Adult Onset Athlete and a Writer? Yep, That's Me!
My sis called last night just to chat. Things have been hectic for both of us lately and she was apologizing for 'falling off the Earth'. Which made me laugh because usually I'm the one that does that. We talked about my blog, her art, our lives, our kids, all the news, the usual. During the conversation she said I sounded good, happy. My response was that I am. I feel good, I feel happy, and am in a really good head space right now.
I had a strange moment a few days ago. I was commenting on someone's blog and I realized that something was different about this 'time' of losing weight and getting healthy. I've set goals just like I always do, but this time I believe I can do it. I deep down to my toes believe I will reach that size 6 jeans, and my goal weight, and all these crazy physical challenges I've made for myself. I believe I can do it. Wow, that felt weird.
Where in the world did that belief, that confidence in myself come from? Never had it before, huh. Since then I've been reflecting a lot on where I'm at this time around. What I've realized is I've had a huge shift in my self image.
I have never really liked myself, and at times bordered on hating myself. I've never believed I was capable of things. It goes deeper than just me. It's my family, my town even.
I grew up in a place that most teenagers fled upon turning 18 flinging things over their shoulder like: "I am outta here and never coming back." Now, it's not a bad place, just a small, small town that most teenagers don't appreciate. A few stick around and work their family ranches, farms, etc. Most leave. A few, like me, realize the beauty of this place and come back to raise their kids here.
Now, my town is changing, but when I was growing up most of us really weren't expected to do much. There were a few kids people thought were super smart or athletic and they were going places. The rest of us, eh, not so much. It was a very strange small town mindset. Looking back that saddens me. It took reaching adulthood and going through a lot of junk to realize that I CAN. I can accomplish so much. I ran a marathon. You should have seen and heard people around here while I was training. I think they suspected I'd 'lost my damned mind'! Twenty miles up and down our little road, yes please. 'Crazy girl say what?' A lot of people had this notion that people from here just don't DO things like that. But I did.
I heard the other day about someone from high school taking up running and training for a race even. Now if my sis and I and our crazy runner ways can help people break out of their 'I can't' boxes, how cool is that?!
As my adult self I can look back at my teenage self and realize that there was a lot that could have been seen in me, should have been seen in me, but wasn't. Now, I love my life and don't regret whatever it took to get me here. But as an adult I see things in myself that I didn't know were there in high school.
First, I realize that I gain muscle easy and have an athletic body type. In high school, I had no clue that was true. I played sports just to get out of the house, but half-heartedly. The track coach never told me I could run. He never pushed me to be a runner. I did shotput and discus because no one else wanted to. But when we did windsprints I was always one of the first few done. Yet that coach never told me I should do a running event. I didn't think I could. I wasn't one of them. Same thing happened with any other sport I played.
Second, I see that I am smart. Yes, I got awesome grades in school and blew all those silly placement tests out of the water. But no one saw anything in that. In me. I wasn't one of them.
I also see that I can write. That's something I've wanted to do since the 6th grade but was afraid I was no good. I wasn't one of them. I did have a teacher in high school that read my paper out loud in class once. She read it anonymously, but I was still a bit mortified. I could tell by the inflection in her voice that she liked it. I was dumbfounded. She was the first person that ever made me think I could write and maybe, just might be, a little good at it?! I was stunned. I wasn't from this family, or that. I wasn't one of them. Luckily, she wasn't from these parts. She didn't know any better. And she cared about what she did. Now, I was beginning my rebellious snot phase at that point. But wherever you are Mrs. S. Thanks.
I also run into a lot of the I can't, or we don't, in my family. They tend to have the 'I can't' mindset about a lot of things. They were in shock when I decided to run a marathon, because 'we don't do things like that.' Well, we do now. My G-ma kept telling me I was going to hurt myself, that much running wasn't good for me. She meant well.
Growing up I bought into all of that. I wasn't one of them, I just couldn't do anything spectacular, it wasn't in me. What I have realized lately is that I no longer think that way! I am seeing myself differently. I am flat out amazed at the things I think and believe I can do.
Steve at 265andfalling.com is doing some challenges: 100 push ups, 200 sit-ups, and 200 squats. In the past I never would have begun such challenges because I would have known that I couldn't do things like that! I've decided to join him. In taking the initial tests I just knew I could do the 200 squats already. Between all the running and Jillian workouts my lower body is in good shape. So I did. 200 squats, first try. The most exciting part of it was that I had believed I could. New concept for me. The other initial tests didn't go so hot, but I believe after the 6 week challenge I will be able to do 100 push ups and 200 sit-ups. I couldn't do those things in high school, or at least never would have tried to because of my self image.
My self image, how I see myself, has had a major overhaul in the last few years. I don't hate myself, I kinda like myself now. When losing weight I always loathed where I was and couldn't wait to get to where I wanted to be. It's really nice to like where I'm at while still working at where I want to be. Never experienced that before. I see myself as an adult-onset athlete; never thought I'd put me and athlete in the same paragraph. This body can do some crazy things, who knew? I've started calling myself a writer! Added it to all my bios and everything. I believe that I can, I will, and I do.
So, yes sis, I am good, I am happy. I love where I am and am excited about where I'm going. Uncharted territory, but bring it. I'm ready and I CAN!