Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

There once was a sad girl named Jenny
Of self-loathing, she surely had plenty!
But one day she went for a run,
Discovered it sure was fun!
Now who can stop her? Not ANY!

LOL. Can you people believe that I've actually been published before?

2010 was, I think, the most important year of my life thus far. It was pretty much a do or die year for me. I won't say a lot about 2009, it would just bore you, but suffice it to say that I had a complete and total mental breakdown, was hospitalized for self-injurious behaviors, and lost my job (of five years) in the process. I also began smoking again after a 3 year hiatus AND I put on 40 pounds along the way. NOT fun.

I took the first step out of the dark hole last fall. I enrolled in school to be a Rad Tech. I didn't start classes until winter of this year, but it was a glimmer of light to look forward to, and I was determined that school would be one thing I didn't totally ruin. So I started classes in January, and I worked hard, and pulled off straight A's for the quarter! That little spark of self-confidence inspired me to try to do something about my weight. Looking back, I really can't believe I had the courage to begin at all.

First, I put the cigarettes down and started walking. Read YOU: On a Diet and decided to follow along with the diet plan. I was struggling, though. Man, those cigarettes were sooo tempting!! I was very discouraged about the whole smoking thing, because I had already started back after quitting for 3 years. What was the point? But I held on, for the hubby and kids' sake, I didn't want to hurt them anymore and they HATED the smoking.  But, boy oh boy, was it hard. I was obsessed with cravings. I was about to give up, as was my pattern. I totally expected this.

And then. And then and then and then!!

I found running. Even now, its hard to pinpoint what I found so attractive about running. I've never been an athlete, and I'd always considered running to be a punishment. But all of a sudden, there was something different there. I knew that I  had been altered, but I didn't know how completely yet.

I guess what makes running so appealing in the beginning is that there are so many ways to improve that you'd be hard pressed NOT to feel better about yourself. So many reasons to celebrate--the first 5 minutes straight, the first half-mile, the first MILE (amazing), the first 30 minutes straight, first race, I could just go on and on. There is always a new record to break and a new way to measure improvement.

But that isn't why I kept running.  I run because it shows me what I am made of as a human being. There is something so honest about running. There is no way to fake it-you just have to DO it.  The highs are euphoric and the lows are worse than you can imagine, but in between both extremes, there is just putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I think I can't go any further, but I can always take another step.

I learn a lot about myself during the good runs. The sense of accomplishment that they produce is wonderful--and totally necessary to keep going. But I learn more about myself during the bad runs. These are the runs that teach me that I have to keep going despite the way I feel. On these runs, the negative thoughts just flood my brain and there is NOTHING to do but run them out. The bad runs are the ones that break me down, and tear away all of my preconceived notions about what things SHOULD be like as opposed to the reality of what they are. Then, like a muscle, I build myself back even stronger.  If you're a runner, then you understand.

I sit before you today a different person than I was a year ago. A year ago, I was sad. I could say a lot of things about what I was, but I think that they all mean that I was sad. Today, I am NOT sad. I am filled with gratitude at the most amazing year of my life. I have the most amazing husband, children, friends, family!! They have all been so supportive and loving and they really helped make this year nearly perfect.

I want to thank all of you for reading my blog this year. I never thought that anyone would, to be honest!! I have loved getting to know lots of you, and am very grateful for the friendships I have formed online this year.

2010 is finished. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year, and let's bring on 2011!! I'm going to run a marathon, what are you going to do?


  1. I'm not going to run, but I am surely happy that you found your true love!! To each his own, right? I am going to fit into miniscule size 6 jeans-that is my 2011.

    Polar's Mom

  2. I'm running a marathon this year as well.

  3. What a great post! I am sorry that I have just come on board for this adventure. But you can bet I am going to read all your posts to see where you have come and where you are going!

    Cheers and Have a great New Year!

  4. Thats a great post, very inspirational!! Thank you for sharing.
    In 2011 Im not going to run a marathon, but I am going to run 5 5K's! Im still working on the rest of my resolutions, but those are set in stone.
    Happy New Year!!!

  5. That's great!! Running a marathon is FABULOUS!!! I plan on reaching my goal weight in 12 weeks and then being preggo by the fall of 2011!!!