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I'm Not Afraid

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This song has been following me around and I think I know why...

Lyrics - "I'm Not Afraid" by Eminem (just a few I've chosen to share)
Yeah, It's been a ride...
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there
I'mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me I'm tearing down your balcony
No if ands or buts don't try to ask him why or how can he
I'm not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel that you've been down the same road

First of all "I had to get to that place to get to this one" is SO important. Because I've been realizing lately that I had to be the 466 pound recluse in order to really get here and enjoy it. I don't take my strength for granted very often because I know what it's like to be without it. I breathe much easier than I did four months ago. I'm no longer embarrased to walk next to my friend for a stroll because I know I won't be breathing heavily after just 5 minutes of walking. I can do a (slow) jog across the parking lot if it's raining without feeling like there's no oxygen left in my body. And the only reason I recognize this is because just months ago, that wasn't where I was. I had to be there to get here and really appreciate it for what it is. I may still be 350+ pounds, but I'm so much stronger than I've been in a very long time! I am strong and powerful because I put the time in to make myself that way.

Second of all, "I'mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly." It's a determination I strive toward. Because I'm still nervous I'll never get there. I'm still nervous that I will never know what it's like to run a 5k, or to wear a size 16, or to really feel comfortable in front of a camera without having to take 15 pictures to find one that I like. Yes, I'm scared. Out of my mind scared that I'll say that I will and then I won't...but that fear should never hold me back. Because no matter what size I am, runner or not, skinny waif or curvy 250 pound woman who can walk circles around you, my goal is to be fit and strong and healthy. That I can control. That seems reasonable because I'm already noticing how much healthier I am now that I've worked out for almost 5 months. So I'm going to be what I set out to be without a doubt. I'm going to be a woman not held back by her health or inability to set out on adventures. I'll travel and hike and enjoy my life. I'll get to that place where I feel comfortable just being me. Undoubtedly. (Such a powerful word!)

Third, "Now some of you might still be in that place/If you're trying to get out, just follow me." This is my Spark line, as is the hook at the end. This community is bonded together because we've all felt basically the same thing, and for me to think that my experience is just SOOO different from yours because you "only" had 40 pounds to lose and I had over 200, is just rediculous, and not at all fair to you! Wherever we are, we all struggle with the emotions of not feeling right within ourselves, of embarassment over pictures of ourselves tagged on Facebook by our friends, of humiliation when we can't do something our friends are capable of - whether it be fitting into a booth, going hiking for 5 hours, or even just jogging down the street to catch up with someone. We've been there. We struggle with the emotions of food - of wanting to eat all the delicious things presented to us, but knowing that our metabolisms just don't fit the lifestyle of eat all, gain none. We all struggle with comfort foods (be honest, we ALL have them), holidays full of food-sharing, of addictions (whether major or minor) to candy and sweets (CHOCOLATE!! YUM!).

But then, at different times, at different places in our journey through life, in different parts of the world, we all stumbled upon the same road. And as we reach out to members new and old, everytime we hit an "I Like This" button or spin that Spark Wheel or post on a team thread, we're saying one thing - we'll walk this road together. We'll band together and help each other along. Many of us realize that we can't have a "no man left behind" mentality, because there are friends we might never see again, who just aren't ready for the committment, but the secret is if we keep going, if we stay on this road...they know where to find us when they stumble back out of the wilderness. This path was laid for us, but it's up to all of us to take it...but we don't have to make the journey completely alone. That's why I pour my honest feelings into my blogs, because someone else might be affected by the same feelings, because someone might pick me up off the ground and offer to hold my hand for a while, or because someone who feels kicked to the side might see it and say, "Hey! Over here! I'm down here with you!" and we can get up together, dust each other off and continue on our way.

Yesterday I did nothing yet again but slink back into my old habits. I kept asking myself why I was doing it, but my only answer was, "I don't want to talk to you. I don't care." I was a 3 year old who had been picked last for the kickball team again, grumpy and hurt. And while I still never got an answer from that grumpy girl, I let her know that it was okay to feel that way. And I tried again to make some plans while she sulked in the corner. And this morning she didn't want to get out of bed for the simple TEN MINUTES of morning Yoga I had scheduled for her. And still, she didn't want to talk. So I went about my business, and I ate some breakfast and had some coffee and we just didn't talk.

And on the way to work I felt like she felt a little better. Like she had somehow won the stand-off. And I let her keep on feeling that way as I coaxed her into those 10 minutes in my cubicle before we sat down at the computer. Now, that isn't to say that she won't rebel again later when it's time to do the other small things I have on the list for her today, but for right now, there is this sense of calm. I'm not taking it so seriously today. I'm moving on from intense training mode with a sense of pride and a renewed sense of adventure. This is my chance to try new things! I don't have anything to train for right now...all I have next month is a 5-mile trail challenge and two 5ks, both I feel confident about being able to complete if they were scheduled for today. So it's time to explore this world of freedom.

I made up little lists and already gave myself a little star for my morning yoga workout. And whatever I do or don't get done today and tonight, I'm going to try to have fun with it! I'm even considering taking tomorrow off work (it's my oldest son's birthday and I just want to spend some time with him).

My boss took me this morning to a shop that makes trophies and medals and she paid for a medal for my son, which she has instructed me to mail to him so it looks "official." (Yes, I have that kind of boss...which is why I don't leave this place even when the job and salary suck, she saves it/me every time I feel like I'm sinking. She's like a second grandmother to me and I feel almost like a part of her family. She kept saying over and over, "They should be ashamed of themselves! I kept thinking all night about how his feelings were hurt and it makes me mad!")

So, my dear Spark Friends...don't be afraid of this journey. We'll walk it together!
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