Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Shoes, New Life

My sister is getting married in 5 weeks.

 Back in January she got me to try on a bridesmaid dress she had bought me, as I couldn't make it to the big smoke to try it on myself. The dress barely fit, and I resembled an animal being strangled by a boa constrictor with it on.

"How many kilos do you think you would need to lose to fit it?" She asked me.
"Ahhh, about 10. Plus two ribs..." This dress would never have fit me. I was devastated. She was devastated. We started the crazy process of trying to locate another dress in the correct size, but just in case, I decided I need to do something about my weight.

To be honest, I'm pretty happy with the way I look. I have issues. Who doesn't? But as I get older I don't seem to mind my imperfections as much. I'd like to be fitter, but I don't mind my weight so much. Because I was in the city, I decided I would be needing a new pair of shoes.

The last pair of running shoes I bought were at least 13 years old. I had purchased them to take through Europe with me before CP and I had married. They were falling apart at the heel and had sat, largely unused at the back of my wardrobe for the good part of 10 years.

This is them x RIP little ones.
I headed in to The Athlete's Foot (which has come a long way in 13 years I might add), and set about the process of getting a new pair of shoes.

"Hi! I'm Rick! How can I help you today?"  An over excited assistant buzzed towards me wielding some high tech computer thingy in his hand.

"Hi Rick. I'm Jess. I need a new pair of running shoes. It's been about 13 years since I bought my last pair." My dirty secret was out now.

"That's fine Jess." And so the embarrassing process began. "What sort of shoes are you after?"

"Ummm. Exercising ones?"

"Will you use them for running, walking, sport?" Poor Rick. He didn't see me coming.

"What are my options? General wear? I'm hoping I will run and walk in them, but I won't know that until I get them, will I? I'm hoping I'll feel like exercising with a new pair of shoes. I don't know." Was that a raised eye brow and cocky sideways smile Rick?

"OK Jess. I'll put you down for general wear. How many days a week do you think you'll be wearing them?"

Realising that all of this was going into his hand held device, I thought I should try harder with my answers. "I don't know. What are my options? I'd like to say 3 days a week, but maybe it will be none? Just put down 3. That sounds good. Look Rick, I do relief teaching, so there is a chance I'll just wear them on days I take PE classes." Another sideways smile from Rick. "You know. For the LOOK."

"OK, so I'll put down 3 days of casual wear."

"Any pre-existing foot conditions, Jess?"

"Yes. Fallen arches and also one foot is bigger than the other. I know Rick. I'm a bit of a freak. Try not to look at my toes. I have an ET toe."

"Come over to this machine Jess. I just want to run some tests." I walked over to a machine where I walked and stood in front of it and it took readings of pressure on my feet. I felt like I was failing a school test.

"OK Jess, come and sit down. These are the three pairs of shoes we have narrowed down according to your needs."

"Oh. Don't we just pick shoes we like anymore?"

"No Jess. Now we narrow your choice down for you and make it a much simpler and more precise process." So this is simpler??

I surveyed the three pairs of shoes in front of me. In terms of comfort they were all much the same. What would I know? I had no experience to go by. So I went with the pair I liked the look of the most.

Yay - hello new friends!

And that was that.

I wanted to wear them as soon as I left the store. My head was instantly consumed by empowering thoughts. I suddenly felt overcome with the urge to walk the Kokoda Trail. I felt like I could run. Hell, I just WANTED TO RUN! That was enough.  The shoes must have been fitted with some magic that made me want to exercise. I was pumped.

I shared these thoughts with my family, who all laughed loudly and shook their heads. They know me well. They know all about my allergy to exercise. They smiled and nodded as I spoke of my 5 year goal to walk the Kokoda Trail, knowing confidently that it was nothing but a dream.

This fueled my fire. The more they laughed, the more I wanted it.

I've always felt that religion and exercise are on the same channel. I previously believed they filled a void in someone's life. But not my life. I wasn't going to fall for either. That was then.

Four months have passed, and instead of hearing the voice in my head say 'you don't have time' or 'your back hurts', I now hear it say 'please go for a run!' and 'your back will hurt if you don't do this' or even 'you know you want to!'

I am jogging up to 6km now. I look forward to it and I believe in myself. The dream is still Kokoda, but first it's the Inca Trail, and even before that the Bridge to Brisbane run. I am writing this here to be accountable to it. Another incentive.

I am fitter today than I was three months ago. I have a long way to go. It's all baby steps, but I'm loving every minute and gaining more and more confidence every week.

DD took this pic. It was the best of about 29746 photos she took of me running.

My children wave and cheer for me like I am the star runner in the school athletics carnival. Sometimes they join me on my laps around the house paddock. We are each others biggest fans, and nobody believes in me more than them. My mother says the shoes must have wings which make me fly, and my family are now my biggest cheer squad.

Six kg lighter, and feeling better every day, and nobody is more amazed than me.

The moral to this story (and I like morals to my story) is that if I can do this, ANYONE can do this. If I can motivate myself (using only apps on my iPhone) then absolutely anyone can. I'll keep you posted on my progress to the B2B and the Inca Trail!

PS. I found a bridesmaid dress that fits, and won't necessitate the removal of any ribs. So everyone involved has kicked a goal!

If you want more information on what it is I'm doing, please get in touch with me and I'm happy to pass on more information. Or if you want to sponsor me on my quest to get to the Inca Trail, I'd love that too :)

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