Don’t Stop Believin’

 

As I started this journey I promised to always be honest. Honest about the ways I succeeded as well as the way I failed.

Friday was a success. I am sure there was some eye rolling, especially from those of you who know that I went to see Journey with a couple of friends. Like, “really Heather, a concert is a success? Haven’t you done that before?!” Of course the answer is yes, yes I have, but this one was different.

Let me back up a little. For so many years there were things I wanted to do, was even invited to do, but the fear of failure kept me from saying yes and tagging along. Things that involved physical exertion was always a no for me. I missed out on so many adventures for fear not being able to handle the activity, getting winded and tired, and then letting my friends down. Keeping them from enjoying their adventure was the LAST thing I wanted. So I respectfully declined, and then just lived vicariously through their stories later.

Since I have been working out and walking and just all around treating myself better, I have been able to enjoy life so much more. Friday was one of those days. Jennifer had gotten two tickets to see Journey (one of my all time favorite bands since I was old enough to have an opinion on music), and offer one to me. I did not even hesitate to say yes to her! It wasn’t until later that I realized the concert was actually at the track (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for those who didn’t realize I was a Hoosier) on Friday before the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. When I found out, I still didn’t get nervous or worried, I knew that there would be a ton of walking (and as a side note, a TON of people watching… including the Mariachi clown in the chaps who happen to ride a Harley, but anyway)  I was perfectly fine with that!

Jen and I walked all over the Snakepit (a rather entertaining section of the track, I might add), people watching and laughing at the distinct generational differences and later met up with another one of my favorite people, Emily with her family, by the concert section of the infield. It was a fabulous day. Laughing, dancing, and singing our hearts out! I am not sure of a time I was happier?! It was truly a dream come true, and this would have never would have happened just two short years ago.

When I began working out and doing all of this to become a better me, the tool I used to measure myself against was other people, Spartan racers specifically, but I don’t need to do that. I can measure me against me. Using the old me as a starting point, I have come leaps and bounds from where I was.

A friend recently told me, “I don’t think you are becoming a better you, I think you are becoming the you you were always meant to be.” and he was right. This is me, someone who isn’t (as) scared to try. Someone who has enough get-up-and-go to be able to see a concert where about 4 miles of walking could happen. More than that, someone who isn’t going to give up what she wants just for fear of failing.

Again, I say this was a success. I got to fulfill my dream of seeing one my all time favorite bands in concert. A small victory, but a victory none the less… and ya know what? Those count too in this journey of #becomingabetterme.

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Mile Minus Minutes

IMG_20160523_210859On Monday May 23, 2016 I got two seconds closer to my goal.

To say that sounds absolutely silly, I know, but what if I say that those two seconds are being added to nine minutes. Whaaaa?!?!?! Yeah, I said it! Nine minutes!

Let me tell you a story.

When I started doing races and exercising I had NO idea what it meant to time a mile. I had only ever done OCRs where there were bottlenecks at the obstacles in a Spartan and then there were stopping points where you play in the mud at the Dirty Girl or fun 5Ks where you stopped to get sprayed with neon colored goo in the Neon Dash or even maybe a stop for hot chocolate at the Santa Hustle. There was never a time where I wanted to know how long I could do a mile in.

The more serious I got about exercise the more I learned, that like with anything, to get better you have to know where you start. So one afternoon last summer, I decided to go to park and walk the track and see exactly how long it took me.

Now I am not going to pretend that I went as fast as I could, or pushed myself as hard a could. I wanted to make sure that I could complete the full mile. I feel I should also say, (since I vowed to always be honest in this journey – whether it be good, bad or ugly) that although I had done 5Ks and OCRs, I got winded fast and was always glad for a brief breather.

Anywho, in that lap around the 1 mile track at Hummel Park I timed myself at a 27 min mile. Now, I know that is really a sad starting point, but it was the truth. Here I am, less than a year later looking at the timer on the treadmill thinking “HOLY MONKEYS I DID IT!!” I got under 18 mins! Now, as you all have figured it out, I always have another goal, and this is not an exception. I am still trying to figure out this whole running thing (still a work in progress), but I would like to see a 15-16 min mile, but that’s another story.

Before I put a nice little bow on this blog, just let me say that I look back over the course of the last year(ish) having pictures and comments and now even this website to look at, I take a moment to relish in the victories I have had and the milestones I have accomplished and even more than that how much better I feel mentally and physically. There have been so many of you who – without even knowing it – have inspired me to keep going. For that, I thank you all and wish you success in your journeys as well.

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Sunday and Some Color

 

 

I cannot lie, I have been in a bit of a funk lately. Things have been so crazy and hard to control, that even the gym therapy hasn’t been enough. I have been derailed, and I hate being derailed. Even though I started out on a semi-negative note, I want you to know that this will NOT be a whoa is me type of blog.

When I woke up this morning I stumbled into the bathroom and just looked at myself in the mirror… not a pretty picture, but the first thing I noticed (besides my crazy, wild bedhead) was my lack of color. My face just looked void of a happy smiling bit of color that I really pride myself on. So, once done powdering my nose, I checked the weather. BEAUTFUL! It was supposed to be beautiful!!! Perfect way to find my color again!

I asked my hubs if he wanted to go for a walk, and since he is a big time game designer and had work to do, he had to respectfully decline. Next idea, phone a friend! As a coworker has listened to my stories of racing and exercise when she moved into her apartment she told me on several occasions to call her if I wanted to go for a walk as there is the Pleasant Run Trail right across the street. So that’s exactly what I did. I sent Amy a message that very simply said, “Feel like going for a walk today?” Within 5 mins I got the response I was hoping to receive “Absolutely!” Great. Maybe a little bit of nature and a whole lotta sun would help with this lil black rain cloud that was hanging over my head.

As soon as we started walking the conversation took on a life of its own. We talked about kids, her grandkids, work, nature… you name it, we talked about it! The further we walked the better I felt. Before we knew it, we were almost 2 miles away! We talked ourselves to a park that I am not even sure where or what it was! I realize that for those of you who do know me, my being directionally challenged is not a secret – and finding out I had no idea where I was is also not a surprise… but what is the surprise to you, we made it back!

By the time we got back to her apartment I was sweaty, had crazy frizzy hair, and probably did not smell all that pleasant, but man, I felt wonderful! I so needed it! I made it a point to go look in the mirror and aside from the crazy walking hair, I noticed my color was back. Those 3+ miles made all of the difference in the world.

Sometimes as I work through #becomingabetterme I forget that just being with like minded people makes such a difference in my world and helps me get back to center. Thank you for that today, Amy, I needed it!

Happy Mothers’ Day #becomingabettermother

Doing all that I do, every day, is solely for my kids. Ok, so not solely… but damn near.  There are things that I do as a mother, that I hope with everything inside of me, that my children see and even take with them on their own road. I realize my children are very close to the legal “adult” age, but I hope that I have not been too late in teaching them the important things I have learned along my journey over the course of the last few years…

DETERMINATION, GOALS, SELF AWARENESS, and WONDER…

Let me explain.

Determination: When I decided I was going on this journey of #becomingabetterme, I knew that if I didn’t set my mind to it, I wouldn’t get anything done. Having to push myself to do things I didn’t really want to do, that was my determination coming out. I guess that could also be considered stubbornness, but hey, determination is a prettier word! Talking about plans and following through with those plans is totally different and I needed to make sure my children know that too.

Goals: Setting goals and attaining them is one of the most fulfilling experiences in the world. Personally I have to set a group of smaller goals and then see how those add up to the bigger goal I am after. I have done that several times – even talked about a lot of them in other writings, but my favorite is still my running goal. I know I can’t go out and run a 5k, lets not even pretend I can do a half mile without dying, but the point is, I have pushed myself to run, even in its smallest increments, I did it. The big goal is being able to do the 4 miles, but I am happy with the .04 miles as a jumping off point!

Self  Awareness: Only you can determine that. I wont lie, I still struggle with this one. I tend to focus on what I have not yet accomplished, but I know I am better than I once was, even if I not yet what I want to be. I think this is what keeps us humble and grounded. Knowing we always have room for improvement. Even if I have not got this one licked, I still try to remind my kids of their strong suits and encourage them in the areas where they are lacking.

Wonder: Never lose your sense of wonder! Never stop trying new things! Never ever settle for what is less than who you are! If someone who have told me 3 years ago that I would have ever got off the couch and started working out, I would have laughed! Let alone having a trainer, finishing two Spartan races, several 5ks, a 10k, and a couple random mud runs… those ideas were just knee slappers back then! Then you add in the loss of 38 lbs. UNHEARD OF!! I am not done finding myself, everyday is new adventure, and everyday will remain just that!

I guess the moral of this story is that even though it took me roughly 37 years to figure out what makes this life go ’round, I want my kids to start out with what I have learned at the beginning of their adulthood, rather than smack dab in the middle of it. #becomingabettermother is just one more thing to add to my TO DO list, and ya know what? I got this!