This weekend, a few friends and I went to SheQuest women's retreat at Camp Gargano, just south of the city limits. The event was advertised as a retreat and "rejuvenation" for women of all athletic abilities. It was to conclude with a 5K obstacle run! Even though I am only about seven months in to the healthy eating and lifestyle change process, I figured it sounded like something I could do. You know, since it was for people of all athletic abilities! After all, I had confidently reached my goal of running a 5K before the end of 2012 (I did a nearly 6-mile run a few weeks back!) and have competed in multiple races this year with decent results. I felt as if I was well prepared, but a little nervous for the obstacle course- mostly because I didn't know what to expect from it.
Well..... let's just say there is not much on my body today, two days later, that doesn't hurt. Really! Even my toes. No joking there, it's from trying to move sideways on a tall vertical wall with only small 2" x 4" boards to stand on. In crappy shoes that don't fit me. (it would have been a mud course if not for the c-c-c-old temperatures.)
This retreat, in my opinion, was not for any sort of "beginner level" athlete. I have bruises on my body that indicate some sort of vicious attack on my person. My bumps and bruises have bumps and bruises! I have muscle pain in places I didn't know muscles existed! I was afraid to admit this to a friend of mine who is in wonderful shape, having began her journey two years ago (or more?) but she is also sore and bruised today. Phew! It's not just me.
All of that being said, I learned so much about myself and about my determination. I learned that when things get tough, I CAN do it. I will try and try and push and push and yes, sometimes I will give up- but sometimes I will surprise you (and myself!) by grabbing that six-foot wall and just tossing myself over it. Truth be told, I learned how much further I have to go, and in the middle of this challenge I was in tears behind my sunglasses: jaw trembling, fear deep inside of my soul. I started to think through the "why me?" and "what was I thinking?!?" "how did I get this way?!?" and for a few minutes I really gave up on myself and lay in the dirt, literally and metaphorically. I felt unworthy of being in that place, once again "the fat one" but for once in my life not the girl who thinks that she can't. Could I do the workouts? You betcha. And I did. I surprised myself, and it was not because my friends were there, it was because I really wanted it.
Later on in the course, we were asked to grab one or two large jugs and carry them while we walked what seemed like five miles (it was probably only .25 mile or maybe even less!) "How much do these weigh??" I asked. My answer: 30 or 35 pounds each.
Suddenly, it clicked. I was struggling to heave this 30 or 35 pound jug though the course. It was HARD. And how hard is losing weight/getting stronger? Also HARD. I used to lug 32 pounds everywhere I went in life. And now, I am 32 pounds lighter of that weight burden. It was the first time I have had that self-realization of how far I have come. I can not believe how hard it was to carry that weight along, and how much easier it will be when the next 32 pound jug is a thing of my past. So, while I have a long ways to go, I am able to (for the first time) realize that life is a series of small victories that we should celebrate.
My fire is re-ignited after a one-month funk and I am ready to commit to workouts that are as hard as what I experienced on the course this weekend, and in class with the trainer. I am going to borrow my neighbor/trainer's P90X and get to work on my Jillian DVDs on a few days, too. I can do the weight machines just fine, but I learned that my core and balance need a lot of work, as well as my upper body, and I am super determined to master the burpees and planks I struggled with on Saturday.
So here's a little "You can do it!!" for your Monday, because you know what? You can! And I can! We all can! Let's just step out of the box at times and see where our steps will lead. To greater strength! And endurance! I am thankful for the journey, even when this beginner athlete gets her tail kicked.
If you're interested in seeing the course we competed on (and a few of the obstacles I fell off of, haha) here is a neat video I found.
Victory Quest/Camp Gargano obstacle course