By way of background, I can’t stand people who complain about their lot in life when they don’t do anything to make changes to fix the problem(s). A few months ago a realization hit me like a ton of bricks: I was one of those people… I complained about being unfulfilled professionally yet the tools I needed to get moving towards what I want to do were sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust. I am now reading the ACE Personal Training Manual on my own and plan to take the test as soon as I’m ready. From there I hope to get TRX certified and to attend a USAT weekend clinic and become a certified tri coach… from there who knows, but I will have put myself in a good position to do what I’ve always wanted to do – be a coach and trainer, to help people take control of their bodies and their lives.
I haven’t always been athletic. Growing up I was a chubby kid who got schlepped around to one brother or another’s games (I had 3 brothers and they played soccer, baseball, basketball, football – you name it). Sure I played in school leagues, too, but I was terrible. Either that or I didn’t try very hard. Probably both. I was sad, awkward, and very self conscious. I snuck food into my room and ate in privacy embarrassed to be doing it at all… I had no self control or shut off function. I still don’t and it’s something I struggle with at every meal every day. I eat when I’m not hungry. I eat when it doesn’t taste very good. I eat when I’m depressed. I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when there’s food there. I love to eat. And drink wine… which just leads to more eating. I try to not have junk food in the house and for the most part that helps. A lot. But I love to treat myself and can justify just about any purchase or splurge. It’s a constant struggle and sometimes I win the fight, sometimes I don’t.
I started walking and jogging the summer before I started law school and I did my best to keep it up during law school. When I got my first job out of school I won a gym membership and I found out I loved it. I loved lifting; I loved feeling strong. It was therapy for me. I started running more and did 5ks. Then 10ks and on and on. I did my first marathon in 2007 and followed it up with another 4 in the next 19 months. Yes, I’m compulsive in just about everything I do. Triathlons were the same way. I did a sprint as a warm up to my first Olympic. The next season I did a HIM as my second race of the season. Season 3 I finished with an Ironman. I did my second IM last season and my third will be this June. Certifiable.
My friends worry about me. They fear that I’m all about training and racing and that there is no balance in my life. What they don’t understand is running, biking, and swimming have saved my life. I can’t say I love my body. I don’t. I can’t say that I consider myself thin or fit. I don’t. I will always look in the mirror and see the fat kid that my brothers teased mercilessly. But I’m starting to understand and appreciate that that’s not a real image. It takes work to love yourself and I’m getting there. That’s why I want to be a trainer and a coach. I want to help other people learn the lessons I’ve learned (hopefully without making some of the mistakes).
Taking charge of my life, finally!