I’m definitely not the only person, successful at losing a lot of weight, who has said, “make this your new lifestyle. Everything you do from now around revolves around being active, eating right, and taking care of yourself.”
Here I am, 7:32 am on Sunday morning, watching the live coverage of the ING New York City Marathon, wishing to pieces that I was there running it. Someday… someday…
Some of my new habits really blow my mind. 3 years ago, at 207 pounds, I’d be working my way through a very tall stack of french toast, covered in butter in syrup, wondering what my future had in store for me. Little did I know I’d constantly surround myself with fellow athletes, races, and anything and everything nutrition, fitness, and health. Watching this race 3 years ago would’ve made me break into hives… or begin to get side-stitches. I remember trying out for the track team in high school years ago and only able to jog 1/2 a block before bending over, gasping for air. I silently cursed at my fellow classmates and teammates running past me, lapping me, and wishing that I had been born with similar genes. Back then my thought was, “why the hell would someone WANT to run? For fun?”
I finally get it now. I’ve experienced that “runner’s high,” when your body and mind are so revved up and you feel like you could literally just go on forever. You almost get lost in a trance. Mile 11 came on my first half marathon in April and although my hamstrings were beginning to scream, my adrenaline rush was so high, there was just no WAY I could stop. The silent energy you pull from the other competitors and participants can’t be described in words, and I do believe you really only understand this feeling if you’ve run races, too.
I realize that if I hadn’t stuck it out, if I hadn’t have been dedicated to losing this weight, I would’ve never experienced it, or the thrill of crossing the finish line at a half marathon, or reaching new distances during a long run. None of that would’ve happened if I had given up on myself or on my crazy dreams. Suddenly, I find so much joy in (running) shoe shopping, (exercise) clothes shopping, discussing PRs, learning new recovery snacks, and talking to other runners. I just can’t get enough.
Running and exercise in general have opened up new doors in every facet of my life. Now that I have more physical capability, I’m dying to find out what else I can do as far as career goes (I want to create my own fitness DVDs someday), and push other areas to the limits. I want to be constantly setting new goals and limits for myself, reaching them, and setting the bar even higher. People who believe exercise is solely physical are missing out on a different world altogether.
Happy Race Day!