Because I Can
“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”
— Vince Lombardi
I spent a lot of time writing and re-writing this blog.
I tried to be funny, creative, smart and inspirational all at the same time, but it just sounded so phony.
If there is one thing I pride myself on, it is my authentic nature. So, I hit delete and started over.
Here’s the deal. When I weighed over 300 pounds, I was constantly telling myself two “truths”.
Heather, you can’t do things because you’re fat.
Heather, you can’t do things until you lose weight.
These two sentences guided who I was. They made the decisions for me. If I was a business, these “truths” were my mission statement.
And then I found running.
I used to tell whoever would listen that “I only run if someone is chasing me. And even then I might not.” But I was inspired by a friend to try. She told me that I could run a 5K and as a member of the Board of a non-profit that produces a 5K each year, I thought it would be a good plan to train for that one.
When I started my journey in late 2010 I had 3 goals. I was going to work out 3 days a week, run a 5K and lose 150 pounds. The first two came very easily.
I now work out at least 5 times each week. I run, swim, bike, lift weights, and play Dodgeball or Ultimate Frisbee. Every Wednesday I have a calendar alert to remind me to plan my workouts for the next week. Once they’re in my calendar, barring any emergencies, these are meetings with me that take precedence over anything else.
I fell in love with running so much that I ended up running my first 5K two full months earlier than the original one I signed up for. Since my first 5K in March of 2011, I have run about 30 organized races including 2 Sprint Triathlons, 20 Half Marathons and a Full Marathon.
The weight. That’s a bit more difficult. I continuously lose a little, gain a little, lose more, gain a little. As of today, I have lost about 60 pounds. At my peak, I was down 80. But I’m not giving up.
The point of this is that my mission statement has changed. The word “can’t” has taken a significantly smaller role in my life and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t dwell on what I can’t do, but I’m inspired by the things I can and although I’m still technically obese, I don’t let anything stop me from fulfilling my goals and dreams.
For me, running was what changed everything. I may not be fast. I’m not BQ-ing or breaking any tape, but with determination and perseverance, I AM finishing. And I have a new mission statement…..
“Because I Can.”
I once caught myself saying, “I used to think I couldn’t do things because of my weight, but now that I know I can, I kind of want to do everything.” I truly feel like there is nothing I can’t do with a little determination and perseverance.
As of today, I can’t fly an airplane or speak Italian or play the guitar. But you know what? With enough dedication, motivation and practice I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could do all of those things.
The best decision I ever made in my life was to decide that I CAN and go out and do it.
I want people to know that size doesn’t have to stop you from fulfilling your dreams. I think the average non-runner has a skewed idea of what runners look like. Sure the top athletes and the ones placing in their age groups and even some of my fellow TSFM Ambassadors “look” like runners. But many of us don’t. Many of us have thick thighs, big bellies and chubby arms. It doesn’t mean we can’t do it, it simply means we used more Glide.
My point is this, don’t NOT TRY because you think you can’t or you have to wait “until.”
If you have a dream, whether it is to run a 5K or the San Francisco Marathon, there is no time like the present. All you have to do it take some time to believe in yourself and train properly and you can finish anything you strive to accomplish.
Because YOU Can.