting the number 469 written all over my body in permanent marker and feeling overwhelmed at the idea of actually going through with this triathlon even though I’ve been training for this moment for months prior.

Feeling like a badass for sure!

Should I begin with the night before and getting about 2 hours of sleep because it was a torrential downpour and I kept checking the weather app on my phone and praying that the thunder storms predicted would come and pass before 6am or I would need to seriously rethink my commitment to this triathlon.

Should I begin with the morning of and trying to eat something without gagging because I was so full of anxiety and fear that I barely managed to eat 1/2 of a banana, a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds or should I start with leaving my husband outside of the transition area as I began to rack my bike, put on on my wetsuit and step up to a starting line I never thought I’d see.

I don’t know where to start.

Let me start with this:

I am a triathlete!

I didn’t feel like one when I got up Sunday morning. I was freaked out. I was trying to remember to take everything (including my bike which I almost overlooked – no lie). I didn’t feel like one when I was driving down to the site and was sure that I had forgotten my goggles. So while trying to drive, eat a little something and read the directions to where I was going I was also rummaging through my bucket and my back pack chanting “please be there, please be there”…they were.

My bucket of goodness (including my goggles)

I didn’t feel like one as I entered the transition area after kissing my husband goodbye and timidly saying “see you at the finish line” (since I wasn’t quite convinced I’d actually cross the finish line) and saw hundreds of women racking their bikes like they knew what they were doing.

I didn’t feel like one when I saw my friend Salwa (who was also doing her first triathlon) and we both jumped around like high school girls that just got picked for the cheerleading squad. I didn’t feel like one when my friend Kerrie (for whom this was not her first triathlon) came over and gave me all sorts of love and last minute pointers on how to get out of the wet suit and assured me I was going to be fine.

Me and Salwa

Me and Kerrie

I didn’t feel like one when I was standing in a group of women all wearing the same swim cap color (wave 5, blue) and entering the water waiting for them to tell me to go. In fact, this is where I panicked and almost gave up before I even started. The water was so cold and it was a shock to my system. I stood there (we had about 4 minutes) and must have had a look of such fear on my face because a woman standing next to me put her hand on my shoulder and told me it was going to be alright. I didn’t know what to do at that moment. So I forced myself to sit down in the water. Everyone else was standing. I wasn’t about to jump in face first and lose my breath. So I sat while it was still relatively calm and told myself  what the Godfather has been telling me to do for the last 2 months: “All I have to do is remember Breath and Move.”

Top of my bucket (just in case I forgot what I was supposed to do)

You want to know when I started to feel like a triathlete? As soon as  they said go and I hit the water and just did what I came to do – step over the starting line and move toward the finish line. I hit that water and IT WAS ON! No more fear, no more anxiety. No more “I’m going to quit before I start”. No more “what if I can’t”…there was only breath and move.

And that’s exactly what I did.

There’s so much more to this triathlon (like seeing my husband at every transition with a huge smile on his face. Seeing my friends Kelly and Heidi snapping away with their cameras and yelling out my times to me. Seeing Jord holding up a sign that said WWOPD as I was zooming past on my bike and finally all the women in the triathlon that cheered one another on as we dug down deep to get to the end) but there’s also nothing more to this triathlon except what I’m about to say:

We don’t have to live our lives being fat anymore. We don’t have to live our lives sitting around wondering what it would be like to cross over a finish line and be handed a medal that said “you did it”. We don’t have to live our lives sad and complacent; depressed and alone. We don’t have to live our lives thinking that this is as good as it gets. We don’t have to live our lives feeling sorry for ourselves and stuffing our emotions with food. We don’t have to live our lives the way we’ve been living them for ONE SECOND MORE.

It just starts with one tiny baby step.

That leads to finishing a triathlon.

No one can EVER take this away from me.





Tipping point / National Running Day challenge / Some Exciting News!

20 05 2010

After reading Brandon’s (So Long Fat Ass),  and Mary’s (A Merry Life) post about what their tipping points were for starting this journey I thought I would examine what my tipping point was as well. I’m often asked what was the deciding factor but in hind site I don’t think it was one particular event but a bunch of little ones that eventually turned into the big unmistakable elephant smack dab in the middle of my life.

  • My Depression – while I wasn’t fully aware of the degree of my depression I knew it lingered. I can only describe it as a throbbing pain that eventually you just get used too. I was used to being depressed. I functioned well in that I went to work and I kept up the house duties. Outside of that I was just an empty shell.
  • My Dependency to World of Warcraft – I’ve referred to this monstrosity before and I’m sure I will bring it up again. I played this game day in and day out. I stopped being social (unless it was through the game). I felt important when online. I didn’t feel important in real life. It was all I thought about and it consumed me.
  • My Brother – He came to live with me back in April of 2009. His alcoholism brought to the fore front my own addictive behaviors and  the notion that my path (while not as detrimental as his) was not going in a positive direction either.
  • This picture was taken back in September of 2009. UGH. I cry every time I look at it.  I can’t believe I was so oblivious to what I was allowing to have happen to my body and my life. This is the hardest photo to look at and I will never go back to this. NEVER! (btw – that beautiful woman is my Aunt Kathee and I am absolutely obsessed with her).
  • Tyler – I came across his blog in a Google Reader search back in October 2009.  As I read his story, I began to feel a tug in my own life to do something about my weight, and my life. I will always be grateful for his bravery in putting his life out there and in doing so saving the lives of others.
  • Pho & CalorieKing – Sounds silly I know but one day I was eating a delicious bowl of Pho and I started to wonder about these little things called calories. I did a search on what the calorie content was and the first thing that popped up was the website Calorieking. That was during the last week of December. I signed up for the free trial membership. When the last day of the trial was over, it was December 29th, 2010 and I decided it was time to make a change.

Was it an easy decision to make? No. Was it easy to implement change? Hell no. Over the first few weeks I made very small changes to what I was doing. I gave up World of Warcraft (not an easy feat mind you). I promised myself to only take the elevator (as long as it wasn’t 5 floors up). I began walking my dogs on a daily basis and I slowly began to ween myself off of diet coke. The first month was painfully hard. Painful because I was quickly learning this journey was not about the weight but about taking control of my life. I had to start intensive therapy in order to remain consistent and not allow myself to give up. That month came and went and I’ve been going full speed ahead since.

I don’t know who was living my life before December 29th 2009.

I know now.

What was your tipping point?

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June 2nd 2010

Valerie (Seattle runner girl) and I are going to be hosting a virtual  running challenge in celebration of National Running day.  No details as of yet, but I can almost assure you of three things: 1) There will be running 2) You will be involved 3) There will be stuff to giveaway.

As soon as well hammer out the details we’ll let you know.  In the meantime, dust off those running shoes!

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Here comes the exciting news.

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?

Cause it’s pretty exciting.

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I AM DOING A TRIATHLON IN SEPTEMBER!

I can swim, I can run and I can bike.

Now I just need to bring it all together.

Can’t talk about it just yet cause I’m still taking it in.

But there ya go!