What happened next was horrible. As I attempted to pull those suits over my much improved body, I had to squirm and tug and the result was something similar to what a ham or roast beef feels like when it is tied up to bake--the fat and flab was oozing out of all the straps, and it was not pretty. I truly wanted to cry. After all the hard work and training I have been doing, swimsuit shopping had me feeling like I was looking at that 230 pound person I used to be. What I later realized was that the man who had helped me with the sizes had directed me to size 4 and 6 suits. I don't even think I wore these sizes when I was 10 years-old. Once I had the more appropriate size 38 on, which was not huge despite what the salesman stated, the flabby parts stayed inside the suit instead of oozing out.
So why would I start a blog about gratitude with an anecdote such as this? Well, when I got home that night completely frustrated, humbled, and defeated from this experience, my husband not only told me I looked beautiful in my new swimsuit, but he also told me I was starting to look like a teenager because of my new healthy lifestyle. I am not only happy that I have a husband that still loves me for who I am and what I have become, but I am also thankful that over the years his eyesight has deteriorated enough that he does not see my wrinkles, stretch marks, and my still flabby parts.
The last couple weeks have been difficult for me because not only did I have the swimsuit experience, but I have also had some seeds of doubt creep into my my brain again--who am I to think I can actually survive Ironman training and complete this type of race? Last weekend, after a complete week of training in all three sports, I also rode 30 miles on Saturday, and woke up the next morning to swim 1200m and then run 10 miles. As I was running my final miles through wine country I began to think about how drained I was at that moment, and how I had not even come close to what I was going to have to produce for Ironman.
Now while I am grateful for all things training related at this point, I would be negligent if I did not mention my gratitude for the basic things I have that make all this possible. I am so thankful for my health and the health of my friends and family. I am most thankful that Kay has not only made it through five weeks of chemo and radiation, but that she was even able to train throughout the process. Her doctors have given her glowing reports, and we all think that her kick-@$$ attitude has scared rectal cancer into backing down.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to live in a community where not only can I train all over, but I am surrounded by the most supportive and amazing people you can imagine. When I first moved here from the Pasadena area, their friendliness kind of freaked me out. Now I realize that when complete strangers stop to talk to you they do not have an ulterior motive, they are just being nice. In addition, I am grateful that I have a steady job working with the children in this community I love so much. No matter what the press tries to portray, I work with a hard-working bunch of people who love what they do despite the long hours, lack of funds, and ever increasing workload. We know we are lucky to be allowed to shape the future.
So even though I am very tired these days, I am continuing to maintain an attitude of gratitude. I am thankful for everything I have been given in life--I know I am a very lucky girl!
“In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” --Albert Schweitzer