4:30am rolled around faster than I would’ve liked this morning, especially after having trouble falling asleep- what with dwelling on all the thoughts of potential disasters that could happen during the race. I was packed and prepared, but when I woke up, there was a little knot in my stomach I didn’t have when I went to sleep. I got dressed, and looked at myself in the full-length mirror…dressed in my swimsuit and tri shorts (which I believe are only flattering on people who have less than 5% body fat). I turned sideways, and what’s left of my tummy was there for all the world to see. I turned forward and my thighs were bisected by the tight band of elastic from the shorts, giving the appearance of each thigh having 2 parts…a top and a bottom. The knot in my stomach got a little bigger thinking about many of my coworkers and friends seeing me like this. It was too late now. I’d worked really hard, and I still have weight to lose….but this was my outfit, and I was going to have to suck it up. So I did, but that knot decided to make his home right in the pit of my gut.
|all set up. make note of the huge pink bag|
Time to line up, which meant it was time to get rid of that traveling outfit. Ugh. Here we go….all my friends getting to see all the parts of me I can’t stand. Thankfully they were kind enough to not say anything.
|almost through with the swim|
And then we were back. I only coasted 3 times when I lifted my tookus off the seat to relax it a little. Otherwise, my legs never stopped pedaling. Accomplishment #2 done. I dismounted the bike and thought for sure I’d left my leg muscles somewhere out on Socorro Road. In all my training, they’d never felt this heavy. Park the bike…oh wait….someone took my parking space. Guess they must’ve thought that giant pink vinyl bag next to the space was theirs. I still have a little resentment for racer #237 for this. Grab some energy gummies and a few big gulps of Gatorade, and then it was off for the run. 3.1 miles.
|starting the jog and still annoyed at racer #237|
“Head down. (I can) Don’t look up. (do all) Keep moving forward. (things through) Keep breathing! (Christ who) Don’t land on your heels. (gives me) Oh I’m tired! (strength)” For those 3 miles, this was the internal monologue on repeat in my head. I heard the lying spectators telling us we were half-way or at 2 miles (which was actually another half mile away…thanks for the false hope, buddy). I was aware of the little girl who threw the water in my face, who I’m sure thought I found it refreshing. Good thing for her my ability to speak was lost back in the transition area (where I believe I also left my sense of humor).
|just about to the end!|
1 hour. 47 minutes. 52 seconds. That was my time. I wanted to finish in under 2 hours….Goal #4 accomplished. It’s just a little surreal. I looked around, and still, after losing almost 150 pounds by nothing more than the shear determination of my own will….I was still one of the biggest women there…and my insecurity was trying to steal the joy of my victory. But, 150 pounds ago, I could barely walk. I mean it. I remember going on a walk those many pounds ago and getting winded walking up a hill that seems elementary to me now. A little over a year ago, I almost died when blood clots settled in my lungs, killing a portion of both of them. Today, the biggest ruckus my lungs could raise is that they were irritated that I sprinted. The former “Fat-Janette” lived a lifestyle worthy of an early grave. But today, crossing that finish line, I knew the only thing that’s gone to the grave is the battery of poor habits and emotional coping that once had me held hostage to a life of misery and trapped in my own body. To me, that last sprint to the finish represented me fleeing, forever, an old life content in my weakness. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
So, did my thighs still look like they had 4 sections when I crossed the finish line? Yep. Did the underside of my arms still jiggle? Uh-huh. Did I still have an obvious tummy under those spandex shorts? Very much so. Was I still one of the biggest competitors there? Yes. Did a different person cross the finish line than the one who entered the pool? She did. Will I live tied to my insecurities and the possible judgment of others anymore? No. And do you know why?