Sunday, October 2, 2011

Overcoming the Obstacles

At the end of May 2011, I set out on a goal that I did not realize would change my life. I decided at 35 it was time to get my health in check. It was time to take care of me. Not for anyone else but to do something important for myself. I joined a group on Facebook called “Train2Win”. I did not know what to expect because I have never been the fitness type. I decided to no longer allow fear to hold me and I “showed up” for the first session of many to climb Stone Mountain. I didn’t think I would be able to make the trek. I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone. But I took a chance. The first key to overcoming obstacles is “Show Up”. I could not allow my fear to keep me from meeting my goal. I could not allow my insecurities to sideline me from becoming a better me. Oftentimes we must conquer those things that try to conquer us by simply showing up.

Making the decision to join the T2W group was the best decision I could have made. Not only was I able to overcome my fear of meeting new people, I would be introduced to a new family that was supportive and instrumental in pushing and motivating me to push towards my goal. The trainer, Christian, didn’t allow me to accept defeat, try to quit or give half in reaching the top. We were pushed, encouraged, motivated and supported towards overcoming any excuse and hindrance that tried to stop us.

The second key of overcoming the obstacles is “Stop Replaying the Old Messages.” We can allow ourselves to be defeated because we replay the old tapes in our heads about what we haven’t been able to do in the past. I have replayed how I tried to lose weight before but have been unsuccessful at keeping it off. I can replay the tapes of how I haven’t been physically active and hated working out so why should I try now. None of the old tapes were worth listening to. I needed to destroy them. The only way to destroy them was to create new tapes. My new fitness journey allowed me to create new tapes to remind me that I can do it. Not only could I do it, but I would do it.

On Saturday, October 1st, I overcame another obstacle. I ran my first 5k. With my brother and sister-in-law along for the journey, I set out to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did it! For most of the race, I had to run it alone because they were up ahead of me. But during the race, I was reminded of my growth. Once fearful of being alone or frustrated of being behind, I had another lesson I learned on the mountain to overcoming the obstacles. The lesson is “Sometimes we have to go alone but if we stay focused we will get there in our own time.” I did make it to the finish line in my own time. But as I turned the corner heading towards the finish line, there was my brother and sister in law waiting to meet me. Not only did they meet me but they came and ran the finish line with me. Even when we think we are alone, there are others waiting to encourage, support and travel with us to our destination.

I crossed the finish line at 44:03. It was an emotionally exhilarating experience. I never would have thought the day would come that I would become a runner. But on Saturday, October 1st, I proved to myself that I could do, I would do it, and I did do it. I have overcome. Obstacles can serve as two things. They can be setbacks or they can be motivators to push you toward your goals. At one time, they would have set me back. But now, in the words of Marvin Sapp, I am “stronger, wiser and better”. I’ve learned the lessons. I’ve persevered. I have won because I chose to train2win.