Sunday, November 25, 2012
Actually, it's my 2012 memory wall. But because LeanJean (Lynda) asked for it, I will pull one of my "before" pictures out before I toss the memory wall photo in. Here's where I started from:
The woman in this photo was close to her top weight, having trouble walking across rooms without becoming out of breath. She certainly couldn't walk up the flights of stairs in her workplace without hyperventilating! She was so unhappy with herself, so "down" on what she'd done over the years through overeating and bad health habits. And she really, really worried about the little boy in the foreground.
That was then (1989)... a couple of weeks later I started a cycle of Weight Watchers at Work, which led to an 80 pound loss. I still consider this my true starting point, despite having regained in between then and now. Why? Because it became my vision of what I wanted back, even when I had those lapses.
When I first joined SparkPeople.com and read the recommendation to create a vision collage I rebelled. I was not crafty. Cut things out of a magazine and paste them together for motivation? Nope, not ME! And furthermore, I really didn't have a clear idea of where I wanted to be.
A couple of years ago, I determined that I had "arrived" at the lifestyle I wanted to live for the rest of my life. I not only got back to where I was after that initial 80 pound loss, I had dropped an additional 20 pounds in "maintenance"... and it was even better than before.
Today, in an effort to put the finish line of the trip and the athletic season (at least the competition season) of 2012 to rest, I pinned up all my race bibs, swim caps, medals, and a few photos on the big bulletin board in the basement, and snapped its photo. I was thinking of it as a memory board... but you know, it is ALSO my vision collage.
This is the me I want to be for the rest of my life. Or as much of it as taking the best care of my body as I know how will allow.
Life IS good. Spark on, through the Winter, and into the rest of YOUR life!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
OK, several comments and such in the past few days have brought back this phenomenon. And it has (of course) made me ponder and think.
You see, a self-image is quite a persistent thing. If you have thought of yourself a certain way from childhood up, it is not an easy thing to recognize that you have been changed / transformed into something quite different.
As a child, I saw myself as a flop, athletically. Why? Worst grade in school was always PE. Straight A's otherwise. My folks scoffed at the athletes. My mom told stories of "tutoring" dumb jocks (for whom she had obviously little respect) to keep them academically eligible.
I found out in high school that the so-called "dumb" jocks were not so dumb after all. I gained a new respect for them when reading some of the things they wrote for history class, for example. Or that the track stars (cross-country) were also in my advanced math classes.
Still, despite this new-found respect, I didn't see myself as "athletic". I was a book worm. A computer geek. An intellectual.
But I liked to swim. I enjoyed playing tennis. I liked to shoot hoops. And of course everyone in our family walked or bicycled... for transportation, mainly. Parking is a beast, don't you know? Especially down on campus.
Still, my overeating overwhelmed my "functional" athleticism, especially when it escalated in response to other things in life, including being a workaholic in a sedentary job, and during those periods when I didn't let myself be as active because "something else" was more important or "work before play".
At various times in my life, I "woke up" and worked on nutrition and exercise. But only in the past year have I finally awakened to the fact that I *am* an athlete. This year, I have the joyous experience of having been in 11 organized events:
1) Late March - State Farm 10 mile run. PR for the distance.
2) Early May - Lincoln Marathon - 13.1 miles (half marathon). PR for the distance. 2:37:55 chip time.
3) Late May -Quest for the Vets - Obstacle course, no clue of the time, but it was about 3.5 miles and I FINISHED!
4) June - Havelock Charity 10K. PR for the distance.
5) Mid July - Color Run 5K. Not timed, but I was surprised the finish line got there so soon, and it was a blast (it's my most commented on photo, and I have that one on my desk at work... can we say JOY?)
6) Mid July - Cornhusker State Games Open water 750 meter swim. Finished dead last, but FINISHED!
7) Late July - Cornhusker State Games Triathlon, 650 yard swim, 20K bike, 5K run/walk. Met my secret unspoken goal of under 2 hours.
8) August - Mud Run as a 10K, that wasn't really 10 K. But finished first in my age group.
9) September - Buffalo Run 5 Mile (on hills). PR for the distance.
10) October - Governor's Cup 15K. Since it was my first outing at that distance, that makes it the PR. And second in my age group.
11) November - Women's Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL, my long road trip. Shaved 19 seconds off my PR while NOT going after it.
One part of my brain may bemusedly say "who, me? Athlete?"
This is the same kind of response I had the first time after the weight loss that someone called me "small" or "tiny". I've got used to that. I plan on getting used to this. Maybe by a couple of years down the road, I won't have the "who-me" response to this label, either. Even now, the logical side looks back at the statistics and the year, and says, "Yes, you!"
Friday, November 23, 2012
I am finally coming to the conclusion that some of the things "real runners" talk about apply to *me*. For example, while I might have felt a little sheepish wearing the compression sleeves on my calves, they seem to have helped. Not much after effects from the HM last Sunday, day of, day after, or during the week, despite being cooped up for a long drive.
And the photos on MIRAGE727's blog showed I looked good in them, too. Kind of like a horse with stockings. So... they were a win.
Second win: GU! Surprise, surprise. They were passing out single serving 100 calories of GU at mile 8 of the HM route. I took a chocolate one and devoured it... like eating frosting, people... YUM! But more importantly, I had the energy to finish the race, feeling strong. So... nutrition *during* an endurance run, important, even for aging athletes (yes, I used that term for me - athlete!) like ME.
What I said I was most proud of was that we ran the race we planned to run. For me this is something that seems to happen when I run with a buddy. So, Marsha, thanks for being there and keeping me honest. The PR was just gravy. Doing it with one another, finishing strong, with those smiles on our faces, upright, and wanting to do it again? That's what it's all about.
That's being a "real runner".
Take life day by day. Live fully. LIFE deserves it, and so do YOU! Spark on!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
This is a new 60 year old. On her birthday. In a bathing suit. On a beach. With the Gulf of Mexico stretching out behind the guy who was kind enough to snap the photo.
This is said 60 year old the last day she could call herself 59. But taken where you can see the gulf behind me, by DEBRA0818. What a great day that was.
Speaking of DEBRA0818, here I am with her, and I got to hold Edison (a charming canine).
Here are the two Spark friends (SLENDERELLA61 is on the right) who hatched a plot a year ago to run together. And it ended up being this incredible nine day road trip that I gave myself as a birthday present.
This is the abandoned dog I wrote about yesterday morning. So sad.
So those are the photos I'm putting in the blog for now. I really wanted to write about some of the insights of travel. One of the nice things about driving is that it gives me time to talk to myself and be quiet, away from anything other than having to keep me and Dexter safe on the road.
Home again late this afternoon, I am again a coiled spring... NEED to move. We shall see what that translates into in terms of tomorrow's activity. One advantage: no big turkey dinner, or pumpkin pie tempations!
Hope all my Spark friends had a great Thanksgiving... with focus on the Thanks... because we all have *something* to be grateful for, and many of us have a great deal to be grateful for. As I was counting my blessings on the drive today, I had to put health at the top. How well the body has responded to good nutrition and activity has blown me away.
Bless each and every one of you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
ONEKIDSMOM doing pushups in the room... I can't remember why? Maybe SLENDERELLA61 does... why did I do that set of pushups? Was I down there to examine the carpet & just did it? LOL... one of the "benefits" of ageing up is that one forgets more of the motivations of silliness and just is amused. And one of the benefits of being fit is that you can do those silly things "just because".
Example: ONEKIDSMOM doing bicep curls with a 10 pound bag of ice while waiting in line to pay for it. The other customers and the convenience store employee probably thought I was losing it.
ONEKIDSMOM being followed by a dog at one Florida rest area that seemed to have NO human attached. Poor thing. But obviously I could not take it with me.
Today I shall drive across Mississippi and Arkansas on my way home. More adventures. May your day and mine be smooth sailing, safe travelings and wise choices.
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