I don’t know if I like the title of this, but I suppose this part that you’re reading is meant to elaborate and explain.  So I’ll just let it be.  The idea behind it is that if you’re trying to change your life, get healthy, alter your lifestyle for good, etc., you’re bound to run into some crap that you’ve been avoiding.  There’s just no way for change to happen and remain that way if you don’t deal with some baggage.

I was struck by this thought on my run the other day.  I was running along and focusing on what running the half marathon will be like.  I pictured the finish line and how amazing it will be to cross that bad boy knowing I accomplished something I never thought I could previously.  That got me a little teary.  Then I thought about for whom I will be running and I started gulping and choking down sobs.  The emotions were uncontrollable, and that’s what happens when you start pushing yourself and changing things.  I wasn’t trying to avoid the grief over my mom, but I was definitely distracted by my everyday life.  But when feet are pounding pavement and sweat is pouring out of pores, and you’re digging deep to get just a little bit farther, go just a little bit faster, those emotions will get the better of you.  Then you’ll find yourself traveling along your neighborhood sidewalk sobbing, hoping no one is looking out of their windows and wondering why a crazy woman is crying so hard while she’s running.  In fact, the other day (and I will say here that I have cried on many of my runs as of late), I ran past a workman painting a fence and I could feel him watching me, puzzled.  Maybe he was wondering if I needed medical help, but he left me alone, perhaps because I didn’t collapse and scream for assistance.

It’s been almost exactly six months since she died.  And when I feel the loss of her, it’s like the first day all over again.  My daughter turned 6 at the end of February and the absence of Grammy at her celebration was like a vacuum.  I held it together for her party (no one wants a sobby, mascara-runny, mother at a party), but once everyone was in bed, I couldn’t help but fall into the sadness.  I keep saying, “Okay!  It’s not funny anymore!  Bring her back!!” as if she were on some long, extended vacation where I couldn’t communicate with her.

It’s not just my grief that rears its ugly head when I’m working hard, but it’s also a great number of other old wounds that were never dealt with when they should have been.  A lifetime of insecurities about my body, about me as a person, about my abilities, about things that have happened to me that I had no control over.  I’ve long lived with a menacing belief that I’m not good enough, and that I “can’t”, and that I’m not really likable.

“You’re not a runner!  Look at your flabby post-pregnancy stomach!  You know that ain’t going away!”

“That girl who de-friended you on facebook?  It’s because you have a personality issue and no one really likes you.”

“Everyone in your Zumba class is watching you and making note of your non-flat stomach.”

“You’re just not meant to be thin and athletic.”

They’re the kind of thoughts that pace in the background like some sort of jungle cat (which, by the way, totally reminds me of this awesome Geico commercial, and serves as the comic relief for this post) and pounces when you experience something, no matter how tiny, that might conjure those feelings again.

And you know what?  That’s garbage.  Garbage.  Lies.  And Garbage.

I know that I want my lifestyle to change.  I want to take care of my body, I want to get stronger, I want to make goals and push toward them.  I also know that junk’s going to surface and that I had better deal with it or else this change will be short-term and the panther will beat me down again.  So I guess I just need to learn how to wrestle, and overcome, a panther.

Is there a YouTube video for that?

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