Archive | February, 2017

Orange Theory, and All That Other Magic

26 Feb

img_6560Although, life the last three years has been a whole lot of running, I have been realizing through multiple talks with lots of peeps that trying something new may help me in my running quest.  So although I’ve been hanging in bootcamp once a week, I’ve also taken on kickboxing and my newest endeavor…Orange Theory.

I am a chronic over thinker. I over think about everything and I beat it to death with a stick or probably in my case a vibrator (When you sell them..you’ve got better things than sticks!)  So in one more stuck in a rut convo with my husband, he looks at me and the following popped out…

“You’re a runner. I get it. But you’re not improving any. I know you identify with being a runner, but it’s just as great to identify with being an athlete.  You are an athlete after all.  Maybe you can try things that will make you be a better runner. No one said you can’t run, I’m just suggesting you try other things to get you out of this rut.  So you can feel successful. You need to feel successful again…..and then it was like blah blah blah….blah blah blah (I’m sure I repeated things a gazillion times, cried at least twice and he rubbed his forehead from having to deal with me a couple more times.  I won’t bore you with the details.) “So you have bootcamp, you have kickboxing,  and running. Wanna try Orange Theory. ”  Um, really?  (That’s like  really expensive gift…you don’t say no to those if you’re a lady!!!) So off to Orange Theory I go…I didn’t think about it.  Thinking meant talking myself out of it.  I’m no stranger to doing things alone but every OTF chick I see is fit as hell…so I was feeling out of my element.  I’m fit enough to run, but I still jiggle.  (Yes, I said it…it’s ok to laugh for crying out loud!!!) I actually walked in to sign up with my kids, scared shitless to sign up, but I did it.  And as for not thinking, I told them to schedule me for the next day, cause there is no time like the present.  The head trainer told me not to worry, he said I’d be just fine. (I’m sure there was an evil laugh after that.)

So I went in early the next day to be fitted with a HR monitor and get an orientation from Jeremy, the head trainer.  I spent 20 minutes trying not to puke in the car because I was so nervous.  I felt like I knew going in there that I may just be the “bigger” chick of the crew and I didn’t want to feel out of place. I mean…  I just want to have a bangin’ body and run better.  I don’t want to be judged.  And talk about prejudging…it was nothing like I thought.  Jeremy set me up on the treadmill to warm up and talked to me.  “So this is a tornado class, way to start out on that one.” And then my mouth…in all of its classiness… “Tornado???? What the f*ck is that?”  Without batting an eye he quickly quips back, “It’s f*ckin’ hard, that’s what it is!”  And that’s when at last I knew I can breathe.  I’ll give these Orange Theory peeps a try with that mouth.  And I did, and I was the thickest chick in the class. But I didn’t care.  When I say thickest chick, don’t think I’m over here feeling all beached whale because that isn’t it by a mile.  I’m just saying I have lots of room for improvement.

You know what drives me nutballs about the class. All the damn mirrors.  You run on the treadmill, boom…you’re right there.  You’re sweating your ass off lifting weights… well hellooooooo there Donna. You look constipated right now, but hell yes keep on keepin’ on. Mirrors, friggin’ mirrors every-damn-where.  And I tried looking at the lights and the ceiling and anything else but me.  But my ridiculous faces kind of entertain me through the “all outs”.  No one laughs at me like I do.  No one cheers for me better than my thighs. And no one grunts and heavy breathes like me.   That’s one hour of giggles for me.  In bootcamp I spend the hour trying hard and making dirty jokes to get everyone through the hour.   But here the music is loud and it’s dim and orange. So what is there to do but look that chick in the eye and tell her to just do it…even if you look like a total asshole.  It doesn’t matter as long as you are trying hard. Jeremy checks on my foot injury and asks if I’m ok. (probably because I’m breathing harder than a hooker in heat and sweating raindrops everywhere.) Yep, I may look like I’m dying but really I’m just concentrating on where this is going to take me.

Next class, I was also blessed with Jeremy as an instructor.  He passes a comment and says, this class is light for some reason.  That’s gonna be bad for you!!!! (insert evil trainer laugh here) My response.

” It won’t be bad for me at all.  I didn’t come here for you to go easy on me.  I came here because I want better for me.  You may here me huff and puff but you’ll never hear me complain.  Wipe the floor with me, I came here ready to work. ”

He laughs and says, ‘We’re gonna get you running faster here…I guarantee it.”

And off he went, killing us all as I laughed at myself in the mirror for yet another hour. Another hour of being the bigger girl in class, but in no way mediocre.  I’ve got tons to offer.  Each of these classes bring me something different.

Bootcamp is where it all started for me.  I can’t give up Katie and Karyn although my schedule doesn’t always work.  Those people have become my family.  I can work hard and never worry that they aren’t there. Even when I can’t be there, they never are not there for me.

Kickboxing has given me a whole new outlet to beat the shit out of things.  I work on my coordination there.  I have grown to add these amazing people to my workout family.  I still look ridiculous and Brad scares the shit out of me with hard kicks and peering up over the bags like a lion peering out over his tribe. But those people are super supportive. They are pushers. I like pushers.

And now I add Orange Theory. I’m still working on my comfort level, but I love having something new to try.  It pushes me harder on my runs and I think I believe Jeremy when he says I’m going to be a faster runner.  And I can look at myself in the mirror and die laughing for 60 minutes! What’s better than that?

Why am I admitting to you that I sat in my car wanting to puke instead of going in. Why am I telling you how uncomfortable I am being “the new girl” or “the bigger girl”?  Because you have to know you aren’t alone.  You’re not. Some people fake it better than others.  I fake some things better than others.  (Not that, you dirty fool!) But the truth is even the most confident person you see has those same insecurities you do.  The most perfect of Facebook and Instagram life, know that sometimes they’re just faking it.  We have to try not to overthink it.  Just jump…all you have to do is jump. No one says it’s going to feel amazing right away…but let me tell you about how good the freedom feels.  So, just do it.  Something amazing is going to come out of it, I promise.  If you doubt it, please please please… call me. I’m always gonna have your back.

Until Next Time,

DP Babbles

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Because You’re Only Cheating Yourself

22 Feb

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So originally I was going to make you all piss your pants laughing about my first visit to Orange Theory.  And I promise you that one is coming soon.  I’m promising some laughing.  By next week I’ll have more material to laugh at…and by more material I mean the things that I think in Orange Theory, Bootcamp and kickboxing. I’ll also be out of this funk and will be happy to make jokes about myself for your pants pissing pleasure.  But today I learned something that made me super angry.  (Yes, super angry…cause regular angry isn’t angry enough).

This weekend was the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half and Full Marathon.   This was supposed to be my first half back after running New York.   But due to my foot injury, I’ve been unable to work up to running it without wiping out the possibility of running my favorite half in April. Sunday was a rough day for me. Not only was my momma in the hospital but not being able to participate in something that I love threw me out of whack.  I think that if you heard from me Sunday and I was odd, please know that was why. (I’m sorry).  I spent the morning blubbering a bit. Because although the race doesn’t define me, the feelings associated with the race are something I crave.  So, today, when I found out the  2nd place finisher cheated, I was infuriated.   It wasn’t as simple as her cutting the course, which she did without much thought apparently.  It was the thought she put into biking the course in the afternoon at the pace she should have been running in the morning so she could prove her time.  Who puts that much effort into cheating a 13 mile race?  Apparently that chick.

So why am I seeing red today?  Let me tell you why….

In February of 2013, I sat in a hospital room, at a whopping 250 lbs, unable to breathe.  I had pneumonia, asthma, and couldn’t run to save my life. My pulmonary function was 70%. This…this was my rock bottom.  I may be struggling a bit now.  But that was where I knew things had to change.  That I could NEVER go back. That this person was not me.  This was me hiding from…well…you. All of you. I was hiding from life and not putting myself out there.  I was closet eating pints of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and tons of pasta.  I was known as “the pudgy pal”.  If you were a dude and you wanted to talk about screwing a chick…I was the girl that listened.    My absolute rock bottom.  The next week I started my journey into paleo and becoming some kind of runner.  Yes, I’m going to tell you that the 250 lb. me could run, and even slower than my slow now.  But there was no giving up because I signed up for my first half marathon.  I was going to do it.  So I lost 30 lbs or so and ran my first half.  Seven half marathons and one full marathon and more than 50 pounds gone later, my pulmonary function on a bad day is now 95% and on the best days over 100%.  And although I’ve been injured and in my own mind not on the cool list,  I am so far from that girl I was 3 years ago.

That’s why I’m seeing red.  I’m seeing red for every person like me who ever struggled, thin or chunky.  For every person who saw mile 9 and said “Are you fucking kidding me?”  For anyone who wanted to turn around at mile 6 but didn’t because succeeding was worth more than the pain.  For every person who ever ever heard these phrases:

“Running is bad for your knees.”

“It would be easier if you were thinner.”

“Fat people shouldn’t run.”

“You can’t!”

You won’t!”

“I don’t support you.”

“I don’t understand why this is important to you.”

“You’re not fast enough.”

“You aren’t a real runner.”

“You need to lose weight first and then run.”

You know what I have to say to the girl who cheated, and for anyone who has ever muttered any of these phrases?  Screw you!  Seriously, if you want to do it better, then lace up your damn running shoes and work hard next to me and everyone else who is working like the dickens to give their rock bottom a middle finger and farewell.    I’ve heard some of these, as early as recently. You need not go past my ass to see that running is a feat for me.  It’s not just my lungs or the size of my rockin’ ass, or my currently bum foot.  It’s the 250lb girl that still lives deep inside that doesn’t think she’s good enough.  Rest assured to anyone who thinks otherwise…I am good enough.  What she did this weekend was take the easy way out.  Those people who have hit you with the above phrases, but sit on the couch while they criticize you, should hold no merit in what you do.  But if you are anything like me, you hear them…you hear their voices mid run.  You hear them in the middle of you’re hardest moment.  You hear them at mile 25 when you’re not so sure there’s anything left.  You will always hear them.

That chick that cheated this weekend…I may not have been there, but I see her.  She disrespected elite runners, the middle packs, and the back of the packs like me.  She disrespected everyone who sweat in the middle of a race with a heat advisory where people got all their mileage in, or bowed out gracefully.  I will see her and people like her in my hardest sprint, in my last .1 of my 13.1.

Know that if you have ever had anything to say to me or anyone like me…  If you passed comments about the medals on my wall or decided that you know what a true runner is.  Or if you are the person who has told any of those lies above to anyone struggling inside, we hear you in our daily struggle.  Because of you…we can.  Because of the chick who shortchanged herself and let herself be called a winner…we can. Because of the rock bottom moment…I assure you, I will.  All of you struggling will.  All of you ready to run your first 13.1 will do it honorably for yourselves, and you will still hear those voices but they will only drive you to that finish line.  You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t.

The fat girl will live inside of me forever.  She is the reason I am where I am.  While I’m still not finished. She is the unworthy feeling that creeps out of me.  She is the person that gives me needy moments.  She is what drives me.  I was having  a moment the other day when a friend said the following to me.

“Question: Why does the cool chick always have to do with weight loss and exercise? You’re a cool chick no matter what. And you’re damn hot too (I love her…just love her for that one!) Stop being so damn hard on yourself. Look at a picture from 8 years ago.  Look  where you came from.  Look how hard you worked to get there.”

And she’s right.  The cool chick or dude is there no matter what…in all of us.  I am a cool chick, and I don’t have to cut a course by a couple of miles to look like a cool chick.  I don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea to be the cool chick.  Neither do you.  Take your rock bottom and all those negative nelly comments and stick them into your most difficult moments.  Hear them, feel how they made you feel….and then let them go.  Let them take you. Fuel yourself with them. Let them be you’re drive. You can…I can. Watch me. Watch us.

I realize this…  If you have ever told me any of the above.   If you’ve ever been negative and not supported me…watch this. Watch me.  I’m not cutting corners to get to where I’m going. And chances are, if I or anyone else has felt that kind of negativity, we aren’t going to need you hanging around in a few pounds.  None of us will.  Because no one needs that kind of negativity in life.  Us rock bottom-ers, we’ve got us…if you can’t see us for the cool peeps we are, peace, out.  There is no skipping ahead to win the race, cause the race is inside of us.

So half marathon cheater, thank you, thank you for fueling my success.  I may not have been there, but my friends were and you will be fueling them too.

Until next time…

DP Babbles