To move forward, you have to look back.

I ran across my past this morning. Let me explain.

I’ve been a pretty good workout bunny, all things considered. Although I have the fear of Collegiate Nationals to keep me in line, the whole wonderment, the passion, the lust for “all things Tri” seems to be absent. My daily life is consumed with all other necessary functions.

But, it was this past blog post in conjunction with a recent research paper that reminded me that I can control those external contingencies to some extent. I can define and make my own habits. I did it once before, I can do it again:
Reflecting on My Own Rediscovery
I wrote this for a particular friend of mine whom I think feels the societal pains of our triathlon journey more than the rest of us. She’s a bigger gal, but I never really thought of her that way. But I know that she thinks of herself that way.

It may be because being a “big girl” is something I’m all too familiar with, too. I’ve always been the “bigger one” growing up. But I’ve never really felt awkward or alone in this aspect.

The way I see it, I’m bigger, but I’m also active, funny, humble, and if any skinny people give me shit, well, I can sit on them. (Really, just kidding. I love all kinds of folks.)

But I understand the desire to prove others wrong when it comes to your size. People really do seem to think that fat people are fat because they are lazy. Therefore, when you are a “fit but fat” person, you know you’re not lazy. And so you spend too much time trying to combat the ingrained myth. And if you were ever skinny or thin at one time, it seems to be even worse because you’re consciously afraid to become that which you have unconsciously shunned. I can say this because proving oneself used to be what I was about because I always fought my “bigger self” until two years ago.

I used to think I was fat at 130 lbs. I skipped meals, leaving me too tired to work out. I worked 2-3 jobs at a time going to school, leaving me no time to exercise.

I was unhappy with not working out and with gaining weight, but I didn’t really want to face my reality either. Something had to change, just as long as it wasn’t me! Strapped for cash, strapped for time, strapped for energy, I was stuck. I was steadily becoming strapped for a life.

Then, I did a fun thing. I took an easy last semester, got a new job, and I got a dog. I don’t even remember how or when it exactly started, but I realized that I loved taking Calen for long walks, then runs, then hikes, then cross-country runs. And I loved every minute of it.

And as work picked up, I became aware that it was a job that was beginning to suck the life out of me again, leaving me without energy to live. And I really missed dancing, or just being active and getting outside. And so I began looking for another job, and started scheduling workout times as if they were as important as doctor appointments. I was sure to schedule activities that I even liked. And I no longer adjusted my workout days and times to accomodate others. And after four months, I no longer felt like I had to apologize or make excuses to my friends or family when I’d choose to work out instead of going out.

And now, some of my friends have even said, “Wow. I’m so impressed with your dedication and motivation to workout on your own.” Trust me, sistah. It wasn’t always this way.

So for the last two years, I’ve been hiking and mountain biking with my puppers, and am a masterly mad stepper at my gym. And I’m still looking for new challenges in exercise. I think this triathlon just might be my ticket …
I think this triathlon-thang can and will still be my ticket. I have faith.