DoLife

2011 what a year!

Just not so long ago in 2010 I was half way to the weight I am now.  I started running in February of 2010. I went out and picked up some runners, and a $20 mp3 player and loaded it with C25K. Running was tough, actually it was down right miserable. It sucked. Run 30 seconds straight? Are you kidding me? I have a hard time running 5 seconds straight. This was going to be a challenge.  But I would go out 3 times a week with my sister and do our C25K.  One night in the hot tub my friend running the Ottawa Marathon in May, mentioned that I should do the 10k. I told her I would do the 5K. My sister said the same thing.  I was drunk as a skunk and, lets just say my running friend didn't believe me.  I went a day and I registered for the 5K. 

I ran the 5K and I loved it! Then I had a plan, in 2011 I’ll run the 10K, in 2012 the half and 2013 I’ll run the full.  At the end of 2010 I ran the 5K army run.

At the end of 2010 I signed up to run with team Diabetes for the 10K for Ottawa race weekend in 2011.  So far this was my only race planned for the year.  At the end of February, my relationship with my girlfriend came to an end. With all the free time I had I could focus more on running. 

Kevin got ahold of me on facebook freaking out over Ben’s video.  Kevin had started a drive, a drive too lose 85lbs. He was doing it by running! We got together and went for a run one day. We kept in contact about running and eventually started our tumblr blogs.  In March we ran a 5K, in April another 5K.  

It was fun, but I wanted more. I wanted to see what I was made of, what I could push myself through. One conversation topic that Kevin and I talked about was Ironman. More him then me, I had zero desire to do a triathlon.  That changed at the end of April, when I told Kevin I was looking for a bike.  I was looking for a road bike, and eventually got a message from someone I didn’t know.. Tridad.  With his help I went out and bought a triathlon bike.  In May I did a 70K ride for The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.  That spike my interest even more for triathlons.

I came across a company that puts on triathlons and running events as well as kids events. http://somersault.ca/  This was great!  So I signed up for a tri, eventually grabbed all my gear, one piece at a time over a period of months.   In the meantime I had to fill my schedule with racing. After my 70K bike ride, I ran a 1KM with my son, Ottawa race weekend 10K, Ottawa Race weekend half-marathon, Do it for dad 10K, Do Life 5K Toronto, and the Spartan Sprint 5K.

I was enjoying my summer and I knew it wasn’t over yet. I had run so many races, it was mind boggling. But the best was yet to come.  

Exactlly 1 week after the Spartan I completed my first Sprint triathlon. Of course I registered for 2 more after that. After my 3rd triathlon, that was it for the tri season. I was/am sad. It’s such a great sport even if I’m not good at swimming. 

By this point I had signed up for the army run half-marathon and the full colours marathon. I got those out the way in a few short weeks, then came the 9-run-run half marathon with Kevin and Chris. The day after the half, I ran/walked a 5K with my son. Last but not least I ran the Soaring Wings Virtual half Marathon! That was my last official/unofficial race that I ran for 2011.

So lets recap quickly official races for 2011

1-1K (Willie Kids)

5-5K’s (St Pats, Minto, Do Life, Spartan, Cash Store)

2-10K’s (Ottawa Race Weekend, Do it for dad)

4-Half Marathons (Ottawa Race Weekend, Army Run, 9-Run-Run, Soaring Wings)

1-Marathon (Ottawa Fall Colours)

3-Sprint Triathlons (Graham Beasley, National Capital, The Canadian)

1-70K Bike (Cn Cycle For Cheo) 

17 races (11 medals) races in 2011 compare to 2 races(2 medals) in 2010, I’ve come a long way.

2011 medals,  the bottom 2 are 2010.

I just want to give a huge thanks too everyone in this community. Everything from, tips and tricks, to what you eat. All the way too pushing too become stronger and better. You do not realize how much impact you had on me in 2011. I want to say thanks again and here is looking for too a good 2012 racing season. 

2012 Registered Races so far as of this posting.

Jan 15th RnR Arizona

May 27th Ottawa Race Weekend Marathon(Everyone should come, Kevin is paying your entry fee and he wants you there!)

August 19th Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Off

I’m off this week.

Running is 80%.

Eating is 80%.

Job search is like -10%.

The car stuff put me into a woe is me funk that I need to snap.  That, and it sucks my sister is moving cross country in three days. 

I think I’m going to look up recipes to make while the parents are gone.  Hopefully help get me excited about everything again.

Of course, the Do Life 5K is going to infuse a nice jolt of energy too.  :)

life is a process made of obstacles.

Hope is a wonder through bad days. Dreams, made like wonders, through the eyes of hope are what we find for ourselves in contentment to its likeness. Breath of air is a wonder when the likeness of imagination make its way from your mind to the mirror in front of you. The reflection is the wonder that reflects your image into pieces of matter. Matter is the wonder that allows you to accept the realization for the infinite physical postural of your emotions, feelings, and successive beings. …

Gear is packed for the Get in Gear 10k tomorrow morning. I was planning on going for a PR, but I’m pretty sore today, so it may not happen.

Wish me luck. This is the first race I have ever done without a support crew or a running buddy.

However, I am meeting up with two amazing women that I met at the DoLife 5k last year. That makes up for my husband being out of town.

Do Life.

Catching up on Tumblr, I saw the post of Ben. It’s all about getting back on track from now on (again).

It’s Oct. 1st and I need to do the same thing. This month is my 3rd Marathon and I wanted to be in the best shape i’ve ever been. I’m NOT!

I’m gonna run the M, but with less confidence than the first two.
I’m with you Ben! Here’s to recommitting.

Weight Oct 1st : 88,6 kg (195 lbs)

Goal Dec. 31st : 80 kg (176 lbs)

4

Went to the DoLife 5k tonight with Kim, Amy, and Betsy. I met these 3 amazing women randomly after the race last year. I was by myself and they invited me to join them. We have stayed in touch and supported each other over the last year. It was so great to show up at the event with them this year.

We posed with Pa, we posed with Ben, and oh yeah, we ran a 5k too. I didn’t really pay attention to the time. I ran a little bit by myself, and a little bit with Kim. I think I finished in 30:39, but it doesn’t really matter. This kind of event is all about connecting with other like minded peeps.

I ran a little, but I laughed a lot. My cheeks still hurt from smiling so much :)

It’s truly amazing what difference a year (and 30+ lbs.) makes.

Me on the left is June 2010 at the MTGOP Convention, and me on the right is at the MTGOP Convention, a year later.

The shirts I’m wearing in these pictures are the same brand and size - notably better fitting.

And the biggest benefit? I’m not constantly worried that I’m going to have a heart attack or stroke. This time last year, I was sitting in front of my computer for 12+ hours at a time. Throughout the days and weeks of summer, my left arm would tingle regularly. Not “falling asleep” tingling, like burning, crawling down my arm tingling. I secretly popped aspirin almost every day.

Most people outside my family and friends from Illinois don’t realize that my dad had a stroke when he was 38 (it happened the day after my 9th birthday). For a long time, I blamed myself for his stroke.

When I grew up enough and realized that I was a kid when it happened and it wasn’t my fault, I resigned myself to a self-fulfilling prophecy of “genetic pre-disposition” of heart disease and obesity. Thankfully, last October I made a conscious decision to cut that shit out and really do life.

"What does Do Life mean to you?" - Ben Davis

Do Life.

                No more “It’s too hard,” or “I can’t.”

                No more “If only,” or asking “what it?”

                No more “I wish.” Only “I will.”

Defying the physical boundaries in life, while they take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, are, on the surface, the easiest ones to beat. The results are tangible, and you can turn around and proudly tell anyone who will listen, “Look what I did!” It’s easily relatable, and easy to discuss physical achievements with others. Everyone knows what a difficult workout feels like, what being tired feels like, and more than a desirable amount of us know what it’s like to get winded climbing a flight of stairs.  Our most intense journeys can be shared and compared without digging too deep.

But Do Life reminds all of us that at the core of these journeys we’re on, is a much larger component, one that’s much harder to clearly identify. We all have baggage, and some us have turned our emotional hardships literally into physical ones. The extra weight we carry becomes a metaphor for everything we bury deep inside, and instead we end up showing it to the world every minute of every day.

Now, I was never an emotional eater, outside of the occasional Ben & Jerry’s after some stupid guy made me cry, but my weight wasn’t directly driven by the hardships I’ve had in life. But all in all, I stopped trying. I was a classic textbook version of what you would call, an overachiever in life, for the longest time. Still am in many respects. I always had so many balls in the air, something had to go. And without realizing it, my personal well being was what fell by the wayside.  

After losing my best friend of 6 years, realizing the relationship was quite toxic towards the end, and finding myself rejecting the best person that ever happened to me, I realized that I was in desperate need of some self-help(and about 6 weeks of professional). Around this time, I decided that I was going to turn my physical well-being around. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but I had lost all control over one aspect of my life, so I just had to get something back in order.

I actually started this having no clue who Ben or what Do Life was. I saw there were weight loss tumblrs in general, and figured it might be a good idea to start one myself. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

I was able to meet Ben less than 6 weeks after deciding that life as it was just wasn’t enough. I showed up at the meetup, and while a very social person, found myself very uncomfortable. Despite the fact I knew exactly where he and many of the attendees came from, I felt like an imposter. A 194 pound imposter. But I did leave that day having run, made new friends, and even a solid blushing moment when introducing myself, Ben knew who I was.(via tumblr anyway)

Nearly 6 months to the day after starting, I had my second Do Life meetup, and from the moment things started, I felt like “I’ve got this.” I talked to new attendees, met up with some familiar ones, and even despite a horrible run, I felt like I was in a place I belonged. I even pulled out the sass, which is a side of me that comes out only on my best days and genuinely happy.

On the train ride home I thought about these differences. I’m certainly not a quiet or shy person, so the uncomfortable side of me wasn’t just a personality thing. It was a indicator that some part of me clearly(now) didn’t rate myself highly enough, like I didn’t deserve to be there. As a friend put it recently, I couldn’t see in myself what other people saw in me, and retrospectively, that came through, even through the seemingly silly things like being surprised Ben had any clue who I was.

But just 5 months later. I haven’t made as big of physical strides as I would have liked since that day, but I feel like an entirely different person, and that absolutely came out yesterday.

I think that’s why Do Life is so special, is that it makes us realize that the battle is so much more than the battle against the scale or the stopwatch. It’s more than the battle against the obvious. If the battle was really that clear, it would be just our muscles and lungs under stress, but more often than not, they’re not the ones stopping us from going that extra step. It’s the intangible, indescribable hurdles that life, and more often than not, we, place in our own paths.

Staying alive is the easy part. Living is what’s hard. And the funny thing is, it’s the easiest decision you’ll ever have to make. It’s the realization it’s your choice to begin with that takes time and effort.

Every day of our lives we’re presented with choices. From what to eat when we get up in the morning, to the choice to obey the law, or do our job well.

Every choice has consequences, and I think that most of us are averse to them. We avoid the things in live that to us, have foreseeable consequences. The decision to buy a new car, or quit smoking, go to the gym, or ask that cute girl out. There’s a clear, definable commitment involved, failure is possible, and that’s straight up terrifying.

But smoking that cigarette, or staying home without calling that girl or going for a run tells the world just as much about us as our actions do. But inaction is acceptable in society today, from staying at home and watching old episodes of 30 Rock on your DVR, to the refusal to make a decision on a bill in the Senate. The status quo is painless. Easy. But why can’t we just try?

Try what? Try anything. Trying something new is well, by nature, doing. All of a sudden, before you even realize it, you’re living. You’re doing life.

Trying in today’s world is different, challenging, surprising, and admittedly, high pressure. But why should life be any other way?

If my life were anything less than different, challenging, surprising, and yes, even high pressure, it’s a life not worth telling anyone about. If someone asks you what you’ve been up to lately and you can’t come up with something that you find interesting to tell them, you’re doing it wrong.

Live your life as though it’s a story worth telling.

Everything else will follow.

2. Paying it Forward by Creeping: Do Life Style

So Erich and I teamed up to do something nice for someone. We decided on stalking someone at our local Bob Evan’s and purchase their Sunday morning breakfast.

After filling our tummies with yummy food, we finally set our eyes on our target. A mother with 3 young boys. They all seemed happy together and the boys were very well behaved. Once their waitress walked by our table, I practically tackled her. I asked Ashley if we could pay for their meals…. I think I caught her off guard a little… but she confirmed the table and then said ‘sure!’ She brought back the check which totaled a little over $30. 

We made a quick dash to the counter to pay. Erich covered the check and also left Ashley, their waitress, a tip. I couldn’t help but grin ear to ear the entire time. I would have loved to stick around to see the mother’s face but, we couldn’t risk being caught!

Honestly, the hardest part of this process  - snagging a photo!! I finally succeeded, but Erich had the best story of how he attempted!

Breakfast has never been so filling.