Thursday, September 8, 2011

Believe it, Achieve it...a letter from my past

Today I started dusting off the built in shelves/cupboard in our dining room, and the next thing I know, I'm cleaning it out and getting rid of junk that has just been accumulating dust for a few years now.
In one cupboard, I keep all our pictures (you know, before digital cameras and SD cards). I have some things in there from my high school years. Talk about bringing back memories. I've laughed and cried this morning. And one little piece of paper that I found couldn't have come at a better time.

I played volleyball in high school from junior high until my junior year. My coach was former military and a West Point graduate. She was tough in every sense of the word. I remember early morning practices filled with drill after drill. Physical fitness was her first priority followed by learning the skills of the game. She always pushed us to be the best team and individual we could be. She taught me so much more about life than she did about volleyball.

Every week, she would hand out the team newsletter, "Attack Lines." Some of my teammates put them in the trash on their way out of practice, but I remember having them hanging in my locker and in my bedroom. I really admired her, so I took everything she had to teach me and valued it greatly. As time marched on, and I graduated from high school, I decided to let go of some of the newsetters that had once met so much to me. For some reason, though, I kept one.

I found it today.

The title: Takes a little more to be a champion.

This particular newsletter was about the art of success, and these are the quotes she included:
"There are no secrets of success. Success is doing the things you know you should do. Success is not doing the things you know you should not do."

"Success is not confined to any one part of your personality but it related to the development of all the parts: body, mind, heart and spirit. IT IS MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TOTAL SELF."

"Success is discovering your best talents, skills and abilities and applying them where they will make the most effective contribution to your fellow man."

"Success is 99% attitude."

"Success is a continuing upward spiral of progress. It is perpetual growth."

"Success is relative, individual and personal. It is your answer to the problem of making your minutes, hours, weeks, months and years add up to a good life." ~Wilford Peterson

"A champion not only dreams, but prepares for the adventure and thrill of success through hard work, persistence, and determination. Victory is so sweet, but to hear the words 'Well Done' will be the ultimate reward! To God be the glory for the great things He has done!!!" ~Coach Davies

"You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration." ~James Allen

"Believe it, achieve it!"

Talk about finding this at an appropriate time in my life. I'd like to think God's hand was guiding me to this today. After my incident last night with the neighborhood kids taunting me as I walked, I needed a pick-me-up to remind me that I CAN and WILL do this.

Success truly is a personal thing. I can't measure myself next to anyone else but the woman I see in the mirror looking back at me. Success really is 99% attitude, like Coach said. If my attitude is dreary and "woe is me," I'm not going to succeed at finding my inner strength and improving my health.
The one quote that will stick with me is the first one: There are no secrets to success. Success is doing the things you know you should do. Success is not doing the things you know you should not do.

There! That's the only secret to being healthy and losing weight. Just do things right, and you'll be successful! Choose healthy foods, exercise and smile. The number on the scale will go down. It's that simple. Day by day, do what you know is right, and you'll see the rewards when you look in the mirror.

In the words of Coach, if you believe it, you can achieve it!

I'm taking this newsletter that is well over 12 years old, and I'm hanging it up in my bathroom right by the mirror. Every time I see it, I will be reminded that I will be successful. One day at a time, each daily success will add up to a healthy new me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yup, still hurts...

I thought that maybe when I reached a certain age, being made fun of for being fat wouldn't hurt as much.
I was wrong. So, so wrong. It still hurts just as much as it did as a teenager.

I was in a hurry this morning to get all 3 kids packed up and out the door to head to my grandma's house that I didn't get a workout in this morning. I totally ignored my alarm since the storms kept me up most of the night. My almost-5-year-old is scared of storms, and he ended up snuggeld up between my husband and me, his foot in my rib cage. Sleep was non-existant.

I promised myself that I'd take a walk tonight after the kids were tucked in bed and Jason was home to watch them. I much prefer to walk in the evenings, without pushing kids in a stroller. And with Jason deploying soon, my evening walks are coming to an end. I really enjoy the solace and peace while I'm walking, which is why I don't walk wearing headphones with music.

Well, normally it's peaceful. Until tonight.

I was about halfway into my normal 1.5 mile loop when I saw some kids ahead of me on bikes. They were on the opposite side of the street. I was in a rhythm and chanting in my mind "That which doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger." I was sweating. I was in the zone.

As I approaced the kids, I didn't make eye contact--just kept focused on the sidewalk ahead of me. Then I hear mooing noises and obsenities that I won't repeat here because they don't deserve to be repeated.

At first I wanted to run across that street and knock the brats off their bikes. I was balling my hand into a fist, and I just walked even faster. Eventually as I rounded the corner, the taunting stopped when I was out of sight.

Really? I couldn't believe what just happened. I'm guessing they were junior high age. I was a middle school teacher in my pre-mom life, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Middle schoolers are notoriously judgemental and self-centered.I shouldn't have let it get to me.

Yet here I was, walking down the street pretending that it was sweat, not tears, coming from my eyes. I'm almost 30 (1 more week until that lovely milestone...ugh!). Why should I let some middle school punks get to me that way? Then I realized that I shouldn't.

Instead of sulking the rest of the way home, I actually jogged for a bit (note to self--buy better sports bras). In that moment, I decided that I didn't give a rip who saw this fat girl trying to run. If someone wanted to make fun of me for it, then so be it. Because at least I'm out there trying to better myself and my health. I decided to get up off the couch tonight and give myself 30 minutes to become a better me.

I hope those boys know how much words can hurt, no matter what the person's age. And I pray they don't make fun of their peers that way. Words hurt. But instead of letting what was said to me bring me down, I'm going to use those words to push me to work even harder. And if I know teenage boys (and I do know how they operate), I bet this time next year when I run by, I hear whistles instead of mooing. Then maybe I'll stop and talk to them, remind them that I was the fat woman they mooed at before and watch their jaws drop.

I'm over it. People can moo, yell, taunt, or tease as I walk by. Because I know it's only a matter of time before they realize that I'm shrinking. And then they'll be the ones looking stupid.