This picture was in my home feed on Facebook last week. There are several inspirational pages that deal with running and fitness from which I enjoy getting daily posts. When I saw this photo, it stopped me in my usual quick scroll through to check messages. Tears filled my eyes, not tears of pity, but the kind of tears that fill your eyes and clog your throat when America wins gold at the Olympics. This woman is a hero. Her name is Jackie and I don’t know her at all (although I would LOVE to if anyone can hook us up). This image had been on another page that is devoted to tri-athlete women, and the running page had picked it up. In her comments that were included with the image she said how at one point she had weighed 415 pounds and walking to the mailbox was a struggle. She said that it’s not easy, but she gets off her a$$ and just does it. She does this for her, she tunes out the negativity and just goes for it. She is participating in a half Iron man in Augusta (GA?) on September 30.
I can’t even express how much this humbles and inspires me. I’m not a tri-athlete, but the sport does intrigue me. Unfortunately, I have a difficult time attaining mediocrity (let alone excellence) when I divide my focus, so while I do cycle and swim, right now it’s to keep me uninjured and able to run while maintaining my aerobic ability. Jackie is proof positive that we have no excuses. She’s getting it done.
There was another reason this image moved me to tears when I saw it. This year has been a little frustrating for me as I’ve struggled to lose weight. I am a fairly disciplined person, yet the pounds are coming off at a slower than glacial rate. I’ve finally found an eating plan that I can stick with for life, but even after two months, I’m only down five pounds. I’m ecstatic that the scale is finally moving, just wish it would move faster. I usually only weigh once a month (I have really weird issues with the scale) and this week dawned a new month. I have to admit, I felt tears of frustration ball up in my throat when I got on the scale Wednesday morning and it was down less than a pound after a MONTH of very disciplined eating and exercising. My prayers that morning were filled with lots of “Really, God? Why is this so difficult for me?” As usual, He listened patiently. When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and got still enough, He spoke. This doesn’t happen often for me. I’m sure it’s because I’m seldom quiet or still enough to listen. I usually have my laundry list to recite to Him, then I’m on about my day. But that day was different. He gently reminded me that not only am I not the only woman (or man) who struggles with this, I really don’t have as much of a struggle as some. And, He offered me a beautiful reason for it. He reminded me that I struggle because the women that I love struggle. It keeps me humble and serves as a reminder that we ALL have issues that are difficult for us. And, if we are to be able to reach out to help others, we sometimes have to walk a difficult path that we really don’t want to be on. Then He reminded me of all those who have had faith before me. Those who questioned, but remained faithful. Abraham and Sarah, to whom so much was promised, struggled with doubt to the point that they tried to take things into their own hands and made quite a mess of it. Still, God was faithful to the promises that He made to them.
If God is allowing you to hit rock bottom, it’s because He has a plan for you when you’re out of the pit. He’s allowed me to hit bottom so many times that my bottom is sore & bruised from landing on it. I’m sure it’s because I’m such a slow learner.
Be inspired by Jackie. She said in her comments on the photo that if she could inspire one person to get up and do it, then it’s worth it to her. Don’t think you have to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon in order to get healthy. You don’t. You never have to run a race at all. Start slow, and remember that slow progress is still progress.