Posts Tagged ‘life change

02
Jun
10

A life lesson from a “tuff” race!

 

photo by strangesports.com

So I have been thinking about this blog post for about two months now and this last race pushed me over the edge to finally be able to articulate in some form what I have wanted to say.  Most of you  know that I think ultra-running parallels life in many interesting ways.  One of the ways is the unexpected blow up.  Just reading what I just wrote possibly brought up your own sacred times in life where you experienced a “blow up”.  Not of temper, not of fire, but of life itself and the dreams that are contained within it.  Times in your life that forced a renegotiation of your goals or path.  We have all experienced this in some form or another.  But what we do with these times is what counts the most.  Avoiding times like these at all costs will not permit you to totally avoid them.  We can plan, we can hope, we can pray, but these times occur regardless.  It is possible to minimize the damage they can cause or possibly their frequency but one thing is for sure; they will happen.  And this is ok.  So I am going to write out one of these the best way I know how because I think you’ll like it and I just need to do it so here it goes.  Picture your own life as I describe the situation in running form.

Ahhhhhhh……….my goal is ahead and I have worked so long and hard and dreamed for so long about it.  I can taste it.  I can almost experience my dream in my mind just pondering on the attainment of the goal.  THAT place is so happy.  I know it will be amazing to get there and the sense of peace I will have knowing that I got my dream.  The journey has been long to get to the starting line but I am here.  I start my race with such joy and comfort knowing what my future hours hold for me.  Running in the breeze thinking how blessed I am to be able to be taking part in life like this.  I meet people along the way that improve my experience greatly.  I find out more about them as we run together.    I know that they are most likely just for a time but at this time it is great to get to know them.  As I am running I see the hills before me without fear because I know I can walk if needed or I can slow it down enough to conserve my energies.  There is no rush really, I have a long race ahead of me but the excitement must be contained so that I don’t burn out on a good thing.  I keep on just getting more excited that my dreams are ahead of my and they will become a reality.  Of course there are rough patches during the run.  My legs burn and I want to rest.  My back is tight and I want to stretch.  Many thoughts come during those rough patches that widdle my dream down to barely possible.  Then the sun shines in through the trees and my life returns as I eat some more carbs.  My mind awakens and I am in “the good” again believing all is possible.  Time moves on and on as I run.  I’m running, I’m running, I’m running.  After a long time of pursuing this dream something happens seemingly out of nowhere.  It’s the blow up.  The blow up is a devastating crushing blow to my mind and emotions.  The dream is shut down and the door feels closed.  Survival is my only thought during a blow up.  That and giving up completely.  I know the end is near enough but the short distance from the present darkness to the light at the end of my great achievement appears to be many more miles than it really is.  My thoughts change from delight in life and running to self questioning and sanity.  “Was I stupid for trying to achieve and experience great things.  Did I bite off more than I can chew.  Will I hurt myself doing this.  Am I in danger in this dark time” .  All the negative thoughts that I was able to conquer regarding my dreams before are now so consuming that I cannot shut them up.  Panic sets into me just as powerfully as the joy set in earlier in my journey.  Will I be able to get what I want so badly out of this now that attaining my original goal is impossible?????  This is where the magic happens in ultra-running AND life.  I know I can’t make it to my original goal.  I am already running longer than my goal finishing time and I have so far to go still.  What am I to do with all of this.  If I give up and quit I still have to walk to the finish because there is now way out of the race (life).  If I keep going through this blow up it’s going to hurt really bad and I don’t want to hurt that bad anymore.  If I just go slower I might as well quit!  But then the renegotiating happens.  At first I hate it because it feels weak like a cop-out but the courage begins to build again but for a new purpose.  The original goal is now very far gone but the endurance and capacity to conquer the blow up now takes precedence.  I find myself realizing that the journey could very possibly be more important than the attainment of the original goal.  The the experience of this hurt, this “failure”, this “shame” could be worth millions more than crossing the finish line without scars.  Although down and out, I forge ahead with a new but painfully real struggle.  I must not let the “blow up” finish me.  Then it hits me, “OMG………..the goal is not me.  I’m me and I don’t have to let the circumstance finish me and in fact I can let it refine me.”  My heart melts at the prospect of making it through this blow up as a better man, as a better more knowledgable runner.  I find great peace in this painful experience knowing that just making it through to the other side of it means so much to me.  And when I cross the finish line where my goal once sat waiting for me to take it, I am thankful for making it at all.  I am thankful for that pain and hurt that even though at the time seemed so intense was really only temporary as compared to the impact it will have on my future runs and life. 

So I think it is with life too.  We all have goals and aspirations and dreams.  Sometimes it is as though we are running through life so smoothly but we don’t see that huge cliff that drops off just ahead.  That cliff that swallows up so much of what we think we have in us to give.  That blow up that takes so much out of us that life seems terribly painful to keep at.  So much is possible for us.  So much is right there for us to become if we can renegotiate the path and the goals.  In a sense I feel like even though we might not get what we originally wanted, we will get the best that is attainable by moving on through the blow up.  Things get painful, and slow, and don’t work on our time line but keeping on develops in us such a tremendous power to achieve the most important thing.  That is to achieve the depth and reality of the person that we can be.

20
Mar
10

Still running.

I did 5 miles today.  My legs are having a hard time recovering from my last two long runs.  One was 63 that you all know about and the other was 25 last weekend.  My legs felt pretty good in the 25 miler but the runs this week were damn hard.  My legs felt like lead and they felt like that were straight all the time stiff like.  But I am still out there.  I am still going for it.  I am still in great shape.  It was a beautiful day this morning during my run.  The sun was in full effect, motorcycles were out enjoying the warmth, people were dressed in slightly warm weather clothes.   I saw each of them as I tromped on by them as I took one smooth step after the other.  The air was refreshing and crisp.  I listened to Mariachi music for the whole run which put a romantic touch to the time outside.  So although my legs are mourning the abuse for a bit, it was an extrememly great experience to have on this wonderful day

19
Mar
10

Do you remember???????????????

This is my journal which contains every step of my journey over the last 6 months. It's got pictures, song lyrics, in-depth reviews of my own emotions, and lots and lots of processing. The small book on top is my newest WW book without any stickers.

Today I am choosing to REMEMBER!  On my way to work I stopped to get my morning coffee (which I am going to hopefully stop soon) and the powerful urge to get a donut or a pepperoni hit me.  I have developed some bad habits in hermitville.  But today I remembered why I started this health journey.  I remembered how it makes me feel to eat donuts on the way to work in my car all by myself so nobody sees.  I remembered how proud I was of myself when I was eating better, not perfect, but better.  So today’s motto is REMEMBER WHY!

Here is why I first started and continue on my journey.

  • I was starting to breathe hard just getting out of bed.
  • I had a very hard time to get my shoes on.
  • I felt like shit about myself because I was not living according to the way I really wanted to.
  • Being overweight was like being in an emotional tumble drying, my mind constant knocked me around about it.
  • I lived more secretively because I was afraid to be honest about my eating.
  • I was more afraid of rejection and that caused a lot of the secretiveness which in turned only caused weight gain.
  • I wanted to feel good about the way I was living.
  • I wanted to run a marathon someday.
  • I wanted to be fit and healthy so that normal activities would be WAY easier.

So those are the things I am rememering today.  What is it that brought you to the starting line of your own journey?  Are they all physical things like skinny jeans, small shirts, flat stomach, etc?  Or were some of them emotional and mental things that brought you to toe the line for the first time or possibly again?

There is no shame at trying again.  There is honor in it though.  EVERYBODY who succeeds has had to try again.  Mess ups happen, it might be a little easier to get back on track if you remember why you wanted to start this journey in the first place.

19
Feb
10

Point of inspiration and rememberance.

Had a horrible day the other day.  It was just killing me how I have been eating, how I see my body, how I see my running, how I see myself in general.  Basically, had a bad day because of my self talk and just feeling bad for myself and so unconfident.  But……..I got an email from a good friend.  My good friend did not know I was basically in the pit of self hatred that day, but he was sensitive to it.  I can’t even express the importance of that email to me.  The only way I can explain it’s impact on me is LIFE CHANGING.  The email did not have any information that I don’t already know.  It did not have any secret to success.  It was just a PERFECTLY timed picture of my story injected into my life.  Basically, the jist of it was that he was telling a group of people about my journey from the start of WW all the way to DNF’ing at 63 miles in the 100 and through to present.  You see, my friend knows my “situation” in my personal life.  He knows that what I have accomplished during these dark days is nothing small.  So his email was a reminder to me.

It is so easy to forget what I have done.  That I have really done amazing things even for a person who has not lost 130 lbs.  He described the faces, the emotions, and the tears of the listeners of the real life story.  And by reading this, I was completely filled with life again.  It was like I was encased in this bubble or dark room but when I read the email I was removed from that fog and put into reality again.  I was humbled by the achievements that I had done.  I was appreciative of all the people who have helped and supported me along the way.  I was thankful for just not giving up on my own dreams while others were giving up on me.  I have a hard time, REALLY HARD TIME, having confidence these last three or four months.  I have been broken and forgot the stength that I really do have.  The ability to overcome.  I still struggle so much with loving myself, and accepting my body, and taking myself for who I am.  But yesterday I started out a fresh.  I ate perfectly.  I exercised well.  I thought well of myself.  Maybe………….I can start my new life on good terms with myself and achieve what I want for myself.  I want to achieve a healthy self respect.

01
Feb
10

All set with my food

I finally went grocery shopping.  I have not been but once or twice in two or three months.  I have just been having a heck of a time in life but I finally went.  I got what I needed to stay on track until the race and plan to keep on track after the race.  I am looking forward with much anticipation for being more healthy and being more kind to myself in the future.  I will lose the weight I gained, regain some of the confidence that has been destroyed, and build myself back up.  The world has so much to offer and I will take it in.  All that life has to offer both good and bad.

I feel pretty ok today.  So proud of “starting over”.  I have developed a lot of bad habits again but they can be broken just like they were before.  It is an emergency and at the same time not an emergency.  No reason to panic.  No reason to give up.  Just a bump on the road that brings about the need to reconsider and adjust goals.  All is well.

06
Aug
09

So far so good on WW weight loss.

Life is getting better

Weight Watchers

I have been doing WW the way it is supposed to be done now for three full days.  I can feel the positive momentum building up and the negative habits slowly but surely losing ground to a healthy life.  I have not really went off the tracks to bad but I have definitely allowed some bad eating habits to emerge once again.  I am so thankful for all the encouragement and help that I receive from the readers.  I weighed the same at my weight watchers meeting last night basically and the momentum has not had a chance to really take “weight loss effect” yet.  In another week or so things should be rolling pretty good.

Running

My running is progressing along just fine.  I did my speed-work last night and although it was difficult it was manageable even only two weeks after the 50 miler.  I have another hard run tonight and then a day off.  After that I am thrust into a HUGE running weekend.  I feel like my weight is impacting my running negatively.  I don’t weigh much more than I have in the past but even 8-10 lbs is a lot to carry for 26+ miles.  I can’t wait until I lose this weight again.

Emotions

I feel like I am on an upswing in the emotional area.  I am starting to be more positive again.  I have my doubts about being able to lose my 10-15 pounds, but I am trying not to dwell on those.  Rather, I am trying very hard to stay positive and believe that all things are possible through Him who strengthens me.  I have a major tendency to get depressed and when I do things tend to fall apart for WW.  I get a bit hopeless without logical reason.  I am working through this.

28
Jul
09

New Secret came in today. 73 secrets are now disclosed on the secret page

It has been a little while since the secret page has been used, but today we have the blessing of sharing the journey with a secret person.  They have confessed their emotions to get liberated.  Come and read the new secret HERE.