We woke up just after seven and hit the ground running. Erik jumped in tending to the boys while I fired up the first rounds of laundry for the day and got packed for my next training event with our friend and Ironman finisher Tony Ball. What an awesome guy. And his precious wife, Pat and sweet son Ty lent him to me for the second time this weekend...
I pulled into the parking lot just after nine to see Tony riding his bike up the hill to meet me. I hit the stinky pit toilet -- No, people, it does NOT help the smell to leave the lid up!!!--- and got ready for our ride.
As we cycled out of the parking lot I felt confident and enthusiastic about not feeling super tired or sore from our workout on Saturday. I pedaled easily until we came to our first BIG hill. Seriously, the hill just past Tony's Supper Club on the way out to Higgins Point is STEEP! I know there are steeper ones, but this is the hardest and steepest hill I have ever ridden up. I rode up it Saturday with raw determination and strength, listening to Tony talk me through it and focused on getting to the top.
TODAY, not so much. About 8 feet up the hill I wanted to stop. I was sure I was going to burst into tears and quit. My body started HURTING. Every muscle I used to get up the hill on Saturday seemed ANGRY I was asking it to get me up that hill again! My mind and my belief in all the training I had done thus far evaporated in the air. I told Tony I was struggling, that my body was sore, finally, from our workout on Saturday and I didn't think I could make it.
He told me I could. Then he kept talking, reminding me to keep my heels down, knees in, started mentioning landmarks I was climbing -- the Great Wall of China, the Mayan Ruins, etc. He just kept talking. Gently speaking truth over me, he said, "You survived it before now you are going to conquer it!" I was breathing so hard. Pushing with all I had, in my lowest of low gears just trying to get from street sign, to stick on the road, to road marker, and finally, I did it.
I told him I was fine to continue on instead of stopping to get a drink (I don't balance well enough on my bike to drink and ride, so I have to stop). All he had to do was shift his tone to be a bit more directive and say, "No, Jenn. Stop. You need to drink. Before you get dehydrated." That was all it took. I burst into tears.
I broke through another wall today. Iron Tony by my side, feet in pedals, pushing up a hill, sure at first I would never be able to make it. But I did. Again, it confirms to me how much of our ability lies in our head and our heart - NOT our bodies!
Do we REALLY want things to change or do we want things to stay the same because it is easier? Easier is relative too, isn't it?
Once he confirmed that I was crying because I had a training breakthrough, he said something I will never forget, "Another piece of the Old Jenn fell off back there, the new Jenn, she is right here. Right now!"
I completed our ride without another emotional outburst. I know the Old Jenn is never coming back. She has been left behind, on the rubber of treadmills, in the deep of the pool, the hard seats of stationary bikes, the cool of the lake, and the hills and the prairies of North Idaho.
I am not going to lie and say I am not going to miss her. She wasn't a bad person. She did lots of things right and well. She used what God gave her to the best of her abilities, but she was missing something. She was missing a vibrancy in her life that she once had with the innocence of youth.
But the New Jenn, she has the vibrancy of her youth with the seasoning that comes with a life lived full of challenge, joy, sorrow, peace, pressure, change, trauma, and delight. She does not fear what is to come. She embraces each day knowing God has already given her what she needs to face whatever lies ahead.
Big hills, crabby attitudes, navigating parenthood and the love affair with my husband have all changed with this new season of my life. I love who I am becoming.
I am still required to WORK HARD in this process of change. But, like I've said before, one moment, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year at a time. Pretty soon the 17 years I have spent overweight will be a blip on the map of my life.
What do you want to change? REALLY?