Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Epiphany Starts Here...

Oprah calls it the “Aha Moment”.  It’s that moment of clarity, a defining moment where you gain wisdom.  The kind of wisdom that can change your life.
I thought I had already had this. I have changed my life in the past two years.  Although I still feel like me on the inside; funny, irreverent, loyal, warm….a lot has changed as well.  I have a determination I never knew I had.  I have a can-do attitude that extends into my physical health and well-being.  I have a desire to be the best person I can be.
But last night someone said something to me and if I was a cartoon, an enormous question mark would have popped up in my thought bubble.  She said….
“Is that your passion?”
She was talking about something I “thought” I was extremely passionate about, something I thought I’d want to grow with and maybe even make a career out of. 
The simple fact that I questioned it made me think twice and ask myself , “What ARE you passionate about?”
The answer was as clear as a bell…
Not just running, but how running has made me feel.  How it has given me strength (not just physical), courage and pride. 
I read about it.  I study it.  I think about it.  ALL.THE.TIME.
Then my monkey mind kept going…
It’s not just running, it’s being fit.  It’s how my attitude and self-confidence has changed. 
This is what being fit looks like for a fitness model…

And this is what being fit looks like for my friend who is a good 6 inches shorter than me….

And this is what being fit looks like for ME….

I am STILL considered OBESE by BMI standards.
I still weigh well OVER 200 pounds.
But I run half marathons.
Sometimes, when I’m done, I meet my friends for a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee (which according to Sparkpeople burns approximately 840 calories PER HOUR.) 
There are days when I wake up and go to the gym for an hour and then run after work. 
A 3 mile run has become “only 3 miles”. 
A 4 mile run is an easy day.
A 6 mile run is standard.
I am what fit looks like and the world needs to know that.
That is my passion. That is my mission. That was my epiphany.
After I was asked  that question,  all I could think of was, “People need to know that they ‘CAN’.  They need permission to try. I’m a classic example of someone who THOUGHT and BELIEVED I couldn’t do things, then I did.”
I don’t think everyone should become a runner.  I don’t think every person should be training for half marathons.
BUT, I do believe that everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. I believe that people need to know that healthy and fit doesn’t look the same in everyone.  I do believe that people just need a little bit of encouragement.
I am lucky.  I have family and friends that believe in me.  They have supported me from the moment this journey began nearly two years ago.  Not everyone is as lucky as me, but maybe, just maybe, I can be the encouragement for those who don’t have any.  Maybe I can be the inspiration to those who need it.  Maybe I can be a role model for those who are looking for one.
I’m not saying, “I’m so great look at all I’ve accomplished, look up to me!”
I’m saying, “If I can do it, so can you.”
I’m saying, “You shouldn’t be embarrassed or discouraged because you may never be the stereotype of a fit person.”
I’m saying, “Yes, some people lose 80 pounds and look like a super model, but most of us, still look like real people.”
But we’re happy and healthy and have done something really special and important to be proud of.
We live up to our own expectations.  Shouldn’t we have HIGH expectations for ourselves? 
I truly believe I’m meant to have a BIGGER life than I have right now.  My life is awesome and I’m happy, but if I want to do great things, I have to do them.
How am I gonna do this? I’m not quite sure….
But isn’t recognizing I want to do it the first step?

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