I have about five pairs of skinny jeans. They are in a box in my garage. They are in the same box as my maternity clothes, because in my mind I am equally unlikely to use either of them ever again. But they sit there, just in case. I removed all of my skinny jeans from my wardrobe ages ago because it was a bit too depressing to have nice things that I couldn’t wear staring back at me.
In 2011, I started to run. So this has been a three year journey for me. In 2012 I started to run outside. In 2013 I ran three half marathons and in 2014 I stopped drinking and smoking and started CrossFit.
Some of that journey was a natural progression and some of it was a conscious decision on my part. For some time my goal had been to get to a better race weight and to really see what my body would look and feel like if I committed to my training.
For me, commitment is investing something of yourself in the process that you can never take back. It means getting up in the early hours of the morning when you are tired or sore or you just don’t want to. It means forging forward even when it feels like your plan isn’t working. It means believing that all of those times when you push through your own resistance are worth it. It means throwing everything at your training until there is nothing left. It means work. And it’s hard. Because it’s supposed to be hard. Change is hard. Staying the same is hard. And I chose which hard I could live with. But you know? I always liked the hard.
The rewards for all of that are far more than you could write down in a list. Really, they have nothing to do with the fact that I got out my skinny jeans this morning and they all fit, even better than they did before. And it has nothing to do with cracking under two hours in a half marathon. Even though I’m so happy about both of those things. And yes, I’m proud of what my body can do and I’m proud of my ability to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m proud of being able to do something quite crazy and have the fitness that I’ve developed over the last few years carry me through, even when I have no training to speak of.
They are all great things, fantastic things. When I look in the mirror now I see a lot of things. I see the body that gave birth to my children and I see the body that Operation Move built. But there is one thing that is the real reward of all of that work and it is all the hidden pieces of myself that I found in the runner that I became. Sometimes when you push your body to see how far it can go, you discover who you are and you like that person a whole lot more than you ever thought you could.