Through Agony Can Come Ecstasy

Good morning ladies,

Many people don’t grace themselves with the opportunity to push through real pain.  Many are too scared at the idea of it that they refuse to put their body there, even at the beginning of there.  I was like that in my life.  I spent the first 35 years of my life doing the same things (good or bad) that brought about the same life day after day because I didn’t think I could do more, be more, expand myself to the point where things would change.  Change is scary and if you haven’t lived your life pushing through to get to something new then chances are you may never do it.  

Yesterday I spent the day with my family watching for my brother Jeremy and my good friend Heather to finish the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run of the Steelhead 1/2 Ironman Triathlon.  

Heather has been a runner much of her life but never long distance.  When we, Your Turn, met Heather she was going to train with us to do a 1/2 Marathon.  We laughed about her pushing herself further than a 1/2 Marathon but for a long while she resisted…until she realized what her body could do.  She has always been lean but she wanted to be strong, physically and mentally.  Physically her body hasn’t always been healthy enough to push it to these types of places even though to look at her you wouldn’t know that.  Heather is a breast cancer survivor.  During one of her training runs she called me after just finishing weeping…”I can’t believe it just hit me like that, Mel.  I didn’t realize what I’d gone through”.  Pushing yourself physically allows you to get through emotions that were so buried they may never have come out without pushing your body to these lengths.  Training for this 1/2 Ironman wasn’t always easy, long runs, longer bikes, swim clinics…but these things change you inside and out.

Out of the Swim

Out of the Swim

Onto the Bike

Onto the Bike

In from the Run

In from the Run

2nd time 1/2 Ironman Finisher!!!

2nd time 1/2 Ironman Finisher!!!

My brother Jeremy is on a mission.  He has found something in himself that was dormant for years and years.  After middle school and high school track he let himself go.  He did what men do, he got a woman, got a job, got a car, moved out of our hometown, got a divorce, got another wife, got another divorce, got FAT, hung onto hair that reminded him of his youth, met a most awesome woman, got married again but he still wasn’t truly happy inside himself.  He was severely depressed.  He tried medications, he tried to cover it all up with food and living life.  One day it all just cracked open as he began to take charge of his physical body.  He began running, running, running. The next thing you know he was going to do a sprint triathlon.  WHAT?? 2 years ago he found himself in unchartered water wishing and hoping he would make it out of the lake.  He spent the next 1 1/2 going through one swim class after another, one personal swim instructor after another until he found one that believed that he would learn to swim.  Yesterday as other people were being asked if they needed to leave the swim because the waves were so strong that people were becoming sea sick while swimming he finished his swim STRONG!  Then he went on to bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.  Talk about pushing through agony.  

1.2 Mile Swim Finisher

1.2 Mile Swim Finisher

Up next, the Bike

Up next, the Bike

Running into the Finish!

Running into the Finish!

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I try to understand when people tell me that “I’m not cut out for that kind of thing”.  I reason with myself that this isn’t for everyone…but I don’t really believe that.  I know what I feel like when I push myself though what I once thought was unachievable, I have watched too many women find places in themselves when they pushed their body past places of agony to find an inner ecstasy that left them glowing and swearing at me at the same time.  

I don’t believe anymore that all things are possible, I know they are BUT ONLY if you are willing to push past the mental barrier of “I CAN’T”or “IT’S NOT FOR ME”.  When Heather was in mid training for the 1/2 Marathon she didn’t believe a full marathon was in her future now she is in training for the FULL IRONMAN in New Zealand next March.  When my brother was running his first mile he didn’t believe that a 1/2 Ironman was possible but now he is planning for a FULL IRONMAN next year.  When you push through agony to ecstasy just once, you don’t need to believe anymore YOU JUST KNOW you can do ANYTHING if you put the training in.  There is something beautiful about being witness to these kinds of transformation, it reminds you that the only thing that keeps you in the same spot and it is your unwillingness to believe; from there knowing is right around the corner.

Get Your Sweat On

Your Turn

Mel

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