Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Social Athlete

I should probably change the name of my blog at this point. The fact is that I have completed some extremely significant events which in my mind qualifies me as an athlete. I mean, I moved 70.3 self propelled miles in one day this summer; I may or may not ever do it again but I will keep running and cycling and swimming!!!

I have also been faced by some adversity this summer. Nothing too bad, but enough to throw me off balance for a bit. As I reflect on the gifts that my athleticism has given me, I continue to come back to the same things: better health, self confidence, feeling alive and friends.

Better Health:

Over the past several years I have lost over 100 pounds. I still have some more to lose but every day I am closer to my goal. Let me just post a couple of pictures to illustrate the changes, you will be shocked!!! I still am when I look at these pictures next to one another. I think these will tell the story of better health in a more meaningful way than any words I can say:

Before
Now


Self Confidence

I now have the confidence to be who I am no matter the situation. I do believe, in part, I can thank my friends for this, after all Jim Morison said "A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself..." but I wouldn't have made some of the friends I have, had it not been for my athleticism. I mean, I spend up to 5 days a week with my closest friend on the trail, and off for that matter... But crossing finish lines is proof that I can do anything. Take that Half Iron Man for instance; I did the work and it paid off. Every time I strive for something AND complete it, I am one step closer to accomplishing another goal.

Feeling Alive

By having the ability to move my body for several hours a day, I now wake up with the energy to face the world, regardless of the tough situation I find myself in. Weird health issues? Bring it... Tough days at work? Manageable... Random 65 mile bike rides? No problem... Love? Hard but worth it... Trying something outside of my comfort zone? The best thing...

Friends

All of these items listed above are made possible by my friends. If you got to spend a lot of your time with your best friend, wouldn't you? Basically, I am at the point that I get the benefits of better health and confidence from my athleticism but more because of my friends. I show up at 5:30 in the morning not because I get to run 3 miles but because I get to spend time with VIPs in my world. If you are my friend you know that you are a very important person to me!!!

I honestly recognize that I am a social athlete. Really, I should probably rename my blog to the social athlete because at the end of the day, the best finish lines are those that I cross with my friends right by my side. It is a true testament to a friendship/relationship when someone is willing to be present with you through one of the most physically and mentally challenging obstacles! Sure, they may tell you to 'shut the eff up' during the event, but at the end of the day they will give you a hug and be thankful to have shared that experience with you as well...

This all coming off of an unplanned 65 mile bike ride with one of my closest friends... Would that ride have happened had I been alone? No way... Oh and guess what, we still like each other (even though I knocked her off her bike today). Yep, I think I'm a social athlete!!! 

2 comments:

  1. It's so much fun watching your process. I love "The Social Athlete!" And, whatever you rename or don't rename your blog, I'll keep reading. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Wow, Sarah, what a difference!! You look so happy in both pictures!! I am glad this journey has brought us together as friends!

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