It all started a couple weeks ago when my work announced the “Corporate Games” were back again this year. A bunch of companies in Salt Lake get together to put on an Olympics of sorts and compete against each other. There are always 2 divisions in each event. There is a “In-it-to-win-it” and a “Just for fun” group. When I saw that they were doing a 5K I had this weird urge to sign up. Maybe it was because of the races Kar has been in this summer, maybe it was because I was delusional to how far I have come in this whole weight loss journey…. I don’t know. All I know is I had no time to train and had no idea what I was in for.
It was about August of last year that I really made the choice to lose the weight. Before that I was fickle and cared but didn’t have the drive to make it happen.I thought a 5K would be a good way to celebrate a year in fitness and lifestyle change. Sounds like a good idea right? I knew I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be physically but I never expected the emotional stuff that would come out during the race either.
I get to the race site, already apprehensive and get my first look at the course. “WHAT!? We are running on grass?” I was not happy. “Are you serious? Look at the steep hills!” I was kind of pissed. There was so much I was not happy about going into the race but at some point I just had to say “Screw it” and just tell myself it didn’t matter, I was going to do it.
We started off and there were a few people who were side by side with me but soon I was well behind the pack and dead last in the race. I was expecting to not do well but I guess the thought of finishing dead last just hadn’t crossed my mind before. When I should have been thinking about how awesome it was that I was even trying a 5K, all I could think about was how I was dead last. By the last lap I was pissed and emotionally spent. A lot of the emotions I felt came to the surface and I had to fight back my emotions as I crossed the finish line. I was pissed, discouraged and even depressed. I thought this was supposed to be something that would give me a boost, something that would make me excited and happy but I couldn’t help the inadequacy I felt. After I finished, I didn’t even want to take part in the after race event celebration. I just wanted to go home.
As we drove home I just bawled like a baby. I didn’t want to feel this way. I wanted to be encouraged and empowered by this experience, not feel inadequate and angry but at the end of the race I couldn’t help but feel like the fat kid picked last for everything, the fattest person in the room. I felt like I was right back at 524 pounds and that nothing had changed.
After i calmed down and my endorphins calmed down, Kar set me strait. “You should be nothing but proud and thrilled Mike.” I started to see things as they were. I wasn’t the same guy I was at 524 pounds. That guy would have been home in bed still. That guy would have NEVER attempted to run in public. That guy didn’t exist any more. I may have been the slowest and the most fat person there, but I was there.
I guess even with all that I have accomplished and all the positive changes in my life it is still hard when confronted with the reality of how much ground there is still left to cover to get where I want to be.
By the time we got home and I got back to reality, I was able to see the accomplishment for what it was. My anger turned into motivation and my frustration into renewed commitment. I was able to celebrate what I had done and see a future where one day I would be able to RUN a 5K not just finish a 5K. I love my family for all their support and am proud to set an example for my kids.
I am proud that I did the race. I am motivated to continue on my journey and I am NEVER going to stop. Sometimes, in order to progress, you have to be hit in the face with humility but the pain and frustrations all part of the process. Embrace it, use it, and get it done.