I guess I’ve always been an athlete; I played my first soccer “game” when I was in 2nd grade. When I stopped playing soccer and basketball in high school I was focused on riding and showing horses. However, I was overweight pretty much my entire life to this point, and certainly didn’t look or act like an athlete. Over three years ago I decided to change the overweight part. I have shed a lot of pounds since and have fallen in love with a new sport – OCR. My first real race was the hardest and most rewarding thing I had ever done in my life. Not to mention the running, climbing, crawling and other obstacles reminded me of growing up on my Aunt’s farm. So there is definitely some nostalgia to it for me. I started filling up my racing calendar and dedicating a lot of time to training.
I realized I need to find out how far I can go.
And so I began this journey by finding myself a coach that could help me attain my goals. What goal is that? I want to be a Top OCR athlete. Seems like a lofty goal for someone who was at least 30 pounds overweight yet and placing averagely in the open heats. Well I found a coach who not only understood my desire but also had the confidence that I could achieve my goal. And for the past 9 weeks he has been taking me through a grueling training and nutritional plan. Over the past 9 weeks I’ve dealt with a lot of issues on my way to transitioning into a real athlete.
If you thought you’ve dealt with hanger, you probably haven’t. I have a fairly aggressive calorie deficit in order to cut weight fast. Excess weight being one of the biggest hindrances in my race times at the moment. There are nights I go to bed early just so I don’t start eating everything in the house. Unless you’ve held a low net calorie intake for a few weeks straight...you really don’t understand hanger.
I have a lot of fake friendships.
I work 45-50 hours a week. I sleep 7-8 hours a night. I spend at least 2 hours a day at the gym. That leaves me about 2 hours each evening during the week to eat and prep food, pay bills, play with my dog, ride horse, attend to family matters, and shower. If I have a spare hour or two on the weekend the only thing I want to do is veg out on the couch watching the one TV show I like and can barely keep up with. I recognize everyone at my gym and could tell you their general schedule. So I make up stories about them while I’m doing long runs on the treadmill. Yes people of my gym, I know when you miss a workout! I swear I'm not being creepy - I just need something to occupy my mind when I'm logging long miles.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally I’ve had so many people try to cut me down on my journey already. I’ve had people tell me that I cannot cut weight while making gains in my performance. Guess what? I have already proved them wrong. People try to offer me food that is not on my nutrition plan. They make comments that I know are to make themselves feel better about eating junk or not exercising, but it takes a stab at me. They tell me I should be putting effort into other areas of my life. I literally had to sit my parents down and have a discussion with them about my goals and new crazy lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who support me and I hold them very close in times of struggle. But there are definitely more nay-sayers out there than I would like to deal with. Learning to tune them out has been a very hard struggle.
I try to tear myself down.
I am always very critical of myself and expecting more. This is an absolutely fantastic personality trait for those desiring success at anything in life. However, it comes with a down side. I can tear myself down pretty quickly and it can easily start effecting my performance or goals if I allow it to. I am in a constant daily battle to push forward in my goals; to turn down food I shouldn’t eat and hit the gym even though I may be tired and sore. Every day there is the option to quit. Every day I stare that option down and decide my goals are worth more.
You see, not many people realize how deeply this goal is rooted in me. My desire to push myself to new limits is something no one can ever take away from me. There are days I am tired, hangry, and miserable. But I have never been so focused and so happy in my entire life. I have a goal and a purpose; for once in my life I feel like I am giving my all to something worthwhile.
Whether or not I ever attain a podium placing, or life throws me a curve-ball to a new direction in life - I will know that despite all the negatives I have pressed forward for something I truly wanted. And that my friends, is worth more than any amount of money.