No Holding Back
I put in four miles on Sunday morning. Four miles. For me - this is so satisfying. Getting stronger, and it is getting easier. I have more energy and I'm feeling a sense of well being as well as purpose. So - all together - starting the run/walk clinic that has now bubbled over into continued exercise with a group - has the potential to become a life changer for me. I am feeling more and more sure of my commitment and barring any unforeseen illness or problem, my plan is to continue and then to continue to continue. I see only the possibilities ahead.
However, I want to put some thinking out there to keep it from rolling around in my head and maybe someone else has felt the same things.
Number one: There is a moat you must cross to get to the castle. The very first challenge for me was how to get from zero to hero. It seems these first few months are the make or break. Maybe there are other make or break moments later but I can't think on that now. From I can hardly walk a mile and when I do I feel miserable to hey I just finished three miles but lets do one more for grins was a physical, mental, emotional battle that questioned my will power, my resolve, my character, my tenacity. I could go on and on but that was already a run-on sentence. Point being, you want to change your life for the better - get to the castle - then get ready to swim the moat and face the alligators because it ain't gonna be easy. One walk at a time. I just kept showing up. That's all. I faced down the pain, discomfort, fear, dread by showing up. Doing my best and showing up again. The only way to fail is to quit. I had the benefit of knowing I had done it before and belief that I could do it again but it was still tough. It seems the getting started and sticking with it is the hardest part. No holding back.
Number two: It helps if you join the pack but yo momma aint' out there. Yep, I said it. I have learned real quick two things about the running culture. The first thing is - it is great to have companionship and the second thing is - you are still on your own. I knew when walking clinic ended and my efforts started to spill over into these running groups that I would have some things to learn. Boy was I right! I have learned that I am much more motivated, more inclined to show up, more inclined to push myself and I have more fun when I go with the group. It is so much better than going alone. Having someone else witness my success and cheer for me is a total warm fuzzy and I am cheering for them too - WIN/WIN!
But, and this is a big ol' but, (that's why I made it bigger ;) I am still alone. I cannot lean on the others, expect them to wait on me, hold my hand, provide my motivation, encourage my performance - why - probably because they are using their energy to build those positives for themselves. If it happens it is gravy and it does happen. However, it is still a solo sport. Some days there is someone to walk with and that is a good, friendly, encouraging walk. I enjoy that kind of walk.
Some days I will be alone and that is a day for focus, endurance, setting personal goals and remembering, though I am part of a group and these folks are cheering for me I cannot let my aloneness hold me back, I must let it push me forward and I would be doing them a disservice to hold them back. We cheer for each other to do our personal best. If we pace about the same - enjoy the companionship. If, like Sunday, I find myself alone at the back of the pack, I still hold nothing back and I encourage the others to hold nothing back. I learn and embrace that though I am a part of a team, I alone am responsible for my performance. I enjoy this walk as well. No Holding Back!
Number three: Just because I'm exercising regularly doesn't mean I can eat cheeseburgers and still lose weight. I haven't talked about my eating recently and that's probably because I haven't been thinking about it so much. I have been rolling along making plans for my next outing and haven't taken much time for preparing healthy meals. I'm not eating terrible but I'm not eating as healthy as I should and I have been allowing myself some extra carbs thinking that all that walking will burn them off. But I already know this and I have proven it to myself again, and again, you can not outrun a bad diet. All the walking in the world will not help me lose weight if I don't watch the calories. So, time to start focusing again on diet and keeping a realistic amount of calories. Now is not the time to be playing games with my eating. I have to focus and do the work to put healthy, fueling foods in to get the best results. No holding back!
If I could bottle all these thoughts and knowledge and sell it as a weight loss, healthy life buy back potion, I could be a millionaire. The truth is, it is work. But I believe it is fun work. It is also solo work, even when you are in the midst of lovely, motivated, encouraging people.
A good mental attitude and occasional reality check are the keys for me. I swam the moat, I'm in the castle, I'm training to be a warrior and I am being given new and useful weapons. Now its up to me. I want to learn to use my tools, my weapons and keep fighting the fight. I don't want to hold any other warriors back or take anything away from them. I don't want to sabotage my efforts by indulging too much and too often. There is glory ahead and many more victories but I must be willing to do the work.
No holding back!
That's all ~ thanks y'all!