Some people have asked me how I started my weight loss. My first few months in the blog archive explain it all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keep on Running


One year ago last August my sisters and I were part of a relay team in the "Portland to Coast" relay walk itis a 24 hour relay walk divided up into 4-7 mile segments, each of us completing 2 segments, about 12 hours apart. This walk is a lifestyle for some, and there are cultural rituals I was unaware of. Passing someone on the road is called a "roadkill". Follower vans have the numbers of kills made by the teams written on the windows. People dress up crazy, cars honk and wave cheering their teammates on. We slept in an open field under the stars with hundreds of others, sharing a long line of port-a-potties. It was insane and wonderful. I loved all of it, and was caught up in the competition. The first round I was roadkill to no one and I was determined to keep it that way.

My second shift I was assigned to walk in the middle of the night on a dark windy country road. I decked out in gear from head lights to reflective tape to avoid becomming literal road kill.

I passed walkers one by one, smug in my killings. 3 miles in, I was alone on the dark road, or so I thought. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a light right on my tail. I cranked up my ipod and walked faster than I thought possible. She stayed right on me, I didn't want to turn around and give in, so I upped my pace. The light behind me increased its pace as well. She was relentless. Finally when I thought I could go no faster and was about to consent to defeat, I turned around. I was alone on the trail. My brother in law had put a light on the back of my hat I was unaware of. I was chasing myself.

So, I am an idiot who learned literally that my main goal is not to surpass others, but to surpass myself.

This morning on my run I was thinking about that lesson. A few mornings ago I had just completed my run ending on my killer hill and sat on my front step trying to keep from coughing up the lung I had just dislodged. Just then, the girl who 21 years ago stole my high school boyfriend jogged past me, up the hill while talking casually to her companions. She was beautiful, thin, and well dressed in a complete matching Nike outfit. I lowered my sweaty head so I would not be recognized.

In the past just such an experience would drive me to discouragement and ice cream, consoling myself with the thought of her probably having an unhappy marriage and bratty children. Now, I am coming to a new awareness and confidence.

5 kids have not been kind to my stretchy stomach and marked up thighs but I have legitimate laugh lines, I have all that I need, and I am becoming content in the fact that I am only in a race against myself, and that though I am capable of doing better and pushing harder "The race goes not to the swiftest but he who keeps on running" (unknown)

I will keep on running. I will not look back to see what the competition is doing because that leads to either despair at my loss, or a false victory where others fail so I can win. There will always be someone smarter, faster, thinner, and better dressed. I can't worry about it, they are not my competition, I am. I will look only forward to obtain my goals and hope to bring as many with me as I can.

17 comments:

Heffalump said...

Wise words. Thanks.

Rebecca said...

Count me in with the ones you're bringing with you. I had a few comments about all the working out I've been doing, when in actuality I was berating myself for ONLY working out 2-3 times a week. Funny, other people saw it as a lot. You help me to think positively, even when I don't want to. :D

Haven't lost any more weight yet, but thought of you today when my pants started hanging off and I had a kid on each hand so they wouldn't run away....

Rebecca said...

I meant that others had a few positive comments about "all the working out" I was doing.

And I was trying to stop the kids from running away, not use them to keep my pants from running.

Sheesh. I'm tired.

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I am very impressed! Way to go. I love the name of your blog! So catchy. :D
<3, Amy in AZ

Marc and Megan said...

Love this post! So, are you doing the hood to coast again next year??? :)

Dana said...

I just discovered your blog via Denise and I am SO happy I did.

I am fairly new to the running world and your exercise posts have renewed my spirit and resolve.

Thank you!

Tara said...

It's so hard not to compare ourselves to others. As always, I appreciate your great thoughts.

Eliza said...

Thanks for the advice!!! i am a very competitive person, but only when it comes to something I can win at...running and weightloss are not YET included in that...so I thank you for your adviec of not comparing...it is MUCH needed!

KellyLady said...

Fabulous thoughts as usual! Today I broke a plateau that I've been fighting for the past month...and it felt great. Some days I get discouraged but then I remember how far I've come and realize all of the positive things that I've changed and accomplished. Thanks for being part of the positive!

Camille McInelly said...

You are so wise. It's hard not to compare ourselves to others. I always appreciate your advice.

Yvonne said...

That is fantastic. Why or why do we constantly compare!!! You always make me think and I love that about your blog.

Thank you so much.

Trixie said...

I laughed at that great story. It was funny then and funny now! So are we walking Portland to Coast this year for another profound life lesson and the cool t-shirt? Or are you going to to Hood to Coast with a group of runners? This year Hood to Coast only had one person die, fortunately in front of a team of EMT, so she's alive again. The life lesson I take home from that, is if you have to die, do it in front of someone who can do CPR. Come to think of it, for a while she really was road kill...

Great stories, great blog.

Courtney said...

I love it! Thanks.

Carrot Jello said...

Oh, that Trixie is naughty.
I bet that girl from highschool doesn't have a sense of humor, and I bet she can't crochet or embroider things, or do calligraphy. Bet she doesn't have five kids either.
I bet she wishes she could live next door to you.

Calamity Jane said...

Thanks heffalump!

rebecca, I am glad you are on the wagon with me. I had my pants fall off once while I was chasing the dog. It was a horrible experience which ended in a broken foot. Be safe, Get a belt.

Thanks Amy Shipp, I love your name.

Megan, everyone is throwing in their hat, I hope you come with us. It was the funniest thing I have done in a long time, Michelle and I are pretty sure we are comedians when we get together, We crack ourselves up, it would be great to have you come along.

Dana, welcome aboard to the weightloss express...

Tara, I am just trying to get over comparing myself to you...you wonder woman you...

Eliza your baby is so cute!

Kelly I so loved the pictures of you in your wedding dress. You are such a success story. I am amazed at all the weight you have lost. you look fab.

Camile, I think wisdom is coming with age, wait until I am 90, then get on this blog. I will be so thin...

Thanks Yvonne!

Trixie, I was not aware of the whole death risk. I would way rather walk with you and our team than run with anyone!

Courtney, thanks for coming!

Carrot, having her live next to me is the one thing I want to avoid. It is easier to not be competitive with someone I only see once every 20 years.

Natalie said...

Thank you for this post, it's something I needed to "hear" right now.

Aubrey said...

I am so impressed with your dedication to exercise! I so want to be that way.