Thursday, October 25, 2012

Remembering a friend...

It was your typical Thursday morning in my world.  I woke up...sore...a bit tired after a physical day at my job with the Living Seas at Epcot.  These are the mornings that I realize I am not as young as I use to be as my bones creek....and my body cries for coffee.

The idea of canceling my personal training appointment crosses my mind as it does every Thursday morning...and the mental battle begins to remind myself that I am worth this workout..getting to my goal is worth this workout.  Coffee, a bit of breakfast and off I go.

It's always grueling on Thursday mornings.  I'm tired and my trainer, Ben, doesn't care.  Actually, he does. That's why he doesn't give any credit to my whining as he takes me through another workout to make me a little stronger...to help me build a little more muscle...and to maybe get a little leaner.

After the workout, Im off the Starbucks for another cup of the good stuff...and then...the phone rings...and things change..and that phone call brings life into perspective.

My dearest high school friend has battle breast cancer for more than 10 years.  I watched her lose her hair more times than I can count and every time she was down, I watched her bounce back...back into remission...back into life...back into one more round with the big "C".

She and I have not talked much in the last few years.  She lives in Texas...Im in Florida...but not a week goes by that I don't remember the amazing things we did as children.  We travelled together and shared a great friendship.  We were in each other's weddings...I cheered her on as her children were born...and watched them grow up.  Her family became close with my family...and life rolled on.

Today...she's back in the ring with the big "C" but she's on the ropes...and my heart aches for her children and her family.  This is the moment when you wished you made one more phone call...sent one more card..one more email...you wished you stayed in better touch with each other.  All I can do now is pray.

So many people ask.. "Why in the world do you do what you do??" "Why attempt an Ironman?" "You're 49 .. not 20...why care about getting to your goal weight?" WHY?? Well...this is why.  Because life is short...life is precious...life is a gift given in hourly sections and it is YOUR choice as to what you do with those minutes and seconds.  That's why!!..I want to get to the point where my friend is right now and say...wow....what a ride....

Knowing my friend...she's still throwing as many punches as she can...and you never know...she might just make a comeback....but if she doesn't....I hope she knows that she taught me so much about family, about life and how precious it all is....

Gotta dream.???..what are you waiting for..????...you never know when your hours are limited....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A wonderful honor at a special place

A few weeks ago, I was sent an email from an organization known as WellSpring at Structure House.  If you have followed my previous blog, you will already know about Structure House....if not...Ill give a very short description.

Structure House is a treatment facility for overeating disorders: compulsive overeating specifically.  The organization provides a safe and positive place to get your eating and your head on straight.  I first went to Structure House in 1985.  It has seen my highest weight..and my lowest weight in my years since.

In the email I was sent, I was asked to apply to be a speaker or "panelist" during a week known as "Success Week"...celebrating the accomplishments of people who have taken the tools from the Structure House program and applied them to their lives to achieve balance  and maintain a healthy weight.

I applied...and I was chosen.  It was a great honor indeed.

I served on two panels during my time at Structure House and shared my success in keeping off weight and incorporating exercise into my lifestyle.  More importantly, I learned so much from so many people about their journey and their lives that have dealt with food issues.

The funny thing is that I never really viewed myself as a "success" since I have never reached my goal weight. I know that losing 200 pounds (give or take 20 pounds) is a significant achievement but I always felt like a failure because of my inability to get past the 180 pound mark.  I have to say, this week help me understand that I have been a success since I have kept 90% of my weight off for almost 14 years.

I am happy to report I am now 10 more pounds down with about 40 more to go to my goal weight.  This process is very slow and steady but I am determined.  I have been focused with my strength workouts twice a week and have been getting about 8 to 10 hours of cardio in a week.  Most of that cardio has been  running as I prepare for the Ragnar Relay starting in Miami in January 2013.

Next week will be an important one as I focus on cheering on my friends at Ironman Florida...and once again..make the commitment to be an Ironman by signing on the dotted line and enter Ironman Florida 2013.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just Do It!!


I was on Facebook today and a friend posted the above motivational "poster"...and it truly struck me.
I liked it so much I downloaded it, printed it and put it up on my wall next to my desk.  It truly covers
everything I have done concerning the two important life goals that stand before me.

I have spent months thinking about those life goals.  One, I have been working on since my gastric band surgery.  The other goal I had put aside.

My desire to get to my goal weight has been an ongoing battle for most of my adult life.  I truly believe that I am on that path but the process is a slow one.  Not only am I battling "hand to mouth"disease, I am also dealing with a serious thyroid imbalance.  I am NOT one of these people that would blame my weight on my thyroid disease...because...let's face it...I like to eat...but having thyroid problems only makes the journey that much harder and that much longer.  I will get there...it will just take focus and time.

My other goal of becoming an Ironman has been a true life goal up until this year.  As I began to train for that goal in January of this year, I felt tired and frustrated.  I was pretty focused...more so than in years past but I could feel what I now know was burn out on the sport that I adore so much...specifically cycling.  The only REAL way to combat burn out in a sport is to walk away...take a break...do something else...and that is what I did for most of the summer.

I also took this time to consider if Ironman really WAS my goal.  I have spent the last few years around friends who ran Ironman so I wanted to be certain that this was something I wanted to do instead of something I felt like I needed to do to fit in.  Believe me, Ironman training is a part time job and a huge commitment...it is NOT something you want to do on a whim.  So, much thought has gone into this goal.

I also was concerned about what people would think of me attempting YET AGAIN to do another Ironman.  Would they think I am a TOTAL LOSER for signing up one more time.  I know there are many that look at me....look at my weight and say "Really??" "Just give it up girl....you're not exactly built for this sport."

But with all that said....I had to look at what was the most important thing about my two dreams....that they truly are my heart's desire.  Triathlon is my passion and I really DON'T care if some hot shot who is built like a stick thinks Im a loser for having the dream of Ironman.  I want to complete this and I KNOW that I have failed in the past .... but I gotta get to this somehow...some way.

So...The above photo is pretty accurate...stop whining...stop crying...stop worrying and JUST DO IT.

So ... let this blog entry be the announcement if you will....Im gonna give it another shot.  I will be signing up for Ironman Florida 2013.  Let's hope '13 is my lucky number.