So I had a really interesting run the other day and I learned a few lessons that I figured I should right about. Started with a thought. Let’s try and run this beautiful quarry area by my house and experience the fall colors. Trail run they said… It will be fun they said. Well… Less than a mile in I twisted my ankle pretty good. My thoughts were “ouch, ouch, ouch… And please don’t hurt… Please don’t hurt…” I had two choices at that moment… Quit or keep going. Well.. I keep going. I figured with the uneven terrain..and well.. Me. Being. Me… I slowed down a tidge. It was absolutely stunning. Weather was beautiful and colors were breath taking.
Here is the view:
At about 1 1/2 miles on my way out of the quarry I had a thought. And it was something I hope I don’t fall down because it would suck to get hurt the day before you leave on a vacation. Before the thought finished being totally formed in my head… That very thing happened. Fell flat on my face. Really glad there was no one around… I’m sure it didn’t look very graceful. I got up… Found my phone that had been launched a few feet away, brushed myself off and again and again I was left with two choices. Quit. Walk home. Quit and call it a day. Or keep putting one foot in front of the other. As I am in the process of making this decision when I get a text from a friend saying that because of me she was choosing Joy despite her current situation. So of course I did the same. I can tell you my five mile run was cut to 3.5. And I did it with a smile. I figured I should be smart and not get home and stretch and heal. I wasn’t hurt bad. I am a little sore today… But not broken.
Here’s what I learned. Falling down is okay. It happens. It what you do when you fall that builds character. What did we learn from being knocked down. How do we move forward and be stronger because of it? Of course I’m no longer talking about running. Life presents all sorts of opportunity to fall down and stay down. Challenges. Struggles…. Monday’s! Do we let things define us or shape us?
Challenge yourself. Try something new. Go somewhere you have never been. Get out of your comfort zone. Sure I fell… But I had an experience on that trail and saw things I would have never seen had I stuck to the roads I’m used to. If you want things in life you’ve never had, you have to do things you have never done. Scary. Sure. Might you fail? Yup! But maybe, just maybe you will succeed. How will you know if you don’t try?
Also there is a choose joy component. Joy is always an option. Is it easy? Nope. Not always.
Question: what will you do when you fall?
This whole blog has been brewing in my head for quite some time. And I’m not really sure I can make it make sense… But I’m sure gonna try. It all started when I started seeing people post photos of kids going back to school pics of their kids. Along with senior photos. I decided to look back at mine. It generated a lot of thoughts. Here is one of those photos:
That was 1999.. And I was probably about 70ish lbs heavier then, than I am now. Here is the deal. I am gonna be real honest. I have been struggling lately. Not so much taking my healthy living journey seriously. Tired of constantly making good choices. Feeling a little…maybe a lot.. Stressed out. So I take it out on food. Why? Cuz that’s what I know. That’s what my fall back has always been. Eating right is NOT always fun. Working out flat out sucks sometimes. Quitting is really…really an appealing options. Eat what I want and be lazy.. Sign me up. But wait just a second. Let’s think about how unhappy, unhealthy chubby Tonya was. How much it sucked to carry around that much extra weight. How I could not see my feet beyond my belly when I stood up. How self conscious I was. How I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. How I didn’t even try because of my size. How quiet and shy (some of you don’t believe that… But it’s true). Sometimes I don’t even recognize that girl… But sometimes she is so close to being back it’s a little scary. Do I want to go back? Who do I want to be?!?
So these were the thoughts that were going on in my head when I get a text from my brother. Said he showed my 5 year old niece this photo:
Her response was: Auntie Tonya (I am the one in the grey) looks different. Which lead me down a whole new train of thought. I have 4 nephews and a niece. Ranging in age from 3-6 years old. They currently don’t know “Chubby Tonya”. They know auntie Tonya who loves to chase them and play on the playground with them and race them (Carter says I am the fastest). They know an Auntie that tries to make good choices and tries to teach them about balance. They know an auntie who runs for fitness and for fun. An auntie who has run a lot of 5ks (I should count!). An auntie who is learning to be happy with how far she has come. They know a much more confident person than I was in high school. I think I want to be the Auntie they know. I don’t think they need to know Chubby Tonya. I am not ashamed of who I was…and I am not yet who I want to be. And I may have even gone backwards a time or twenty… But I didn’t give up. I WON’T give up. I can’t give up. That is the lesson I want them to get from my journey. Not giving up. And being healthy is worth it. That is the Auntie I want to be. Yes, I struggle… And I expect that to continue. But I will keep fighting. For them and for me. I know what to do. I have the support system to make it happen… But it’s ultimately up to ME to make this happen. And you know what?!? I got this.