This picture of myself was sent to me the other day and it created some added inspiration going into this mornings race.
This was me, 21 year old college student
I remember feeling like that but not looking that way.
This was the day I got my brand new Honda Civic in college! I was SO excited!
I couldn't wait to take my friends for a ride! It even had a sunroof...woohoo!
I believe I left the dealership, drove through McDonald's for food and then the convenient store for a pack of cigarettes...no lie. The sad truth about my life at that point.
My life consisted of partying and eating...and a little bit of college classes mixed in!
My diet was TERRIBLE.
I suffered from IBS due to my poor diet.
I had body aches and pains, high cholesterol and blood pressure.
I had swelling in my hands and feet.
Not sure I know many people that self-sabotaged themselves with fast food the way I could, I was the best at it.
Bad day = Bad food...that bad day didn't feel so bad as I ate, but I felt worse after each meal YET never changed...why is that?
I THANK GOD every, single day for helping me find the courage to CHANGE MY LIFE!!!
I thank myself for getting so sick and tired of that life. I had ENOUGH and it showed.
Oh what a feeling!! I am reborn, I am strong and I do not go down without a fight!
I LOVE THAT ABOUT THE NEW ME!!!!
The old me never knew what it was like to feel ALIVE!
These days I try to find that feeling every chance I get!
Let's move on...
Today's race recap!
That's my ninth medal! 9th!!! Wowza!
We arrived early to take plenty of pictures!!! Our favorite part of racing :)
Along the course I heard people shouting, "NEVER QUIT" and I'd smile. Instead of only worrying about myself, I was worried about my ladies. Wanting to make sure they were all okay and hydrating due to the insane heat. We ALL checked on one another...it was so neat!
They all say I've created this group but they make it what it is, not me. I'm just a small part of the inspiration...they bring the hard work, the dedication, the stories of success and defeat, the victories, high fives and hugs!
That's NOT ME!
It was HOT and HUMID!
We were greeted by Bay Area Health and Wellness magazine wanting to feature us in the magazine AGAIN!!! Yea baby!
Among the group, I saw families waiting for pictures, children cheering for their Mom's, husband's proud of their wives and most importantly, I saw beauty...lots of beauty.
I know that a woman all dressed up with makeup and high heels is beautiful but I'm talking about a different kind of beauty.
These women are STRONG. They are beautiful not only on the outside but within their hearts and souls. They are GOOD PEOPLE. They care and they are fighters. Like me, they know what it feels like to quit...no matter the goal, but now that we have found one each other, that's no longer an option!!!
That's true BEAUTY.
Being negative and ugly on the inside would show through in TOUGH times or obstacles, but when these ladies are presented with a challenge like this race or any other, that beauty reveals itself. We are ALL different ages, shapes and sizes but we are truly beautiful especially in moments like these...and I'm blessed to be a part of it EVERY time!
It's the beauty not all women get to experience but they should...it's uplifting and so inspiring...it's indescribable.
The race was TOUGH and BRUTAL! FOUR TIMES over that big a*# bridge! That's what I get for not reading the fine print...I thought it was twice but go ahead and double that...YIKES! Calling it the TOUGHEST 10K was a smart idea, race organizers!!! It was MORE THAN TOUGH! It was INSANE! Many points along the course I wanted to quit...I'll be honest. My foot was hurting, I felt dehydrated and weak but no doubt somewhere along the course I'd see one of US. I'd see that "Move It Momma, NEVER QUIT" and the feeling came from deep within the keep going. I was exhausted and thinking my next step would be my last but as I felt my body giving out, my heart took over...as I passed my Mommas and the crowd cheering, I pushed harder and further.
A group of us could see the finish line and we decided TOGETHER that we'd run and we did! That finish line never felt so good!
We crossed, received our well-deserved medals but rather than walking off to greet our families, we all STAYED. We found a shaded area and we cheered...waiting for EVERY Momma to cross that finish line!
THAT is what makes races so special to me these days. We are a family.
There's nothing like knowing YOU did something so difficult and exhausting, only to find women that truly care about you finishing and conquering another race!! It is beautiful EVERY time!!! I get goosebumps and tears! It's AMAZING! It's addicting and what keeps me signing up for more!
And at some point, one of the four times climbing this enormous bridge that pictures cannot justify, I found myself turning off my headphones, listening to my breathing and the pavement, seeing the sun, clouds and water...it was peaceful.
While EVERY muscle in my body was aching, while I was drenched in sweat and feared I wouldn't finish, this view and the calmness of the water made me realize that life IS beautiful and incredible.
I was unable to feel all of these things in my unhealthy life...the life I lead centered around shame, guilt and bitterness because things weren't fair because I had to "work harder than others"
When I took that chip off my shoulder and embraced who I was, I began to see that I was and am SO much more than I ever imagined...and that's a feeling that brings me so much joy and it fuels my passion EVERY day to help women and children do amazing things. It fuels my passion to help children want to exercise and eat right and it fuels my passion to help all women find the confidence and strength that they have within!