You’d assume for someone who is entering their fifth appointment in nine years (remember, one being five years long, another being three…the math on the others, that’s the joy of getting married in ministry!) that this would be old hat by now…well, you know what happens when you assume.
To say this move has been like any other would be a complete farce on any account. We were blindsided by it, there were more moving parts involved in the transition, and so much more background than I’m willing to wear on my sleeve. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, it just makes it different.
There have been a lot of emotions the last two months in this transition–good, bad, and indifferent. I’ve had to reconcile, once again, being bumped from my comfort zone and facing a new adventure in being stretched even more than before. I’ve spent three years in a place that has grown me as a leader in ways that I didn’t expect, but even greater, it broke me in the best way possible. It shook me out of status quo and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in and through me in ways that I could have never possibly imagined that has just set the stage for even more insane and amazing dreams in the future. Yeah, yeah…Mike Reilly’s going to yell my name someday, and I’m undecided at this point as to whether or not I’m emblazon my body with the Mdot. (Because how do you know if someone has completed an Ironman? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. *Knee slap* I love that joke!)
The last few years have provided me not only with great achievement in the different areas of holistic health, but learning the importance of striving to find balance in them. I can’t say I’ve handled every day or moment of the last two months with perfect grace and composure, but I’m human. However, I’ve learned the importance of taking care of myself and where that needs to fall on the priority list–and it’s not at the complete bottom after everything else is done, because guess what? The work is never done.
I could have gone full throttle in immersing myself in the “poor me’s” over the situation at hand, everything that needed to be done, and looking at the insurmountable big picture…that if you look at even in this moment at the end of day one, is even a bigger mountain than when we started when the floor was pulled out from under us at the outset of this adventure. Instead…knowledge is power. I’m amazed that I haven’t worn it out yet, but I continually employ my favorite mantra that I use probably a thousand times daily, “what is the next right action?”
Things don’t have to be solved right now. Not everything will be done in this moment. But some action needs to be taken, even if it’s just closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, and that’s where this mantra suits well. It helps to bring me back to center, to bring it back to God, and continue to look to Him for what’s next on this adventure.
Honestly, in the midst of the chaos, I’m really proud of myself and how things have played out. Other than the understandable difficult emotions in transition, I’ve handled this move better than any other. I have been able to stay consistent in life and to the best of my (imperfect) ability be there for others and myself. I have eaten well, I have kept up on my training schedule (other than the stupid sexy, sexy boot….please God let me get it off tomorrow!), I have engaged in those intellectual, emotional, and spiritual activities that feed into my goals. I have shown up for me. I’m not used to doing that. It’s kinda cool.
So, this morning instead of having a literal panic attack on my way to the office to start this new adventure….it looked a lot different than the past. Woke up, took a short bike ride and watched the sunrise, came home to shower and pack my lunch, and went on with my day. No anxiety. Just getting the job done. Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks.
I’m sold on the importance of making your healthy habits a level of priority in your life because I see the ripple effect…the couple hours I spend in the wee hours of the morning taking care of me have had such a profound effect–not just weight loss and physical ability, but in efficiency and capability too. I run circles around my former self. I have more stamina for the day, I am more productive, I get more done, I take more chances, I dream big. I shock myself most days too…believe me, you’re not the only ones!
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined God would have brought me to this place so far simply from a cry out in utter frustration and true willingness to obedience…now if only I can stop doubting my capability on those God-sized goals. More on that later.
Welcome to the week of “should,” “have to,” and all the lasts…Been through this before, this my fifth/husband’s fourth set of marching orders; it never gets easier. In fact, I’m pretty sure it gets harder, because the harder you work and love the community you are working in, it makes it that much harder to separate. I’ve said it before, that the saving grace for me at this point in time with this move is that we aren’t disconnecting completely from this amazing community that we live in right now, we still get to be a part of many things, it just looks different. There’s a lot still to be done here. It hurts to be leaving. A lot. For more reasons than I care to even count, professionally and personally.
That said, it doesn’t detract from the excitement of a new adventure too. There’s some pretty cool things about this new appointment straight off the bat that we haven’t had the privilege of in any of our other appointments yet, which is a blessing and crazy overwhelming wrapped all in one too. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of things that need to be addressed too that have been dropped at our feet quickly that we’re already up to our elbows in and we’re not even officially in the office yet…that’s life, but it’s also an indicator to us that while we’re still in a state of overwhelm, this is exactly where we’re supposed to be, and we just need to be content in standing firm and consistent and we’ll ride out the first wave of testing.
This last week is going to fly by whether I want it to or not. Parts of me want to savor moments of it, and parts of me wants to climb into bed and hide from it. There’s so much to be done…I have so much to do, there’s so much that others are depending on us to get done, and the “shoulds” and “have tos” are stacking up to the ceiling. It’s not a matter of delegation or asking others to help…I just can’t hand someone my job, there’s little others can really step in and do for us right now, that’s one of the frustrating things too. Thankfully, where we can ask for help, we have, so for example, when we go to load up our moving truck next week, it’s not just husband and I–we’ve got a few folks to help us. Up to this point, we’ve done a really good job at balancing to keep ourselves sane, but as we approach zero hour, “no” can’t always be an option anymore–things just have to get done. That’s life.
Like this morning, I “should” be out on a bike ride, but thanks to circumstances I woke up with, leaning on my handlebars for ninety minutes isn’t going to help that situation very much. I’m tired, I’ve got a lot to do, so I’ll probably just get ready and go to the office early and get started on the tasks at hand. I’m completely emotionally spent. I have spent the last six weeks tiptoeing around everyone else’s feelings around this transition and trying to be the cheerleader. I have defended other people’s actions/positions/feelings, I have kept a mostly positive attitude to the best of my ability, I have not commented when other people have spoken hurtful comments to me in passing (including family and even my own staff that I love very much and I know didn’t mean it to be hurtful, but we all say things without thinking), and I have felt like I’m drowning in this sea of complete guilt falling short of everyone’s needs and expectations trying to get everything squared away in this transition. I’m human too…and I’m just empty.
This week is going to pass whether I’m successful at keeping pace or not. Hopefully there’s some grace in there somewhere, but I’m not going to bank on it. I will be very grateful for after Labor Day once we’re “officially” installed and things calm down and we can get down to business and get the routine going, there’s a lot of work to be done–and that’s an understatement, as we’ve brought to the surface in just a short time just some of what needs to see the light of day. One foot in front of the other. Take a deep breath. God’s got it all under control, I need only to worry about the single next thing in front of me. As my favorite mantra goes, “what’s the next right action?” Hopefully with a positive memory or end or two in there this week…I would really prefer not to spend the week answering 5000 questions until I can address it in my timing or crying (yeah, right, lemme know how that works for you).
…and yes, there still is a blow-by-blow post of Salinas Valley Half Marathon coming, it’s in my drafts, just haven’t had time to finish it. You know, life.
A lovely friend posed a question on a Facebook post of mine earlier today, and it really threw me for a loop. I don’t think I’ve been earnestly asked this question before, and I had to think about this one for a bit…
How long did it take you to WANT or LOVE to workout?
So, here’s the honest truth–I don’t. *GASP*
Pick up your jaw. I’ll explain.
When that alarm goes off every morning at 4am, my first prayer before I open my eyes and my feet hit the floor is simply this, “God, I submit myself wholly to you today. I desire to be obedient to Your great will for me–guide my steps, my choices, and my thoughts in alignment with Your plans. Help me to be a reflection of You in all I do.”
Sounds great, right? Probably the most formal and eloquent prayer I ever pray each day. I know I fall short of it often, but it’s also the most sincere prayer that I ever pray as well. But once these words are uttered, it’s game on–it’s not my show anymore, the day is an act of obedience.
This is no different than that day when I submitted this whole journey to God, when I came to my breaking point and begged Him to show me what was going to change in my life–but I knew something was. I never anticipated weight loss, endurance sports, healing of my mind and heart, and spiritual growth and stretching beyond my own human comprehension….kind of like God’s version of, “Here, hold my beer.” (groan…terrible joke)
My life right now is made up of goals–minuscule and momentous, every single moment is dedicated to taking the next right action–putting one foot in front of the other. When I started down this path of healthier habits, it started with better eating habits–exercise didn’t even enter the picture at first. Remember, when I started to exercise, I couldn’t even walk to the end of the street and back without wanting to die. It was just obedient actions…they just happened. I can’t explain it. They just did.
Now fast forward a couple years to the point where I’ve reached a point of questionable sanity (HA!) in my endurance goals…I can honestly tell you, I still don’t like to workout, but I love it. I realize that makes absolutely zero sense at all.
I’m a lazy person by nature. I’m not a morning person–like, even a little bit, yet, I willingly, without complaint (most of the time), get up at 4am and engage in whatever is assigned on the calendar for the day that is preparing me for the next event or goal that I’m aiming for. Why? Well, obedience as outlined, but also–I’ve found a passion I’ve never experienced before outside of music when I was in high school/college. I have a drive and a love for running/triathlon disciplines and to go further and farther that I can’t really put words to.
I have come to believe that the passion I’ve found in running/triathlon disciplines is the blessing of my obedience on this journey. I’ve been faithful every single day. Some days better than others, but I submitted myself to God in a very raw way that I never have before. I asked Him to work in and through me because I was at the end of my knowledge and strength in so many different areas of my life, and at the risk continuing to go overly spiritual here, I had a very real encounter with the Holy Spirit in which I haven’t often experienced in my faith walk but a few other times of extreme certainty–mostly around my calling to full time ministry and my relationship with my husband. This passion is my reward.
Working out–exercising–is an act of worship. Some days it’s fun, some days it’s a learning experience, some days it’s painful, some days it’s therapy, some days it’s anger management, some days it’s communion with God, and some days it’s my opportunity to express my frustration with God and hammer things out. But at the end of the day, none of it is about me–I asked God to take over a long time ago. He has, and I’m just enjoying the ride. And it is pretty darn cool, I’m excited to see where it goes next!
(…and I still don’t think I’ve made a lick of sense, LOL)
I already told the story on how my bike named itself Storm, short for “I am the storm,” the moment I made contact with it…but there’s more to the story than that. This whole process of change since I sat in this very chair on January 23, 2015, and cried out to God in desperation that something had to change in my life has been a whirlwind–I feel like some days I can’t even catch my breath. I didn’t know at that point what those changes were going to be, what it was going to look like, but I was going to do was give up control (something I DO NOT DO) and go with it, because I was out of answers.
I have learned beyond volumes in the individual areas of my life physically, spiritually, and emotionally the last couple years, and obviously, there’s been YUGE document-able change there (‘cuz, #igotgoals), but what’s even more fascinating to me is watching the these three distinct areas of health intermingle together and how they play with each other. This is where the further identifiable growth keeps spurring me on to greater goals. It’s also pretty amazing to see the ripple effect of how working on all of these very deeply personal areas of my holistic health have had great impact on I would safely venture to say every single other area of my life–in relationships, professionally, etc.
I understand that people only see the public snapshots and what I choose to share, because in our line of work, I just can’t lay my day-to-day dealings and feelings out on the line. So, pretty much y’all get to see the insanity that is my physical goals (and honestly, the breadth of it–you don’t even know what I’ve got in my head and on paper. I am capable of more than I think I’m capable of) and a few other bumblings here and there that I throw in as I can. And that’s okay. More shall be revealed.
Life is life right now. All I can sit back and say is that God has a really good sense of humor to find even more mind blowing situations to continually bring me back on my face before Him. And that’s cool. I need it. I need Him. He knows I’m going to fight Him, I’m going to wrestle Him, I’m going to get angry at Him, I’m going to get knock-down-drag-out-royally-pissed-off-even-though-there’s-not-a-darn-thing-I’m-going-to-do-differently-but-submit-and-obey-anyway-two-year-old-tantrum-upset at God…and it’s all going to be okay. Could I handle life with a little more grace right now? Sure I could! These are all emotional reactions to life…they don’t change my spiritual relationship with God. God is still God. But these emotional reactions are having an effect on my physical self–and this is where I need to check myself.
My last couple long runs haven’t just been a representation of lousy summer weather, but especially this last week, getting my head and heart into focus wasn’t even a minute possibility–an activity that brings me such sheer joy and bliss even when it’s hard and requires work was basically sucking my will to live with every step I took. I was physically fine (except for a pulled muscle in my torso…genius here forgets to stretch when swimming), but I hurt from head to toe and there was not one thought in my head that could connect in a way to propel myself forward–not even the fact that I’ve got a race coming up and I gotta get my rear in gear.
I suffered through longer than I expected to this last week, I think I got 7 of the 12 miles I was scheduled for, but I don’t find anything acceptable in that place of defeat where I’m fighting myself constantly not to quit. And then the other key in this crazy puzzle too, is when I get into this place in my mind, it can also be a grey area for me to start justifying emotional eating choices that aren’t necessary or beneficial to my body. That’s a disturbing head space for me to be, because it starts to feel like (feel, not actually be…let’s make that distinction right off the bat) my former self–the one stuck on the diet cycle, that would always quit, start again Monday/tomorrow/New Years/etc and then it would never come. That scares me a lot. I’m totally okay with the fact that the path is not straight and we take curves along the way–let’s put it this way: bikes don’t go in reverse.
Thankfully, it’s not a me-game anymore. I’ve got other people to pull me out of my head too. Hooray for accountability on all fronts! By the end of the day, I had other scenarios go on that got my head out of my rear, and I had been reassured that regardless of my interpretation of the numbers, a couple bad runs aren’t going to bomb my next race and into my hands (well, kindle), was placed a phenomenal book, “The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion” (Marshall/Paterson). First of all, where was this book when I took psych 101 during my undergrad? I might have passed it the first go ’round then, LOL. Amazing stuff. I’m re-reading several sections of this book, and I’m positive will do so many times.
Part of this growing and changing stuff is relying on other people. I’ve talked a little bit before on some of my emotional goals in the area of developing confidence/self-confidence, and I’m coming to realize, I can’t do that in a vacuum…this one isn’t really just a God and me issue, this one takes a village. I have people, I just don’t always use them well. Trust is hard for me. Better than it used to be, but it’s hard. I can place my confidence and faith in others, but I very much still have the cognitive disconnect in place when it comes to myself. I intellectually realize this fact, but it doesn’t change the issue at hand. Prime example, I asked someone last night about my ability to tackle a cycling event I was interested in–they countered with asking why not bump up to the next category. Asked another person the same question this morning and they told me an out of the park answer, but that individual forgets I have responsibilities beyond my health and wellness goals and can’t spend my life training. I underestimate myself constantly. I’m not sure what the answer is yet…but it will come. I do know in that finding whatever this confidence is, it comes with a voice–something I’ve never had or used before. I can’t say I’m always using it the best as I’m learning along the way right now, but I’m using that voice, and that’s a new experience.
For now, I rest in that it will be okay in just where I’m at right now, in the chaos of it all and savoring the time I have in the moments for the next several weeks. Looking forward to the adventure of race day, the excitement that it brings, and also a little bit of a break from reality if just for a few days. It will be good.
I repeat, once again, the most complex part of this holistic wellness journey and the goals that I am working towards is the emotional/mind health…specifically, rewriting those negative lies in my head that I have believed as truth for so long that have gotten me nowhere.
On several occasions this week, both in small groups that I’ve led and in situations of accountability, the discussion has turned to the ways in which we speak to ourselves, negative self-talk, our perception of ourselves, how we treat ourselves, lies we tell ourselves, and self-fulfilling prophecy.
All I’ve got to say is: Ouch.
This is a hard one for me. I’m in an interesting place where I am aware of the negativity in my head–I have the awareness of the (let’s be honest here) crap I’m telling myself, yet I’m not always consistently putting in the intentional effort to change it.
Did you catch that? The intentional effort to change it. It takes work. I know what needs to be done. It’s not a magical prayer to God to remove this thorn–believe me, I’ve asked. I know this is an area of my life that requires discipline, practice, and intentional effort to transform my thoughts and renew my mind.
I am a person that’s very hard on myself by nature. I have higher expectations of myself than I do of those around me, and I don’t offer myself the same level of grace that I would offer anyone else. Messed up, right? Thank God that He’s got the grace for me in spite of myself! I also have the propensity to speak to myself and about myself in extremely negative ways and tear myself down at every opportunity. I would never speak about another person the way I speak about myself in my mind, yet I do it anyway. It’s rather disgusting.
It’s not as bad as it sounds though–remember, I’ve got a couple years under my belt now chipping away at my goals. I’m a work in progress–always will be in this area. I’m certainly not as bad as I used to be, but there’s still light-years worth of room for improvement to really embrace that level of healthy self-worth and true confidence without faking it (and boy, I fake it well some days, because if you think I’m sure of myself in many areas, you’ve got another thing coming!).
Today was a day of forward momentum in this area. As I was out on my long run, I noticed I was really starting to rag on myself, things like “shut up legs” being probably the only family-friendly phrase I’d be willing to admit on this public forum…but my head can get pretty dark and inappropriate, and rather un-Christlike, trust me. I became aware that I was doing this, and it annoyed me, which only perpetuated the negative messages in my head. Then I got to thinking (always scary) and starting to try to dissect this, and questioned why am I really saying these things to myself. Well, I’m frustrated. Since I had my surgery and haven’t been strength training as hard due to restrictions, my running times have suffered. It’s also hot–and it’s scientific fact, studies show that running speeds suffer in summer heat. I know these things are both out of my control, and I’m not a super competitive person in the first place…I haven’t really come to the conclusion why the timing is bugging me, but it is. I’m also experimenting with some different changes with my running that while I can see there are improvements in performance, feel, and recovery, it is not yet reflecting in the numbers…I “know” to trust the training, but it gets frustrating.
So, I get to the point a couple miles into this internal dialogue to where I need to figure out what action am I going to take…am I going to spend the next 60-90 minutes ticked off and ready to throat punch the first person that I happen to come up on, or am I going to do something to work on remedying the situation? Well, luckily I chose the latter…and I didn’t come up upon anyone until less then a mile from home when I encountered the back of the back of a cycling group that didn’t see which way the rest went and I directed traffic with a smile (except the one rogue cyclist of the group who thought I was full of it and whizzed past me…whatever).
Practice. Transforming negative self-talk into something constructive. We’re not talking fluffy-glittery unicorn affirmations, because that’s just not my style, and it’s not authentic or believable. But what I can do is take the specific negative statements, identify the lie in it, and state the truth. So, “shut up legs,” translates to, “1…2…3…4…1…2…3…4…the top of this incline is coming. One foot in front of the other. Keep going.” Because you know what comes at the crest of a hill in Havasu? The victory dance. (Yeah, it’s a good thing that I run in the wee hours of the morning and there’s no one around. No one needs to see all that goodness, LOL) And then after the victory dance–comes the downhill, where you feel like you’re flying, like nothing else in the world matters, and where you’re completely invincible.
It’s not impossible to transform my negative self-talk and my perspective of myself–it takes awareness, intentional effort, and consistent practice. God will honor the effort. It’s not my work in vain, and I’m not alone.
I willing to bet that not everyone’s doctor comes in the room with a smile on their face and gives them a giant hug. Mine haven’t always either. In the past, it’s always been along the lines of, “oh, you have a sore throat? Lose weight.” “You broke a bone? Lose weight.” You get the idea…never much support.
Over the almost two and a half years, my primary doctor and a few medical pros I’ve enlisted have become my cheerleaders and a source of accountability for me. I keep regular and consistent appointments with them, have regular lab work and other metrics that are measured and that we compare and discuss. Keyword–discuss. It’s not a one-sided deal. They want to hear from me and I want to hear from them, this journey is a two-way street. They don’t have all the answers and I don’t either, but together we can come up with a pretty decent game plan for my overall physical health.
They offer me perspective and bring me back to reality when I need it–I can be harder on myself than I need to be. For example, you’ll hear in the video below that I speak of perfect blood work. Doctor’s words–not mine. I went in to today’s visit with my checklist if highlights on my results that I wasn’t satisfied with and had to be reminded of why those numbers are the way they are, that they are totally out of my control. For example, there’s one panel of blood work that looks completely ridiculous when you look at heavy metals in my body. My body doesn’t absorb or store them, it’s due to some some bunk body parts that work against me and won’t be solved until I (stop dragging my feet and quit firing specialists…) schedule a hysterectomy. It’s not my fault–I beat myself up over this every time, but the doctor was able to give me the ah-ha moment today and break down the numbers to prove it’s not my fault. She showed me I take in the proper nutrition that provides those nutrients to my body–the numbers show that, they just also show my body can’t do anything with them, and that’s where I pay the consequence. And that’s just life. If the professional is telling you you’re fine and totally healthy, at some point this has to sink in and become reality.
No, a doctor’s office is not a glamorous place–but it’s what you make of it in the relationship you establish with your provider. I’m blessed with a D.O. that believes in my same perspective that health is a whole person issue, that it’s not just eating well and exercise, but that it is emotional and spiritual health too. It’s important to me that we’re on the same page and have similar beliefs so that decisions are made within those values.
Not going to sugar-coat it, it’s been a rough couple of days with a few things that have popped up, and I needed something good today. I miss my husband greatly and have felt very lonely–I can’t wait for him to come home tomorrow (I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or the dog!), life is being life, and I’m pretty weary…watermelon became an acceptable lunch over the weekend, and the other night popcorn was an acceptable dinner choice. It happens.
Don’t discount the places where you find both encouragement and accountability—they aren’t going to stand on the corner with a neon arrow flagging you down, you have to seek them out. But the effort pays for itself in dividends.
If you follow any number of athletic, running, or fitness inspiration pages such as I do, some of your social media feeds may have been flooded this weekend with photos and the hashtag #sportsbrasquad. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about confidence, finding peace, (healthy) body acceptance, and freeing ourselves from needless body shaming and ridiculous stereo-typing…but posting a selfie in my sports bra isn’t going to achieve that.
I didn’t participate in this widespread event for a number of reasons–first and foremost, modesty. While my torso is actually one of the parts of my body I can look at in the mirror and not immediately rag on while topless, the rest of the world doesn’t need to see that glow-in-the-dark pasty white goodness! Yes, it’s a stigma, but I also feel a person “of my size” probably shouldn’t be flaunting around their midriff either–that’s my personal choice I make. It’s also an age thing…I’m not a teenager, nor am I in college anymore; I’m a grown and married professional woman. While I’d like to believe there’s a separation between my personal and professional life, I don’t operate under that delusion in reality, and I realize that I need to be cognizant of the manner in which I appropriately cover my body in a given situation. And finally, let’s get real…the sweat factor. It was darn hot yesterday morning on my run–there needed to be more moisture-wicking material on my body to handle the load, LOL.
Don’t misconstrue my point here–I’m not knocking anyone that had the bravery to bare all and share for the world to see. It takes courage. It takes confidence. It takes a level of peace with your body that I’m still on the mats wrestling with in a big way. I was touched by a lot of the words that many of the women posted with their photos.
So where am I in this wrestling match? Well, in my last post I touched on self-acceptance. This is a long process. God’s working on me. Slowly. It’s an interesting process, but over the last couple weeks I’ve been able to see how the journey and working on myself are chipping away at those hard places on my heart that aren’t allowing me to see my own worth the way that others can.
This week I was listening to a very wise teaching on taking care of yourself and self worth, really breaking it down and honoring yourself in the present moment–not getting stuck in the hamster wheel of “I’ll feel good about myself when…” or assigning a judgement to it, but just truly looking at yourself honestly and wholly for who you are in this moment and appreciating that. The way that this was presented was highly emotional for me and really struck a cord because I get so frustrated that I can’t seem to bring myself into that truly present moment where my mind and body connect in the same moment. It seems like the two run independently of each other, and while intellectually I understand the progress I’ve made and can fathom the possibility of achieving the goals I’ve set forth, I still look in the mirror and see the person I was on day one. I still see the person that trapped in an unhealthy and unmoving body that was beyond miserable and didn’t know how to fix it for herself until she surrendered that part of herself to God fully. I can post all the side-by-side selfies I want, it doesn’t change that disconnect for me.
I had another moment this week, that I never would have anticipated, that really loosened some of those cogs in my mind and got me thinking a little bit more. Of all things, it was a bike fitting. My (early) birthday gift is a beautiful road bike and if we were going to invest in this purchase, I was going to upgrade the fit and have the advanced body geometry bike fitting done–mostly because I’m a data nerd and after reading all the information, I really wanted those stats about my body!
I was pretty nervous (but excited!) going into this bike shop in the first place. I had already had several conversations with the shop manager that ordered my bike and would be conducting the fitting–she knew what to expect when I walked in the door, and knew my story, but the reaction of the other staff when I came in was a bit comical….kind of like when I show up at a race, that “fat girl gonna do what?!” look. Once they got clued in to the details on my story they picked up their jaws and thought it was pretty cool. Anyway…bike fit.
The really cool thing about this is that they just don’t throw you on your new bike and tell you to go for it. There’s questions, body movement and angle measurements in a lot of different positions. From the yoga and all the stretching I do, I’m pretty aware of how I can move my body, so it was interesting to apply angles and some math to it and learn how I move is beneficial to cycling and how it affects the fit and comfort on my bike. The ah-ha moment didn’t strike me until later on, but after having a set of eyes on me and manipulating my body for such a long period of time didn’t bother me–I wasn’t self conscious in that moment, rather in awe of how my body could move and what it could do. I don’t think like that. That’s progress.
The self consciousness though, it does come…while I would be capable of joining the #sportsbrasquad, there’s other demons for me to overcome. I’ve talked about my discontent with my arms and legs due to the hanging skin from weight loss before. I don’t wear shorts in public…never have, even before losing weight. Other than my booty shorts I occasionally wear at home, or the appropriate shorts I wear to/from the pool, I don’t wear shorts. Well, while I do I own cycling capris, it’s hot. I’ve donned the bike shorts for my first couple rides and while I can’t say I’m accepting of what I see, I passed the mirror today and was okay…I didn’t totally hate on myself. And that’s new. That’s finding peace.
I’m not sure what full confidence in myself, my appearance, my abilities looks like…I believe I’ll get there in God’s time. but I’m learning. It’s all a process. There’s people in my path, experiences, prayer, work to be done on my part, patience, time, and most importantly God transforming my heart and mind that will make it happen according to His will. It’s good stuff.
Oh, and the bike…it’s amazing. Meet the newest member of the family, Storm. Short for, “I am the storm,” because once we achieved optimum fit, I can’t even begin to tell you the dreams and goals that clicked in to place. Stay tuned, there’s more to this story as God writes this one, I’m sure of it!