Warning: LONG read.
If you had asked me where I saw myself in 10 years, my 2002-high school self would have never have imagined herself to be in the best shape of her life; nor would she have in her wildest dreams suggested participating in in both fitness/figure competitions or run a half marathon.
I was a typical high school girl. I hated gym class and did everything I could to get out of running track, playing sports. I sucked and it was mortifying. My experiences with school based gym class almost nearly turned me off of wanting a career in health. That was until I met a teacher who understood that some people just need another space. Enter Mr. T who introduced me to the world of weight lifting.
So how did I get from there to here? Baby steps. I learned that food was not my enemy and I did not have to treat food as if it was the last time I was ever going to eat it. I stopped looking at the scale and I started exercising for the pleasure of it. I found that competitive sports and group activities were just not my thing and I realised I loved weight lifting and competing with myself. And I continued to challenge myself. Even when it was uncomfortable.
I had to do the half marathon (21.1 km) it was a new challenge and put me out of my comfort zone. Best of all I only had to compete with myself. The last time I had run was in high school. Seriously. I felt the need to do this to move past those failed track and field meets and stupid 100 metre races....I needed to put high school behind me. So 8 weeks out I started training. and then the worst thing happened. INJURY. With my longest run only 12 km long, I was 3 weeks from race day. At that point, I couldn’t train AT ALL and had to wait for the injury to heal.
Race day came. It was cold and wet and I was scared. EXTREMELY worried about re-injury, and of course not finishing. But once I was out there the camaraderie of fellow runners, the crowd cheering was infectious and powerful beyond words.
By the time I hit the 12 km I was done. I wanted to stop. EVERYTHING hurt. But what kept me going was running for a cause very dear to my heart - ALS. Somehow I managed to pass the 14 km mark, and then the 17 km mark I just kept thinking of all those people who could not run who had ALS and I had to do it for them. I had to finish. The last to 2 km was the most difficult. I was tired, I was starting to get cold. At that moment I pictured my high school self, pushed aside those negative thoughts from a past life and kept moving my feet.