Do you hear the Rocky music? No?! ‘Cause it’s playing! OK maybe that’s a little dramatic but… It’s time! I try to let my actions speak for themselves, so I’m nervous announcing what the focus of my next year will be but… This is it! I have one year to 40, 16 months until I’ve been at the gym 5 years. I’m 3 ½ years into this redemption journey. It is time to push the limits!
There’s this meme going around it says something like, “Whatever feels good … do that” and another one that says something like, “And now… I’m gonna do me!” and while I get the sentiment, the truth is I can’t like them.
I did what felt good. It felt good to cut lines and breathe them in and feel the euphoria as chemicals swirled and twirled in my veins until I was nothing but a mass of feel-good emotion that could go on and on for days. To toke it up, soak it up, hold it in and feel the rush that led to mindless hours of watching the clock tick while thinking about the sprockets making the hands move.
It felt good to eat whatever I wanted; rich, thick decadent chocolate... filling me to the brim with sweet satisfaction. One more, or seven more scoops of the creamiest Parmesan artichoke dip. The cuppa calorie laden caffeinated or alcoholic yumminess. I put it all “in ma belly” and it felt real good!
... until the come down... until the fiending… until the withdraws… until my toddler child asked what the noises were… or who that person was (because another stranger was in the house)… until I looked in the mirror… until I saw my beautiful cousins at family gatherings and knew I was the “fat one”… until the next size didn’t fit… until my stocky (ex)husband’s pants fit snugly…
It felt good at the time, but it wasn’t good. The consequences of feeling good and doing me sucked!
It’s hard to push my body to failure day after day at the gym knowing I can never fix the damage of decades of misuse. It is hard to hike at 4:30AM when the rest of the county sleeps. It doesn’t feel good two days after a hardcore leg day at the gym. It doesn’t feel good when I have to say no, to chocolate, to walking, to quitting the reps, to anything that “feels good” in the moment … but …
It’s pretty awesome to look in the mirror after 3 ½ years of leg days! Week after week, month after month, year after year seeing what the body God gave me can do feels good!
It’s something to be proud of to say that because of a second chance, I have 17 ½ years clean!
It feels good to say; I AM STRONG! I honestly never knew how strong I could be! All I’ve got is what God gave me… this body, this mind, this soul and this spirit. That’s it.
And now, it’s time…
I’ve worked to reclaim my body from the mistakes and bad choices of my past. I can’t take them back, but, to the best of my ability, I can redeem what God gave me. It’s time to focus!
The easiest rung of the human ladder is the body. Control of the body is step one. Wanna sleep longer? Nope! Get up! Wanna eat that? Nope! Food is fuel (except on 10% days). Wanna quit/cheat that work-out. Nope! It’s only me I’m letting down. I’m about to step out of “normal” and into “extreme (for me) fitness” for a while. But … I want to do this! I want to see what my body can do.
So far it’s been about reclamation and redemption. It’s time for reconstruction. I can’t compete with those who have always honored their bodies, or who are 20 years younger than me, and I can’t get back what I lost to poor choices. But the good thing is I’m not a competitor, I’m a learner. I watch those I admire and embrace and apply what they share. I soak up their wisdom and walk forward on my journey.
I will ever and always wonder what I could have been capable of IF ONLY I had gotten into sports and not drugs in high school. I will always regret the wasted years. But I’m grateful for my second chance. Not everyone has the genetics, ability or health I do. My physique is a gift from God that I squandered too long. It’s time to exploit it, to push it to it’s fullest remaining potential. Lord willing, I won’t hurt myself, but will make it the best it has ever been. It’s going to be pretty cool to see how much my body can do!