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…and then there was

This was me… Can you believe it?  There are days when I hardly can and days when I look into the mirror and believe this is still who is staring back at me.

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To this day, I struggle with my weight issues and the insecurities that unfortunately come along.  I remember the days in school when I was teased and bullied for the way I was, it was traumatizing.  Names like “Elephant Girl” remain a constant horror in my mind, perhaps that’s why it took me so long to feel comfortable running, particularly on a treadmill, because I felt like a horse clomping ( is this even a word? clomp, clomp, clomp) along.  This is a breakthrough!  I now understand where that fear has come from, thank you WordPress for assisting in this revelation.  Not only were kids cruel, but learning years later that it was hard for my father, yes the man in the photo with me, to have me by his side, as his daughter, because of my weight.  He was embarrassed.

From the time as a child and through my life this has been a constant battle and is part of why health and fitness has become so important to me.  Hearing that this is how you are, you are just big-boned, you aren’t the athletic one, your lungs aren’t developed enough (I was a preemie) for you to be athletic, you have too many allergies, us Fuller girls aren’t made to work out, etc… Those are things I hear in the back of my mind as I train and live life.  On top of those things growing up, as an adult I’ve been in situations (previous relationship to be exact) I got to hear that I wasn’t fast enough, strong, good, small or muscular enough to get where I wanted to be.  BTW how contradictory is it to hear, “you’re so skinny now but your butt is still too big; your knees are ugly (who the hell says knees are ugly, those can’t just change.  Perhaps we should start having knee transplants just to have aesthetically appeasing knees.  Yes, that will solve all of the worlds issues)”.  Luckily, I’m smart enough to know how STUPID that sounds.  ha.

What I love most is that despite of all of these things, somehow I’ve still managed to get up, shake it off and push through.  There are days when I feel as if I can’t and I let these feelings consume me, those are the days when I try to gather enough strength to get up and run.  Rebuilding character and behavioral flaws have proven a challenge but the feeling that I get in return from them empowers me even more.

I decided back in 2011 that I wanted to run, really run, and train for a marathon.  Thank you to Sandra for helping me get started/ inspiring and putting up with me as a person and training partner.

After I stopped dying during every .5 mile I learned to love running.  We meshed well and I wanted to prove so hard that I was finally good enough to do this and be athletic.  Well, I pushed too hard and stress fractured both tibiae in multiple places.  It doesn’t help that I trip over air, yes, truly.  Gusts of air frighten me….

2011 came along and ran my first half marathon.  That very well might be the proudest moment of my life.  I never in a million years thought that I would be able to accomplish such a feat.  2:10:09  Not too shabby for a first timer.  🙂  Ran two more that year…

San Jose: 2:02:21

Las Vegas: 1:58:29

Seeing this, shaved almost 12 minutes off my time in 5 months, proved to me I was no longer “not good enough” and weight would no longer define me.

Running gave gives me a new lease on life.  This is what I need to remember.  This is what you, whomever you may be, need to remember.  Weight, life choices, pain, heartache, these things do not define you but help to create the amazing person you have within.  Embrace life’s challenges and use them to challenge you in ways you never imagined to be possible.  Who knows, maybe one day your life story might help to change someone’s life.

Toodaloo!

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Before and Now.  There’s no going back.

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