I just want to say thanks for all the compliments from everyone on my progress of fitness. All the hard work is paying off and I am completely motivated from all the positive energy surrounding me. I realize how negative my last blog seemed, but sometimes it's necessary to get all of the bad junk out to get to a better place. The place I'm in is so good that some days I feel unworthy of it all! I believe I'm in a place of acceptance...acceptance of being worthy, loved and supported. It seems that all is right in the world.
Now on that positive note, recent events:
Sunday's Lollipop Ride is being rescheduled to a hopefully less wet day. The radar and weather reports were less than stellar for a good, long, climbing ride. So an alternate plan was organized. Everyone had about 50 lbs. of whatever they were going to bring to the BBQ after the ride, so rather than sit and eat 20 servings of fruit salad (not so bad) and 1 1/2 doz. chocolate chip cookies (not so good), a later ride was arranged. About 30 people showed up and it was a great ride with some climbing! We chowed down on some great grub and had a splendid time after the ride. I felt a bit guilty for much of what passed through my lips. It seems that everyone says, "Well, you earned it! As much as you work out, you should be able to eat anything you want!". I realize that you can't be on the straight and narrow all the time. It's makes for a very stressful life. It's very hard when you don't burn many calories during a hard workout to justify eating as much as I do sometimes. I know that alot of you that know me and read this blog don't think I understand what it's like to be heavy, but I do. About 4 years ago, I was at my peak of hefty and (about 55 lbs. heavier than I am now) I decided to start walking. I was fairly slow in my progress until about 3 1/2 years ago I endured some emotional trauma that triggered my obsession to change EVERYTHING. I won't go into detail about that, but just know that it got my butt off of the couch and hurdled me through time and space to become who and what I am today. It was the worst pain I've ever felt, but in retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened. Little did I know back then that was what it was going to take to turn that very sharp corner (I'm still not great at cornering). My husband has always cocked his head sideways in wonder at why I'm so hard on myself and why I kill myself with a workout. I just kept telling him, "One day you will understand! When you lose all the weight you want, you will run while eating that chocolate chip cookie just so you don't have to deal with the fear that you will gain it all back." He now understands.
Tuesday, was our anniversary. Two years! Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday when we met for the first time in person at Barnes & Noble Cafe and sometimes it seems like I've known him forever. He's like the most comfortable pair of jeans and it's been that way from the very beginning. We got matched up on an online dating service. He was the only man that responded very quickly to my emails. Everyday, I would rush home after work and see if there was an email from him. My heart fluttered like a school girl in love for the first time. We were matched up in June of 2005 and talked for the first time on the phone a month later. We agreed to meet the next evening. It was the 4th of July and I sat nervously waiting. I decided that I wasn't jittery enough so I got some espresso. As I turned around and ours eyes locked. We sat and talked for a good 2 hours and all I remember thinking was, "Wow! I can't believe how attentive this guy is!". I asked him if he wanted to go to a party with me. If you ask him, he seems to think the invitation sounded like I said, "Hey, if I like you, maybe I'll invite you to my friend's house.". I assure you that was not how I meant it! Bravely he accepted. I already knew he was brave; he posted a picture he took of himself with his camera phone on his profile. Who does stuff like that besides an honest and upfront person. Most people will post a "glamour shot" they had done 3 years ago! So we go to this gathering and there are some...well...let's just say "shady" things going on. He didn't react appalled by this behavior either. Wow! Was this guy real? After having witnessed illegal activities, eating things he didn't like and having fireworks shot at him (accidentally) I still got a very solid hug. One that said he really liked me and respected me enough to not try and get to first base. As we got in separate cars and went our separate ways, my phone rang. He said, "I'm sorry. I should have asked you if you wanted me to follow you to make sure you got home okay". I knew I was in trouble then. Nobody had ever treated me like that. I thought that only happened in movies or to other people. We met the next day for lunch and I kept spitting food at him (also accidentally) and assured him that this was a sign that I truly liked him. We met a few days later for dinner. When he got there, he told me on his way over (across the street) that he felt butterflies in his stomach. That was the cutest thing I had ever heard. This night was the night of the first kiss! I just have to tell you that the sparks flew! We definitely had to put on the breaks quickly because we both knew where it would end up if we didn't. The back seat! Well, I knew within 2 weeks I was going to marry this guy. I had never felt anything like this in my life. Seriously! I know people say that all the time, but this was for real and I had to seize it so I wouldn't miss my chance. Never have I felt so loved.
Time to meet the family. First was cousin Jenn and her husband Chris. He lived with them at the time. I was so freaking nervous that I can't really remember anything about that night except the fact that we hit it off almost immediately. Chris Shaw and I are now referred to as Those Damn Libras! Whew! First test down. Next was his brother Eric and his family. We walked up to the door and he turned to me and said, "Listen to this". He rang the doorbell and it sounded like a little herd running. Then there was a parting of the blinds on the window with little fingers and a very excited "UNCLE CHRIIIIISSSSS!!!!!". I was getting the impression that he was the golden boy in this family. That made me even more nervous...no pressure here to impress anyone. By the end of the visit the kids were sitting in my lap and his nephew was pulling on my hand saying, "Mine!" to counter Chris', "Mine!". This was more than making up all those lonely years. To tell you the truth, I can't remember meeting his parents for the first time. I was so smitten by then that I couldn't see past Chris. It didn't matter at this point. He said that they would love me and I would love them. He was right! But then again, he usually is. A month later I found myself with him, cousin Jenn and the other Libra in Wichita Falls, Texas at a cycling event called Hotter 'N Hell 100. I was new to running (fair weather running only) and at the time I really didn't understand the allure of riding in 100+ temperatures with 2,000% humidity. I would discover the joy of that a year later! I got on the treadmill in the exercise room at the hotel and witnessed, with awe, the start of this event! I couldn't believe the size of this. The sea of cyclists went on for blocks and blocks. I strangely wanted to be out there among them, but mostly I wanted to be with Chris. I heard the canon go off and watched as people made their ways slowly past the start line. I had never seen anything like that and I was inspired! So inspired that I went back to the room and watched movies all day. I don't do well in strange surroundings and I had no idea that the finish line was a few blocks away and there was free beer and barbeque. I didn't know the protocol for the significant other that doesn't participate in these things. I was not about to go hang out outside in the hot Texas sun and humidity anyway. So there I waited, can't even remember what I watched. Then three very hot, dirty, sweaty and tired riders came knocking on the door. Everyone was supposed to go to dinner that night. Chris' legs were cramping so badly that I couldn't even breathe on them. I'm a massage therapist and all I could do was stand there and ache to do something to help him. He couldn't even move, but at the same time all he could do to relieve a cramp was move. He was in complete agony all night. All in all it was a good trip mapped out by Yale according to where the Starbucks were located.
Seems like about a month later we were looking for a house. I was looking online and found one. The only trouble was that I didn't like the location. I had spent a major part of my adult life in the neighborhood of Hillcrest. Very eclectic bunch of people. Very Democratic and it suited my personality. It's historic with lots of old houses. This house I found was in West Little Rock and I knew his heart was happy there. West Little Rock is like any other major city. You know it has Target and Wal-Mart and chain restaurants. Not me at all! However, I'm very go with the flow and said, "What the heck? It can't hurt to at least look at the place". Needless to say, it was the first and last house we looked at. We love this house and I love West Little Rock and I don't care who knows it!
In late January of 2006 he asked me to meet him at our local bike shop. He had gone and looked at two bikes for me. Now I didn't ride at the time, but that was all about to change. I sat on each bike thinking that it was not going to go home with us that day. He surprised me by saying, "If you want me to pull the trigger, just say the word. It's totally up to you, baby." So that day I went home with a ruby red Specialized Allez. I will never sell that bike. I still adore it! So I stealth rode for about three weeks just around the neighborhood. I don't like doing things for the first time in front of people. Cuzette (Jenn) had been trying to talk me into riding, but I was resistant. We didn't tell her right off the bat (come to think of it, WE didn't tell her a damn thing! Richard who owns the bike shop let that cat out of the bag), just so I could get some experience in. Well, we almost never heard the end of it when she told us she knew! I believe she stated that the 'Circle of Trust' had been broken. When she finally got over feeling betrayed, we went on the first 'Family Fun Ride'. It was Valentine's day! See a pattern of important things happening on holidays? My memory is so bad that it works out really well that way!
I've done several different events since then. Several century rides (including HHH100) and triathlons. I've even ridden 164 miles in one day. My life has done a 180. I guess what it all boils down to is the fact that there is a common denominator in all of this. Christopher Irons pulled me out of my shell and showed me that I can always push myself harder. The only way is up. Sure, I sink down sometimes, but I know if I just look up I will see him reaching for me. He never lets me down and I know I will always have him to break my fall. I don't know where I would be or what I would be doing without my Luvbug and I NEVER want to find out.