Spartan Shape-Up, Day 601:
Oh Blogland. I’ve been a horrid version of a Spartan, while my life has gone absolutely crazy and taken me with it.
To make a long story short, the holidays were hard and I never pulled up out of the Winter Blues nosedive. I have been trying and trying, but life doesn’t seem to want to cut me a break right now. Basically, I lost my lucrative but soul-sucking job, found my dream job but make no money. Find myself driving 1.5 hours (one way) several times a week and staying at an array of local places, wherever will be free. In the midst of sorting that out (and some semi-permanent weekday accommodations), my landlord decided to reclaim my home-base and give me 60 days to find something else. And my darling boyfriend and his cat moved in. Now, we all three are homeless… and torn in many directions by work family/friends and our activities. Budget is tight and finding a living situation that fits most of our needs is… stressful. All in the last 2 months.
In the midst of all the stress, I have found myself reverting back to old behaviors. Mindless Stress eating. Lots of carbs (and stupid ones. Candy. Chips. Impulse buys.). I fell off the workout train and got horribly run over by it, and pretty much don’t even know what direction it went in, now. I’ve gained double digit weight back, everything (running, climbing, etc.) has gotten miserably difficult and frustrating again, and my jeans from this summer barely button.
I feel stressed out of my mind, stretched real thin and not feeling all that healthy.
My point being…… it happens to all of us.
Life happens and it’s time to regroup. There are things you can change and things you cannot. Sometimes you have to sit down and remind yourself of the difference. While I cannot change the balance in my bank account, I CAN control what I stuff in my face. I CAN control whether I squeeze in 30 minutes of yoga, or 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises. I can be mindful about drinking enough water.
It’s hard. Really hard. I think of the last big hill at the Vermont Beast, this year. I was, maybe, 11-12 out of 14 miles in, and it just kept going up. Through the forest. 45+ degree incline. There was no end in sight, everything hurt, I couldn’t breathe, and sweat was pouring off of me. I wanted to just sit down and just be done, but I had to keep going, if I wanted to find the end. One foot in front of the other. Three steps then stop. Three more steps. Stop. Three more steps. Just keep moving. Slow, but forward.
After the longest hour (…? More? Less?) of my life, I saw the light breaking through the trees. I had climbed long enough and hard enough that I’d found the top. The hill leveled out, no more roots were grabbing at my ankles, my calves were no longer screaming at the incline. One step at a time, I’d made it. I took a deep breath and nearly cried with relief. I was far from the end, but I was definitely in a better place.
I think that’s where I am in my life right now. I’m at that dark point in a Spartan Race where you doubt. Where you wonder why you’re doing it. Whether you’re actually going to be able to finish. Whether you are, in fact, Spartan enough. How much longer you can keep going.
I've crossed many finish lines, muddy, beat up, bleeding and exhausted. But I’ve crossed them, when I wasn’t sure I should’ve even started. Each time, it was because I kept moving, no matter how slow. I’ve finished in the dark. I've finished in hurricanes. I've finished in pain.
But I’ve finished. Every. Single. Time.
I think it’s time to remind myself of that. I’ve proven myself stronger than I think, all my critics more wrong than they thought, done things I’ve thought were impossible, and kept going on Will alone, when all else failed.
There’s always a mountain. But I won’t let it win.