This is not really something I want to admit on my blog, but I truly feel it is important that I share exactly what my journey is like so that if you hit this hurdle as well, you can see that it is normal and that it’s okay to have bad days or bad weeks. It is how we deal with those roadblocks that keep us moving forward or throws us back.
Therefore, this week I am going to share what is propelling me forward rather than in reverse in hope that you, too, can find inspiration from those around you. My first and best secret weapon is my husband, Sean. Besides being my biggest cheerleader, he also supports me in many ways, big and small. He has been making me healthy breakfasts, packing snacks in an attempt to keep me from reaching for convenient but sometimes calorie-laden choices, and lately he has even been making our dinner as well. With our busy schedules this has been a life and money-saving support. In addition, he also makes it possible for me to work out. When I run, he will often bike or walk nearby to ensure I am safe. And if we cannot work out together, he will also watch Eoin or take the kids to activities so I can fit my workouts into my busy day.
Lately, Sean and I have been getting up early three days a week to attend a 6 AM Crossfit class. It is here that I found another inspiration, my coach Al, who pushes me to attempt things I never thought I could do. While my eating has not been stellar over the last few weeks, my workouts have prevented me from sliding backward. Al makes us sprint every morning and then lift weights to increase our muscle mass. The rest of the hour is spent doing a kind of intense circuit training that has me waking up in the middle of the night wondering what movement I could possibly have done to cause muscles I never even knew I had to ache. I know it is hard to believe that pain inspires me, but when Al pushes me to lift twenty more pounds than I ever thought I could do, it makes me want to do more.
Last, but not least, I have been truly inspired by my friend Kristine. A few months ago she asked me to share my secrets for training for a half-marathon. So for the past few months she has been building up to be able to run her first 5K. Despite having a young toddler at home, despite her husband getting pneumonia, she still found time to fit some training into her routine. So with great anticipation we met at Starbuck’s for our early morning ride up to Loma Linda. The drive up was filled with excited chatter including tips for the actual running of the race and our overall goals for finishing—I wanted to beat my PR (personal record) of 32:00 and Kristine was hoping to finish the race in less than one hour.
Once we arrived, Kristine was able to experience her first racing bib pick up, to get her first race t-shirt, and to feel the anticipation and exhilaration of her first run across the start line. The air was cold and the terrain extremely hilly, but 3.1 miles later I reached the final hill down to the finish line. As I turned the corner toward the final slope to the balloon-arched finish line, I ran as fast I could to complete the race in just 29:43. I went back to meet Kristine, so I could see her cross the finish line as well. It was an amazing feeling to watch her push herself to run down that final hill, and to see her face as she realized she had completed her first 5K in a very respectable time of 49:26. Watching someone achieve her goal after working hard to meet that target is very inspiring.
So as I approach this new week, the slate is wiped clean. I will continue to achieve my goal of exercising 5-6 days per week, but I will be more careful about the extra snacking. And if the blahs continue to plague me in the coming weeks, I will look to find the inspiration all around me—my kids, my husband, my friends and colleagues, and even my coach (despite the fact that he tortures my muscles in the name of fitness).
If you hit the skids during the holidays like me, remember that you are tougher than you give yourself credit for, and if that doesn’t work, look to those around you to remind you of this inner toughness. We can’t be perfect, and we all need a little support sometimes—even if it is hard to admit. It is this support that will remind us we have a lot of reasons to stay healthy, and these reasons will keep us on the road to our more flabulous selves.