Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 End of Year Wrap Up

Well the above video sums up most of the last year. It started off really crappy and just ended with a bang!

February I started exercising after finding that 2 injections in my back for pain from spinal stenosis, arthritis and 2 slightly herniated discs did NOTHING. I started to feel really good. There were many days that I did not feel like working out, but knowing that I would feel better when I was done kept me pushing on. I still struggle with this to this day. It's never become much easier, but I've learned to just push!

I decided to run a 5k after reading an article in one of my magazines that had a training schedule along with it. I thought I might be crazy but decided that I'd give it a try. I signed up to run my first 5k September 17, 2011. The feeling when I was finished with my race was amazing!! I KNEW this was just the beginning to a future of racing.

Along the way I discovered Spartan Races. I joined a group called Spartan Chicked on facebook and soon had a new set of friends from all over the world. These women have now become my motivation, inspiration, and mentors. I ask questions, I tell them my feelings, they answer my questions, they kick my butt when I need it, I help answer their questions, and I now KNOW there are MANY women in the same boat as me, or who WERE in the same boat as me. These are women I have NEVER met and feel so close with. We "get each other". We feel each others pain, accomplishments, goals and are all in it for ourselves AND each other. We have all realized that it's not just that we want to lose weight, or fit in that perfect dress, (yes that fantastically comes along with it all) but we've discovered ourselves and found that we can AND DO things that we never thought we would. We are strong, and dedicated and don't let anything stand in our way, the nay sayers, the people who think we are crazy, the people who are jealous but don't wanna embrace the suck to achieve what we have gained. We have pushed through things not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. When you push yourself physically you learn a LOT about yourself. You learn to over come fear, judgement and self doubt. You learn that you ARE worth something, you ARE beautiful, and you ARE strong! I have to personally thank each and every one of these women in Spartan Chicked for being there for me when I feel like no one else will understand me!

I can't talk enough about the spiritual side of things that have happened in my life. I would not of been able to do ANY of this without God by my side. I prayed when I was going through the struggles of gaining weight and having horrible pain for Him to help me gain the strength and motivation to do what I needed to do to feel better. I KNEW there was no way I was going to be able to do it on my own. I've lost and gained so much weight over the always came back. I never had any goals other than to lose the weight. I firmly believe that racing was God's way of helping me see that with Him all things are possible. I NEVER thought that I would be running races and training for an obstacle race. Today was a long run day and conveniently the longest run I've ever done....pretty cool for the last day of the year. I woke up feeling pumped to do my run. I opened my devotional book and just had to smile REALLY big when I read my devotional for the day....

"When your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:7
The greatest reward for finishing a life well is eternal life with God. This reward is given to all who endure the challanges of living faithfully for Him-persecution, ridicule, and other temptations. Just as marathoners train hard and build up their endurance to finish the race well, so Christians must train and build up endurance to live a life of faith in Jesus and stay strong to the end. When your endurace is strong and fit, you will not collapse during the race. You will push on toward the goal of becoming more and more like Jesus until you cross the finish line into heaven and receive the eternal rewards he has promised.

So pretty crazy that this devotional came today. It works that way though, God always knows what you are going through and gives you just what you'll need at the time. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I'd like to do to share my story with others and let them know that whatever their struggle God can help you through. I especially have strong feelings on the topics of health, fitness, eating well and weight loss. This is one of my biggest goals for 2012, to find a way to help others with what God has helped me through.

Lastly......I ran the longest run I've EVER run today. 2011 went out with a bang! 4.3 miles and I set a new personal record not only for my distance, but for my minutes per mile. I'm well on my way to my goal of finishing my 10k in less than an hour. I've learned that I am not a very fast runner, but it's not me against others, it's me against myself. I have GREAT faith that 2012 is going to be a wonderful year filled with new personal records, new experiences and lots of new friends.

Here's to 2012!!! CHEEERS!! AROOOOOO!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hurdles...I stopped falling on my face...I think...

I've crossed a few hurdles recently...started school, started running and ran 2 5k's now, and today I walked into the a gym for the first time in about 12 years. Let me give you some basic background when it comes to me and gyms. It's been 12 years for a reason...I'm a huge klutz!!

Back in business school a friend and I decided to join the local gym with big plans of going everyday after school to try and lose some weight. I had never been to a gym before, but figured with the support of a friend all would be ok. First day we enter the cardio area and my friend suggests doing the elliptical machines. I had never been on an elliptical machine in my life, but I didn't want to say "sure". We of course were too proud to ask anyone about how they worked and so we just hopped on and hoped for the best. All was going well...I figured it out pretty quickly and was going at a good pace. The gym was packed that day and I couldn't help but notice there seemed to be a lot more brawns than brains....the girls on the cardio machines were more worried about their hair than breaking a sweat. I kept at a decent pace and was gaining confidence with every minute. Before long it seemed that the elliptical started to speed up....and up...and up..and UP OMG!! I CAN'T STOP....I CAN'T KEEP UP...seriously, I thought I was going to end in a mangled pile on the floor. The force of gravity can only go so far when something is spinning out of control underneath you....all of a sudden my foot kicked out and hit the plastic on the front of the machine. CRACK! oh crap!!! stop, stop, stop...where the HECK is the darn stop button? At this point I can feel the glares of the brawns and barbies staring me down....this over-weight, klutz that has no right being in a gym because she obviously has no idea what the heck she's doing. Who does she think she is, coming in here looking all confident, only to break a machine? I quietly removed myself from the friend kept support from her..on the fact that I just made a total ass of myself in front of all these "cool" people. I tried to cover it up and act like nothing happened and made my way over to a recumbent bike. I finished out the day and decided that I would give it another try the next day.

The next day we hit the cardio area again and I stay as far away from the elliptical as possible. I again take my place comfortably on a recumbent bike and get to work, hoping that no one notices me from the previous day. Finished the work-out and go to locker room to change. I gained back some confidence I had lost the day before. I grab my bags I mean school bag, purse, and huge duffle bag..and head out of the gym. You need to walk down a long hallway that passes right by the basketball courts and has huuuge windows that look in to the gym. WELL...Miss Graceful here had her cool chunky heeled black boots on that day and wouldn't you know THAT'S when they decided to catch on the carpet. It felt like it was happening in slow arms flailing about, my bags going in every which direction and then OH YEAH my face aiming right for the floor....face plant..right in front of everyone. I paid $55 for a student membership to go to the gym for 2 days. I never went back!! I wasn't about to wait and see what would happen next.

SO training for the Spartan race and now training for next road race goal, a 10k, my hubby knew that I had mentioned joining a gym. If it wasn't for him I probably would not of had the courage to even step foot in the place to join. Back in the middle of October, for our anniversary he got me a membership to Planet's literally 2 minutes away from my house..and open 24 hrs. I've been him hawing around with getting my butt in there coming up with every excuse possible not to go. Today I finally decided that I needed to just suck it up and go!! I walked in and was up front and honest with the girl showing me around and even told her my escapades from the previous gym. Her first comment when I told her the name of the gym BEFORE I even got to my story was "Oh I'm so sorry." LOL and then she began to tell me that she used to have a fear of gyms and had a moment where she got to the doorway of a yoga class..turned around and walked back out to never go back again AND was not refunded her money. She showed me the basics, then got into some more details on some of the equipment. I decided to go for...surprise, surprise...the recumbent bike..but did get a nice work-out in. Spent about 25 minutes there, did 5 miles and had my heart rate in target zone most of the time...and worked up a good sweat. I have to definitely felt good to do something different than run. I set a time up with the personal trainer for next Monday to get into more details about equipment and a weight routine.

I've jumped many hurdles recently and I'm still standing.....for now :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I wanna MOVE!!


I'm not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days
I wont stop, Ill keep my head up
No, I'm not here to stay
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but wont break
As long as I can see your face

When life wont play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I cant seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I wont let it drag me down
Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway

I'm gonna move (move)
I'm gonna move (move)
I'm gonna move

Ive got to hold 'er steady
Keep my head in the cage
Everything is about to change
Everything is about to change

This hurt is getting heavy
But I'm not about to cave
Everything's about to change
There's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but wont break
As long as I can see your face


No matter what may come
Gotta move to a different drum
No matter what life brings
Gotta move gotta move to a different beat [x2]

I just might bend but wont break
As long as I can see your face

My long Wednesday is over for the most part, 9:40pm and just got home from leaving at 7:30a.m. this morning. School was rough, got a whole new project due on Monday with 5 new things to read, pick 3 of those topics and write a thesis statement. Have a huge research project that will be due the following week. I thought I could do this whole school thing and realized too quickly that as much as I like to think I am...I'm NOT superwoman. It has humbled me. It has also made me start to realize some things about my life right now. I've realized my passion is not all about work and improving my education related to work. I have a few passions right now....helping people, my health, my family, and God. I heard one of my fav songs on the way home from school always...just when I need it. Move, by Mercy Me. I realized this is what I want to do..and do for people...literally and figuratively. I want to move people. I want to make them move physically and spiritually. God has moved me so much and I would love to have others experience the same thing. It was about a year ago I reached my breaking point. My weight had plummeted to the highest it has ever been. My whole body hurt...230 pounds puts a lot of pressure on your joints! I had 2 injections in my back and they didn't do a thing. I was about to give up when I asked God to help me with my health...I needed Him...there was no way I was going to be able to do this on my own. I actually sent a prayer request to Joyce Meyer ministries...asked my Bible study girls to pray for me..and started my journey. I had a lot of nausea and stomach problems and was surprised that even through the holidays I had lost 10lbs. Even though I didn't feel good going through that, it was the kick start that I needed. I figured..10lbs down without trying...why would I want that back. In February I started working out on a regular basis, I got an air climber and used dvd's...lots of Jillian Michaels. Early spring I read an article in a fitness edition of the magazine All You, about running a 5k race. The pictures they had posted with it were of average looking women...not stick thin models. I kept reading this article over and over again. I finally talked to the one Dr. I work with who does marathon runs. He agreed..what the heck was I waiting for. Early June, my 13 week training started to run my first 5k. Late spring I discovered a facebook page about Spartan Race events, a mud obstace race. It quickly became my new obsession and next HUGE goal. I ran my first 5k Sept 17 and my second one will be run this Sat. I'm moving..I'm moving in the right direction, physically and spiritually. It totally amazes me what God can do when we just ask. It doesn't matter how big or small the request. He's there along for the journey. My passion right now is trying to get others to move....physically and spiritually. I want others to experience the greatness that I have. I have now lost 50 lbs and have a new found appreciation for fitness and health. I realize that I'm the only one that can truely take care of this sacred shell that God has provided me to do His work. I want to share my testimony with other women who struggle with weight issues, insecurities, history of verbal and physical abuse, and the total mind-set of "I can't". I want to make them MOVE and move into a woman who will say "I CAN".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WOW...ok I've started a blog...thank you fellow Spartan Chicks

A blog...riiigght. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I figure why the heck not. This will serve as an online journal that I can go back to when I need some motivation. (duuuh it's a blog) again, new to this whole blogging thing. I plan to put this out there to anyone who needs some motivation in health, faith or life in general. It's Nov 8, 2011. I run my second 5k in 4 days and I'm freaking out. It is for such a wonderful cause, so in the end it doesn't really matter how I do, I know I'm helping others in the process. Alzheimers and dementia, so many people I know have been affected by such horrible diseases. I'm basically dedicating this race to my grandfather whom I never met, my husbands grandmother, and my grandmother. My dad's father died when my dad was in his late teens. He was hit by a train...they think he got out of the house and wandered to the train station down the street. He had alzheimers and loved trains. John's grandmother had severe alzheimers and was such an inspiration in my life..even though I met her for the first time on her death bed. I partially attribute my new found strong faith in God to her.

Tonight was not a good night. I had no motivation and did not get a run or work-out in. Had to watch the vid for Fahrenheit 451..booooring. Very excited for my race on Saturday and hoping I can beat my best time. I know God will be by my side and I'll be praying during the race for all those affected by alzheimers and dementia.

This blog thing should get better. Four more weeks of school and I'll have a lot more time on my hands.