It was only a few weeks after the start of P2 that I broke down in tears for the first time and nearly walked away from the entire project.
I wasn’t comfortable in my body, my mind was broken in trying to figure out how to fit everything into an insane schedule and the internal pressure to show myself and everyone else that as a team we could ‘Win This!’ was crippling. I’d been given this truly awesome opportunity, and I wanted to show everyone how thankful I was through my impressive results.
But I was in such bad physical shape that my ‘orders’ of doing a 500 calorie workout and a circuit of weights at each session in the gym meant that I was working out for nearly two hours at a time.
|my ‘go to’ for the tough moments…|
A whirlwind of paperwork and meetings with the magazine staff, a photographer, our trainer, my doctor our nutritionist and our wellness coach in the span of two weeks left our heads spinning. Each ‘coach’ had questionnaires requiring lots of thoughtful introspection and there were so many questions that I could not answer or the answer was too ‘big’ to put into words were common.
Karl started this journey several months before on his own with only the support of our little family and his trainer Matt. There was no fanfare of doing it for a publication or with a team. He had already experienced this rocky transition and was able to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. (To which I jokingly said that I hoped it wasn’t a train coming to flatten my ass.)
It was near the end of the fourth week of P2 that the long hours at the gym began to pay off. I didn’t hurt as much, I was able to move a bit faster for longer spans, and the amount of time I spent at the gym began to shorten.
A book I’d been reading during this time (that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of) had a passage that resonated with me – so much so that I wrote it down from memory a couple of days later on a scratch of paper and carried it about during P2 for those times that everything seemed too big. Even today when I begin to pile unrealistic expectations onto myself I reflect on it. In my own more generalized words the message was something like this:
Don’t overdo it. Don’t go on the path that is too drastic. Don’t feel so overworked and deprived that you end up putting yourself into a worse place than when you started. But do make a change for the better, do the best you can and have no regrets.
P2 was a lot of work. I broke through many barriers, I walked, climbed and pedaled hundreds of miles, shed thousands of tears, and strung together so many poorly written words that I could publish a volume or two of bad prose.
But I’m proud of each and every moment – even my darkest ones where I was a PITA and snapped at my little family. I own my progress. I was given an incredible opportunity, and while I may not have hit each and every goal that I set for myself – but as our wellness coach says, ‘Pretty good is pretty f’n good!’ (And upon reflection, I honestly DID reach all of the goals I set with our initial application).
It all began with one word, one goal, one step, one set, one squat, one blog post, and one magazine article. Our success is built upon each one of those moments.
I would do it all over again if given the opportunity.
Looking forward to 2015, I have joined the gym that provided us with the membership for this project, and I took advantage of the holiday special to purchase a series of sessions with our trainer. As with P2, the sessions are only 30 minutes in length, but that is a benefit – it forces me to do the hard work on my own, to make me take ownership of my health and fitness.
I’ve regained so much in the past 6 months, and I’ve a lot more work to do – but I’m in it. The money, the time and the effort are all worth it if I’m able to participate in family activities that I’ve avoided these last several years not because I didn’t want to do it (as I’d often say) but because I wasn’t able to.
I’m not a ‘health nut’, and I hope not to become one. On occasion I give into cravings. I still eat movie house popcorn and drink Diet Cokes when we venture out to the cinema on special occasions, and I don’t make it to the gym everyday – but if I can make one more healthy choice in the maze of organized chaos that is our life, then it’s been a good day.
And good days are fine by me.