In Step 1 we made this conscientious decision to love ourselves without restrictions. It may take you a while to get to that step and truly accept it but when you do, your whole world changes. How?
You learn to change your perception.
These silly but very true revelations made me see myself differently. Here I have this amazing skin that practically saved my life and I spent so much of my time hating it. Thanks skin. I had legs that could get me up and down the stairs to our home. I had arms strong enough to carry my children whenever they needed me. I made enough money to keep a roof over our heads. I have eyes that can see. I have ears that can hear. Even my one ovary somehow knew to work double time so I’d never miss a cycle. Not gonna lie the one thing I thought was going to happen when they removed my ovary is that I’d get my period every other month. Nope, even it knew how to overcome.
In January 2011 I really started to look at and change my perception of myself, my life, and my future. I took a good hard look at every aspect of my life to find out what had to change for me to improve my quality of life. That month I found out about the Warrior Dash and the only person crazy enough to agree to do it with me were my sister and her husband but they lived 2,000 miles away. It was a 5K with obstacles and here I’d never even ran 1K. I had no idea how I was going to make it happen but instead of seeing it as a reason not to, I saw it as a challenge. I started to train and the first night I ran for about 3 minutes and wanted to throw up. Man, this was looking like mission impossible and I hadn’t figured out how I was going to cover the travel expenses. A part of me wanted to quit and say “See, you tried. It’s too hard and there are too many obstacles. If it was meant to be then it would be easy.” I was also told by my husband that my training for this 5K was taking away time that I should be spending with my family. That was really tough to hear. It just about crushed my idea because working two jobs my family time was already limited, so maybe he was right.
As I sat there feeling guilty, sweating, and nauseous I had to make a choice. Listen to the voices who were telling me to stop or listen to the tiny voice that whispered “but how amazing would this be?!” Decision made. I dedicated myself to train for this outrageous race and figured if my body could carry and deliver two babies that I could certainly cross this off my bucket list. My sister and her hubby were training 2,000 miles away and their support and encouragement fueled my desire to accomplish my goal. Some friends I hadn’t seen in a long, long time heard about my race and decided to enter a few races on their own and invited me. My first race was in March, I wasn’t ready. I said I’d go but was terrified I’d make a fool of myself. Oh well, went for it anyway. What I learned about races is that you see all sorts of people in different stages of their lives. Some (let’s face it, many) were faster than me but for once I didn’t care. I didn’t compare myself to anyone because I was there to challenge myself. My body made it through a 5K, that’s it, that’s all that mattered.
The BIG race arrived in July and by then I was PUMPED!! I got to visit my sister who also happens to be the Captain for Team Ana and we finished! Not together either. At some point they got tired (some of us may have trained harder than others, lol) but they both encouraged me to go ahead without them and finish. No guilt. No making me feel bad for having prepared myself. So, I went on alone and finished. I was being passed left and right but I also had a chance to encourage others as they came up to obstacles.
As I sat at the finish line waiting for my family, sweating, nauseous, and with a medal hanging around my neck I knew I made the right choice. The way I saw myself and my body was changing my entire world.
My takeaways from this rush of an experience were:
1. Love can be found anywhere, you just have to look. Sometimes I have people ask me how I can be so positive and see the good in everything. Well, if you can find the negative then you have to be able to find the positive but you have to choose it. Rain might ruin your beach plans but the flowers and trees are happy as can be. We find what we look for. Look for the good in yourself and you won’t be able to help but see it all around you.
2. Your words are powerful. They are the simplest thing to change. If we can change the words that swish around our brain then we can change the words that pass our lips. We have the power to build ourselves and others up. Throughout this blogging endeavor it has been the random words & texts of encouragement that I have received from random strangers and friends has helped to keep me encourage to keep writing.
3. Teamwork makes the dream work! I know I’ve mentioned this before but it can’t be emphasized enough. The crazy part of sharing your dreams with others is how embarrassed we feel about it. We’re afraid to be judged. We’re afraid to maybe be laughed at. If that’s the case, you might want to find new friends. I am a mom. My degree is in psychology. My 9-5 is human resources. My training as a writer? None. The idea of sharing my dream to write a blog which will ultimately lead to a book was nerve wracking because it was beyond anything I’d ever done. The very first friend I shared this idea with on FB said “hell yes!” and not even a month into this project I have had friends coming out of the woodwork to offer me reassurance.
Update: It’s been a week since my picture was featured in an amazing article about the #loveyourlines hashtag campaign and the response has been insane! Feel free to follow along on Instagram at: Power To Prevail Instagram
I had a blast writing this post and hope you found it helpful too. Remember to share if you think there might be someone in your life who might need a little encouragement. Have a beautiful week and stay tuned for Part Three!
Got some extra time on your hands? Check out my first series: How To Get This Tummy Series