the walls we crashed through

My alarm went off at 5:10 Monday morning. I pressed the snooze button and then rolled out of bed at 5:17am. It was difficult to keep my eyes open, but I stumbled through the house and pulled on shorts, a tee-shirt, and a sweatshirt since it was cold outside.

I arrived at the gym a little after 5:30. My bleary eyes were clear, and I felt ready to tackle a 30-minute circuit workout. One sweaty bra, several ounces of water, and five minutes of stretching later I was done. My forehead was dripping sweat. My heart rate got up to 153 and averaged at 132. I knew I could have pushed myself harder and promised myself that I would - next time.

That afternoon, instead of sitting at a table and eating my sandwich (and then twiddling my thumbs for an hour), I took to the pool for my lunch break.

Swimming is something I love. Being in chlorinated water is like being home for me. I spent several years improving my stroke and racing alongside other swimmers for the Katy Aquatics. There were many times I fought against practice, and eventually, I quit.

My parents were never ones to push. They wanted me to maintain my commitments, but it was always up to me to decide what I would do and to see it through. They supported me in all my endeavors (acting, voice lessons, horseback riding, swimming, etc.), but it was up to me to do the hard work.

There's a part of me that, just like then, wants to quit now. Because it's hard. But unlike then, I refuse to quit. I am going to see this weight loss thing through because I can.

When I stopped swimming, I didn't realize how it would affect everything. I went from being relatively athletic to being overweight. I was never as thin as my friends, and I remember looking at the picture of my in the swimsuit and seeing a chubby girl. What I see now is a girl who had muscles and a different build than many of my friends. At the time, I wanted to win races and compete for a long time, but I stopped, partilally because it seemed like everyone else was so much better and faster than I was.

It doesn't matter how fast I am. I don't have to compete against anyone else. This journey.. this LIFE.. isn't about comparing myself to someone else. It isn't about losing more weight than another woman in my shoes or being better than someone else. It's about losing the weight I have to lose and being better than I have been in the past.

I've heard from many people in my life that I seem so dedicated. That I am doing well. That they are proud of me. That I'm inspiring them to go after the same things I am. And while I appreciate the words, I so often feel like I am none of those things. I so often feel like the girl who loved the chlorinated water but still quit.

I would take it back if I could. I would stick with the swimming. I would have made sure to try out for the team in high school. I wouldn't have settled for just lifeguarding and eaching swim lessons.

But I can't take it back. And it's time that I stop wishing I could take it back or wondering what would have happened if I had stuck with it. All I can do right now is see this thing through and not quit as I have in the past.

Workout #1 and Workout #2 from 10/10/11. 598 calories burned.

I remembered all of this as my alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, and I strongly considered hitting hte snooze buttonand falling back asleep for another hour. Instead of slipping deeper into the covers, I threw both legs off the bed and got up - excited dogs and all.

My workout was a little rushed due to needing to get home and shower before work, but I finished the 52-minute workout sweaty and sore thanks to the 15 minutes of stationary bicycle and 7 minutes of treadmill and then 30 minutes of weights. Looking at my heart rate monitor, I know I need to work on icreasing my heart rate and getting into a different zone as my maximum heart rate was 145 and the average was 130.

The goal I had for the lunchtime workout was to spend the majority of the time in "zone 2." I headed off to zumba and checked my heart rate monitor periodically. I wanted to pump my fist every time I saw I was in the right zone but instead just did my best to complete the steps as close to correctly as possible. And hour later, I found that I had spent just over 50 minutes in "zone 2" with a maximum heart rate of 152 and an average heart rate of 137.

Workout #1 and Workout #2 from 10/11/11. 989 calories burned.
Seeing those numbers (989 calories burned!) inspires me. It makes me want to head right back to the gym after work. But instead I'll spend the night with friends from church - burning calories from laughing. Seeing those numbers also reminds me of just how far I have come - all the way from the girl who quit swimming to the girl who is pushing herself past the point of quitting. And those numbers make me quite excited for tomorrow's work out. 30-minute circuit and water aerobics - here I come!

(title from "long live" by taylor swift)

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