My number one saving grace this week was Crossfit. I may have had two days of horrible eating, but both of those days I did intense workouts at Crossfit. This may have counterbalanced the extra calorie load. The other thing that really pushed me back on the right path, was Danielle, one of the girls I work out with most mornings. She probably doesn't even know how a few off-hand words she uttered in the middle of our workout really turned around my thinking. At one point she just looked at me and said, "Dang Michelle, you have really lost a lot of weight lately." It made me remember that I have come a long way, and two bad days were not the end of the world. The workouts are amazing at Crossfit, but it is the people and their constant encouragement that makes Crossfit a very unique place to be.
One of the newest resources I have in my corner is a group started by someone my friend Kay went to high school with in Washington. Irene started a group on Facebook called Fit Fifty where she invited friends and friends of friends to join. Everyday, the Fit Fifty members share their exercise accomplishments, and the other members are there to encourage each other. However, Irene is the key. She posts motivational messages, encourages those who have not been posting to come back, and she comments on just about everyone who contributes. She is so inspirational that she has actually encouraged an incredible number of people to join her in running the Coeur d'Alene Marathon in honor of her 50th birthday. This safe environment that Irene started has really been helpful to keeping me more accountable.
Another group that I am extremely thankful for is the Half Fanatics. In fact, I think one of the reasons I run so many races is because of this group. The Half Fanatics is a group that encourages people to run multiple races. Early on in my weight loss and running journey, my friend Preston encouraged me not to be one of those people that runs one race and then goes right back to being a sedentary person again. I always have this at the back of my mind, and the Half Fanatics keep me motivated to do more and more half-marathons. To qualify, I had to run three half-marathons in less than 90 days, and from there I have never looked back. Before every race someone organizes a Half-Fanatic picture, and we get to meet new and old Half Fanatic friends. In addition, throughout the course the Half Fanatic and Marathon Maniacs (the crazier cousin of the Fanatics) cheer you on and are there to help when needed. At the Long Beach race, a Marathon Maniac named Violeta saw me struggling, and she grabbed my hand and pulled me ahead telling me that I could do it--and after that I was able to do it. I ended up not only finishing but doing so in a very respectable time.
The final members of my village are my friends Emily and Kay. I have mentioned them in previous blogs, but I cold not write a blog about my supports and not include them. Kay is always up for a challenge. She makes me do hills when I don't really like them, and her smile and positive attitude often have me believing I actually enjoy these crazy runs. And how do I describe the influence Emily has had on me? I think the thing that defines how inspirational she has been to me is the fact that she convinced me that I could do the Tough Mudder. I know for a fact I would never have done this race on my own because I honestly didn't think I was tough enough. But Emily believed in me, and so I believed in myself, too. And here I sit, an honest to goodness Tough Mudder.
So I hope I was able to illustrate why I can have bad days, or even bad weeks, and still get back to where I need to be. I am not only graced by an extremely supportive family, but a village of families that each push me forward. Therefore, I think one of the keys to successful life changes is surrounding yourself with people who motivate and encourage you--may you find a village as amazing as the one that surrounds me.