Five half-marathons, four 5k races, three sprint triathlons, two 10k races, and one full marathon. All in one year, and all in memory of someone who never knew she was strong.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Cara Does Getting Real
I attached this photo above for a reason. It is from October of 2007. I weighed about 240 pounds, down maybe 12 or 15 from my heaviest. This isn't an official before shot, that will come this week, after I dig up the worst of the worst. But this picture, although from an amazing trip, signifies the saddest time in my life, which not-so-coincidentally was when I was the heaviest. I very astutely managed to turn sideways, hide behind Mike and suck in my stomach while this was being taken. I am also wearing the very stretchy pants that I used to wear at least three times a week, every single week just so that I could occasionally be comfortable. I have come a long way from there, but I still have a long way to go, to marathon, to size 10 jeans, maybe even all the way to Ironman. The reason I am doing, saying, feeling all of this now is here:
Recently, I have been really inspired by Ben Davis over at Ben Does Life. My friend Kristina (who blogs her amazing 4-time Ironman journey here) posted Ben’s Youtube video to Facebook. I watched it once and cried like a baby. Then I watched it again and cried again. Then I waited a week and watched it again and still had tears streaming down my face. Just like song in his video says. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. Right now. As many times as you want. I go back and look at it every time I need a little nudge in the right direction.
Ben lost 120 pounds in about a year and went from being sedentary to completing an Ironman. His message is pure inspiration, not only because of his huge accomplishment, but also because of how simply he states it. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself, he doesn’t apologize, he just wanted to make a change and he did it. I really want to try to emulate his journey in certain ways. I catch myself blaming my issues on my sadness after losing my mom or on growing up with her as my obese role model. I feel really sorry for myself sometimes, and that is so unacceptable when I have been given so much. Too many times I label what I am doing as being for my mom, when it is really for me. She isn't here; I am. I can do things in her memory or to celebrate what she gave me, but I can't accomplish my goals for someone else. That isn’t how you get things done. While I continue to remember my amazing mom in all that I do, Ben has really helped me to see that it’s ok to do something because you want to, and to change because you want to do it for you.
The other thing I have learned from Ben is that if you're really going to share your journey, you have to share it. I have been only really halfway putting myself out there. I haven't been posting weigh-in numbers if they aren't what I want to see. I find ways to slack on training because I don't always hold myself accountable, and I avoid writing sometimes because I get afraid people will tire of me or will think badly of me, or even because, as someone who writes for a living, I feel like a post that isn't well-thought out and edited will reflect poorly. Do you know what reflects poorly? Me not taking me seriously. Me slowing down on my journey because I have spent a solid portion of my life being afraid of my own success. Me teetering back and forth with the same 20 pounds over and over and over again to the point of wanting to throw in the towel completely. Me never getting to my goal.
So thank you, Ben. You have helped me to realize that to do this right, I need to "do life", and I need to put myself out there. Honestly and in the raw. Every single day.
Stay tuned for daily posts starting right now, featuring measurements and progress photos (gulp), real, bi-weekly weigh-ins (with photos for proof and accountability), and daily training updates and watch me reach my goals and beyond.