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Athlete is Not a Dirty Wood

September 13, 2009
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I’ve debated how to go about addressing this on the blog. Truth be told, up until this weekend I didn’t know how far, if at all, I was going to delve into this topic of my life. But then I remembered that if my desires for this blog where to be put into a pyramid graph, the base of the pyramid would be open, honest, communication about the process of GETTING ON WITH MY LIFE post broken engagement. And so honestity is where we find ourselves.

I first started playing organized sports in the 5th grade. It all started with a community soccer league I joined because my best friend, Josh, played and he was always raving about how awesome it was. (In hind site, his natural amazing athletic ability probably had something to do with said opinion of awesomeness)

And leave it to the natural tendencies of my life- I was not put on Josh’s team after sign up- but I, probably thanks to my mother’s assurance, kept on. My team was filled with kids from surrounding schools, yet none from mine, and I was one of 3 girls on the team. And if my memory is correct, I was the least best player on the field at any given moment (note my use of positive self esteem). But we won the division title that year and I took home a big trophy and a feeling of accomplishment despite never scoring a goal or really doing much of anything but take up space.

When my family moved to Wisconsin in the mid-90’s my love affair with the term athlete officially began. I signed up for basketball and volleyball, both the school leagues and summer programs, and I also ran hurdles for the middle school track team. (I even had a short career as a football cheerleader, if you can believe that)

Being clumsy and slightly-lazy, my time in the lodi middle school gym led me through one season after another on the B team. I was fine with this, especially back then, and truly enjoyed myself playing both basketball and volleyball and running track. I was most obviously apart of the teams for community and enjoyment.

When I started high school, I found myself back on the soccer field. (if a love affair was had with the term athlete, soccer was my first true love: I loved playing and LOVED watching games. ) I played soccer my freshmen, sophomore and senior years and was a statstition/manager for the guys team all throughout, and even a season after graduation.

I was never a superstar, by any means. But I learned on that field. I had four years of fabulous coaching, and I still to this day remember life lessons I learned from the five WONDERFUL coaches I worked with in those years. They remain some of my most favorite people in the world, and I am so very grateful for my time with them.

I also played two years of high school basketball. And two years of high school summer ball. (So many memories!) And still to this day I enjoy time on the court.

But after my sophomore year, other activities took first priority in my life and I stopped playing sports. (I only went back for soccer my senior year after a suggestionm from a friend that I would later regret it if I didn’t). 3 hour practices every day after school stopped. Running laps with my teammates stopped. Saturday tournements stopped. Early morning before school shooting practice stopped. And I found myself becoming more and more lazy. And never making time for any kind of exercise. It wasn’t important.

And so, made clear to me only by looking through a timeline of photos, I gained a little bit of weight.

When college came, of course, as you’ve probably heard time and time again, so did late night pizza orders, all you can eat cafeteria food, and a whole dorm full of girls willing to share oreos, chocolate bars and sponge-bob shaped cheeze nips.

And although I don’t remember ever weighing myself in high school, I’m sure I gained The Freshman Fifteen (and maybe even more).

I can remeber working out a handful of times at the on-campus gym at Edgewood College where I attended my first two years of college. And although I gained weight and was not at all in shape or fit in the least, I don’t remember being too bothered by it.

When my family moved to Texas and I decided to transfer to Louisiana College, not much changed. Although, during my one semester at LC I did frequent the gym a lot more often and also was the QB of a flag football team.

There were times after I left school that I decided to try to be healthier. I got a gym membership in Texas and for a few months at a time I would be really dillegent about going. But I never really kept track of health or fitness goals and never gave it my all.

There were times over the last six years that I tried to lose weight for events: my best friend’s wedding in order to fit into my MOH dress, for example.

But nothing stuck.

And over time I just kept gaining.

When my former fiance and I started planning our own wedding, I decided it was time to focus. And we got a couples-membership to the YMCA and I weighed myself.

And I saw a scary scary number.

A number 15+ pounds heavier than I ever remembered weighing before. And because I didn’t like this number, I started to work a little harder at taking care of myself.

Overtime, I decided I wanted to DO SOMETHING again. Something organized, something I could be a part of. The decision to run a 5K came into the picture this past spring, and this summer I picked the date of when my first official “race” will be: Halloween 🙂

I am still in no way ready to run an entire 3.1 mile course.
And I have been embarassed by this fact.

I have found myself wanting to hide the details of my training and weight loss journey from the world and especially from the people I’ve known and loved over the years.
This is a pride issue I’m recently determined to get over.

I think part of my issue in the past has been that I don’t want to say I am going to do something (like lose X amount of pounds, or join a soccer team) and then not be determined enough to follow through.

I am proud of my progress and I want to be confident and able to share it with the people I love- and that includes you blog readers 🙂

Saturday morning I ran the farthest distance without stopping since I started my training program (which started the beginning of August).

And although I am struggling with sharing this general knowledge of how I can’t run very far, that I’m clearly really out of shape, and that I still have quite a way to go, I know it’s time. Because I have come a long way already, and I know I will continue to make and meet my goals.

A few stats for you:
-so far, in 2009, I have lost 20 lbs.
-as of yesterday, I can run 3/4 of a mile with out stopping.
– I feel stronger and more confident than I have in a long time
– I am proud of what I am choosing to change in my life.

And I am not ashamed- because I am IMPROVING and taking steps to get to where I need to be. And these same steps will lead me to better health and a happier lifestyle. I am taking care of myself for the first time in a long time, and with each day and each step I get closer to the very best version of myself. And that’s the place I long to be. The best Heather.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kait permalink
    September 13, 2009 7:13 pm

    Way to go! I'm not heavy by anyone's standards (besides mine) but I'm mushy and out of shape. Stick to it 🙂

  2. Stefanie permalink
    September 13, 2009 11:12 pm

    You SHOULD share all of your accomplishments with everyone, you have a lot to be proud of!!I'm glad that you decided to be open about this because you have been making incredible progress!

  3. mlp permalink
    September 16, 2009 11:04 am

    I went to the gym the other day. I "ran" about half a mile before I got tired. I made it to a mile at a jog, but I realized that I have to get better.

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