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

 

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5 Responses to “Because You’re Only Cheating Yourself”

  1. Kelli February 22, 2017 at 3:20 am #

    Craziness! Cheers to using whatever fuels you. Because damnit we need every ounce some weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly A February 24, 2017 at 12:16 am #

    I want to cry from being so proud of you. You’re awesome!

    Like

  3. slimmingbsimcha March 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    This made me choke up. Well done on your phenomenal progress. You are really inspiring.
    Simcha

    Like

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