Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I can do ANYTHING now!!

Wow, exciting times are happening. I have had a lot happen in the last few days. It’s exciting. I’m like a kid at Christmas and considering it’s December already I guess that’s an appropriate analogy.

Something has just switched on in my brain. I’ve gone from someone who never thought I deserved happiness to someone who knows I deserve it. I’ve gone from someone who constantly was saying, “I can’t” to someone who says, “Bring it on.” I was the person who used to say, “Who me?” Now I say, “Why not me?” I can do whatever I set my mind to and no one or anything is going to stop me.

This change has been in the process of happening for sometime now, but really started taking root on November 22, 2009. That day I was volunteering at Ironman Arizona and while working the finish line I got to witness a part of history being made. I watched Rudy Garcia cross the finish line. He is a double amputee above the knee. He is about 23 years old and finishing an Ironman has been a goal of his. He tried in October in Hawaii, but did not make the bike cutoff. He was determined just a month later to finish in Arizona and he did. He is the first double amputee above the knee to reach this goal. I got to see him cross the finish line. I got to hear him interviewed after crossing the finish line. I got to shake his hand as he made his way through the finish line area (see above picture). I got to look him in the eye and tell him that he inspires me and many others. He said, “thanks.” Really, though, it should be me thanking him. That was the start of my change. That was the moment in time that I will remember for years to come.

Here is a young man who had every reason to stay at home and feel sorry for himself. What did he do to deserve not having legs? Why him? What’s the point in going on? The point is for moments like these. An overweight woman with big dreams, dreams of finally becoming healthy and fit and completing an Ironman seeing a young man with no legs reaching his goals. I’m sure that Rudy had people tell him he is crazy. I’m sure people told him he couldn’t do what he wanted to accomplish, but he didn’t listen and he has reached goal after goal including an Ironman finish.

I was almost 300 pounds when I first told people that I would be completing an Ironman by the time I turned 40. People thought and some still think that I am crazy. There will always be those critics. I could have just stayed almost 300 pounds and not cared. I have been dealt some tough cards in my life and I could have used those as my excuses for not reaching my goals, but like Rudy, I will overcome those obstacles and reach my goals. If Rudy, who doesn’t have any legs, can finish an Ironman and reach his goals, then what is stopping me?

When I started this journey I was 306.2 pounds. Today I am 238 pounds. I do not even know the last time I was in the 230’s. I am doing it. My dreams are no longer dreams they are my reality. I am living again. I am happy again. I have noticed in the last couple months and especially today I walk a little taller, a little prouder. I walk with my head held high. I do not hunch my shoulders anymore. I noticed that I walk with confidence. It has been a long time since I have been able to to that. I am proud of who I am and what I am becoming.

This past weekend was a real breakthrough for me. I worked out with my Coach, Bob, on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, he really pushed me in the pool. As you all know the pool and I do not always get along. I was nervous, but I pushed through and had a great swim. I mean there was points where Bob was bumping my feet, making me do flip turns, and some crazy drills, that will help me prepare for triathlon swims. I was tired, I was nervous, but most importantly I was doing it. Just a few months ago I was still having trouble putting my face in the water, but now I am doing it. I am a new person and a new athlete. It’s amazing. I’m not even the same person.

Sunday he invited me to do a computrainer workout on my bike with him at a bike shop nearby. That’s where your bike gets put on a trainer and makes your bike like a stationary bike. The computer than makes the ride harder and easier as if you were riding outside. I was nervous. There would be people there I didn’t know. Would I be the biggest one in the class? What would people think of my bike? Could I keep up? It was a new type of workout. Would I be able to do it? Would I talk myself out of going? Should I even think that I could do it? I told Bob I was nervous, but I was going to come. I even called Darlene on the way there and told her that I was getting more and more nervous the closer I got to the store. I was running late and even called the store hoping that Bob would say I was too late and that I would have to come another time. Guess what? I wasn’t too late. He told me it was fine and to just keep heading his way. I had no more excuses.

I got there, got my bike set up, and got underway. This was one of the hardest workouts I had ever done. It was supposed to be a 90 minute workout, but Bob told me I would probably make it to an hour and that was ok. When I got to the hour mark I pushed on and finished the whole 90 minutes. Bob was really proud of how I did and I remember him saying something to the affect of, “You just put your big girl pants on.” I came away from that workout a different person. I had turned a corner in my training and in my thoughts. I now knew that I could do anything, ANYTHING, that I put my mind too. Just like Rudy Garcia put his mind to finishing Ironman Arizona, I will be able to reach my goals because now I know I can.

I have so much more that I want to write about. So much more that is just bubbling over, but I will save that for another day. Good Night.


Bob Mitera said...

Even in the scariest of workouts, all you have to do is try. Give 'em a shot.

stacigirl1 said...

You know I am going to be there screaming "hey you number _ _ _ .... this is for you WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!" at the next spot im going to be screaming, "hey you number _ _ _ ... you are AMAZING" .... and again you are going to see me and im going to be screaming, "hey you number _ _ _ ... You are my INSPIRATION!!!" ... and most importantly... I'm going to be screaming again to you one final time, "you did it!!! you did it!! I am sooo proud of you my new IRONMAN friend :)" ... you are such an inspiration and i am soooo lucky to have you in my life... you were meant to come into my life and for that i will always be happy!!

Keep it up my dear friend :)

Molly said...

You are doing great!!! So glad you have Bob to keep pushing you along, but it's really YOU that is doing all the pushing of yourself and that is what will make you an Ironman! :)

The (IRON) Clyde said...

Way to be!!

It's been fun watching the transformation and can't wait to see what the next few years bring you to be!!

Duane said...

That is a cool pic!

Go Mom Go said...

You are such a rock star!!!

Keep it up woman! :)