Friday, July 13, 2012

Tears, fears and hard work

HOLY CRAP! In 16 hours I will be standing among a couple hundred other warriors, ready to take on the Spartan sprint. I can't believe it! I really can't believe it. Here are the latest notes from the race director, "This course is going to be awesome (assuming awesome means steep and treacherous).
The course is around 5.0 miles of hills. This is our hardest sprint race because of how steep and treacherous the terrain is. It’s harder and longer than last year. Race smart and watch your foot placement!"

I really don't know what got into me to make me take the step to do this race. When I decided to do the race I had already lost about 30-40 lbs and was already planning on doing a 5k which I did last September. I had started running about 2-3 months before I came across info for the race on facebook. Something struck me. If you know me, you know that I don't just jump into anything, so I started researching, I mean RESEARCHING! You can't imagine how many mud obstacle races there are out there! Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac, Dirty Girl, and allll kinds of local runs to just mention a few. Nothing compared in all my research to the Spartan race. THEN, I came across a group on facebook, Spartan Chicked, a group of women that run the Spartan races.

When I joined the group there were only about 200 of us. I just checked....there are now 6,089 members!! Being involved in such a HUGE movement of women in obstacle racing has been amazing! I have befriended women from all over the world. I have become friends with women who have lost massive amounts of weight, women who have overcome domestic abuse, women who have risen above injuries and setbacks, women who have set out on the same journey that I have scared to death and thinking, "what the hell did I get myself into.". We share our fears, training tips, joys, accomplishments, and everything from what kind of sports bra to wear, to how to build an 8 ft wall, complete with directions and pricing! We encourage one another, post progress pictures, have different challenges and even had a gift exchange at Christmas.  I give HUGE props to ALL of the women I have "met" along the way and can't WAIT to meet a LOT of them tomorrow!

Someone asked me on a post yesterday, "Where do I get my motivation?". It was an interesting question that I never really thought too much about. After thinking about it, I guess it comes from many, MANY different things. First and comes from my former "me". It comes from that woman who was so overweight that even going for a small hike was hard work. I hurt all the time. I had become extremely disgusted with myself and felt like what other's were seeing wasn't really who I was. I felt that I was cheating myself out of knowing who I really was. I wasn't doing anything to my full potential..I had nothing to reach for, nothing to obtain, nothing to make me feel worth while. I was just a big, fat, lump on a log...I was just here. My motivation in the beginning came from knowing that I HAD to do something or I would just keep gaining, just keep getting more pain, and just keep on being here....or there, so to speak. Realizing that exercising made me feel better physically AND emotionally kept me going. I started seeing the weight come off which also helped. The release of endorphins after exercise gave me more energy, gave me that, "wow I feel really accomplished and good about myself" feeling. I decided to set a physical goal for myself, which I had NEVER done before...EVER. I played team sports in high school, field hockey and soccer, but had NEVER put myself out there by myself to meet a goal, and especially not in the shape that I was in! THAT kept me going. I have lost weight in the past but always put it back on. I never had set a physical goal before. THAT is what I needed to do. Knowing that I had a race, was signed up, and there was no looking back pushed me to keep going. After I started meeting more and more people involved in running/racing/fitness they also became a help in my motivation. There were times where I didn't feel like working out, but I'd get online and see all kinds of motivational quotes and see what everyone else had done that day and realized I didn't have a valid excuse! I eventually joined an accountability group online and again....they keep me going!! You NEED...I mean NEEEEED to surround yourself with like minded people. You NEED to find people that will push you in the right direction and keep you motivated. The accountability group that I joined has become like a small close knit family. There are single mom's, retired military personel, personal trainers, people with regular everyday jobs like you and me that struggle with the same everyday crap that you and I face....and that's why I LOVE it! We are REAL. We are real with each other and real with ourselves. If we have a bad day we post it. If we had an awesome work-out we post it. If we made something good to eat we post it with maybe even a picture...if we ate like crap for the past week eating cakes and cookies we post it. We encourage, we motivate and we connect. We don't let each other fall down without lending a hand to help pick them back up. I've learned that sometimes you need to fall...but you NEED someone there with an out stretched hand's ok...get your ass up and try again! 

I HAVE sacrificed, I HAVE fought against the odds!  Right now.....I am NOT letting fear, insecurity or doubt shackle me....I AM drinking them in and swallowing them down to somewhere deep within former me....that former unmotivated, insecure, unhealthy, ME. I realize that I might fall...I am not motivated by a sense of pride...I push forward for accomplishment, to KNOW at the finish say, "I DID IT!" To look the former "me" in the face...up close and personal...nose to nose, eye to eye...and say..."I did it....I did it...."  

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