My sophomore year in high school, all awkward 70 inches of me figured I'd be a shoe-in for volleyball. Apparently I couldn't bump, set, spike it just they way the liked it, because I didn't make the team and was left to lick my wounds (or groan about my sore quads) in the remainder of my summer job at the health-food Mexican Restaurant where my older sisters worked. I had the super-glam job of prep-cook and Taco Bar filler-upper. But then school started, and I found what my parents already knew; I am not good with having a lot of free time. Since most of my friends were clearly better bumpers than I, it would be a long, lonely season if I didn't find something else to do. Enter Cross-Country.
The Cross-Country coach at our school was a bit of a legend, the toughest English teacher I've ever had (including college) and he was nothing if not a straight shooter. He embraced my Athena bod and welcomed me aboard. I had the insane good fortune to get to be part of a State Championship team for three years. Points that I contributed to that feat during meets? Zero. Percentage that that fact made me less a part of the team? Zero.
Basketball season started just a week after cross-country ended and I found that the sprints and line drills were suddenly easier than they'd been the year before. Huh.
Throughout college, I dabbled in running, and then started an uber-stressful career in Child Welfare, got married, moved away from home for the first time, continued stressful career, enjoyed waaaay too many lunches out, had a baby, got fat, moved cross-country, had another baby, got fatter.
After coming to the realization that every mirror, window and camera lens that I passed probably was incapable of adding the number of pounds it would take to make me look so terribly puffy and distorted, I resolved that I'd had enough. When the boobs are almost eclipsed by the gut in profile, it's a sad state of affairs.
Through a crazy turn of events I joined dailymile and a mom with a similar goal (to finish a 10k by the summer) who was also a knitter told me about a running group that was starting at the Y where we lived in Massachusetts. The rest is history. I joined the group, had a ridiculously supportive and positive coach, made amazing friends and in just three short months, I'd finished my first half-marathon and lost thirty pounds. Just in time to pack it all up and move back to the West Coast...and do a second half-marathon in Oregon the next month.
It doesn't matter that I'm still a fatty, because I own the size I am now, knowing that I'm working and making changes in my daily life to make it better. And, I'm less fat than I was before. I've registered for my first full-marathon and the first official day of training was yesterday. On June 4th, I fully expect to have put in the time and miles to allow me to cross the finish line, with a smile (maybe a grimace?), of the most daunting physical feat of my entire life. Yes. Including birthing nine plus pounds of child.