Dreams Haven't An Expiration Date and A Really Late Night 10K In The Rain
Some people find graduation ceremonies too long and drawn out, often times boring. Not me, I enjoy them. I like being in the presence of so many people that have started something and stuck with it all the way to their goal. Over 600 people were accepting their degrees at the graduation we attended this morning. As I sat there watching, I kept thinking about each of their academic journeys. Every single one of those people had a day 1, a day 100, a day 230, and beyond. Each of them learned along the way, had tough days, some probably felt like giving up every now and then, but here they were receiving the reward for their efforts. Many of these graduates will continue on for more advanced degrees, this being a milestone along their journey, instead of the ultimate goal. They've learned that positive effort and consistency plus time equals incredible results. What a wonderful place to be. The positive emotions of accomplishment filled the entire facility as we watched every single one walk across that stage. I was extremely proud of my Aunt Kelli, who at 40 is proving it's never too late to accomplish something very important. I'm also very proud of our dear friend and honorary family member Rachel, at 37 she's proving the same thing. Dreams haven't an expiration date my friend. It is never too late to begin. Remember that time keeps moving regardless of what you do or don't do. Too much time I wasted depressed over lost time. Does that even make sense? Spending even more time being depressed over wasting time. I've often thought about how I wasted my 20's being anywhere from 470 to 510 pounds. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that my entire 20's was bad. I'm talking about my weight. I spent the first six and a half years of my 30's upset with myself for wasting my 20's. If I just would have lost the weight before age 25, my life would be so much better now. Thoughts like that may be true, but spending six and a half years wishing I would have done something about it in my 20's was the most counterproductive thing I could have done. Had I gone another few years at over 500 pounds, I could have spent the first three years of my 40's upset with myself for wasting my 30's. I say only three years, because I really doubt I would have lived much longer then that at over 500 pounds. Now is the time, today, right this second. Not next Monday, or after the holidays, or after that big project at work is complete. Now is the time. Because something I've learned the hard way is: There's never a good time to start if you allow yourself to explore every excuse that could keep you. I could always find a good reason why it wasn't a good idea to get started. I stopped making excuses on September 15th, 2008, and look where it's put me today. I've lost nearly 160 pounds so far. We're finished wasting precious time.
After the ceremony we invited the family over to our place to celebrate with a cookout. First I had to go to the store and pick up the stuff. We decided to keep it real simple, hot dogs with the usual condiments and potato chips. I had a turkey and cheese dog on a bun complete with relish, mustard, and onions for under 250 calories plus a serving of ranch flavored potato chips for 150. When you're calorie conscience you tend to pick up less at the store. Before this journey I would have allowed my taste buds to dictate the shopping list. I would have added some hamburgers, potato salad, beans, sour cream based french onion dip, and probably some bratwurst and hot links. Many more calories would have been consumed needlessly. As it unfolded today, everybody was satisfied, and once again the focus was on the family and friends we had the pleasure of visiting with and not the food. Rachel's oldest kid expressed some interest in starting his own weight loss journey at 16, and I just lit up at the sound. I counseled him on what I've learned along my journey, gave him some solid advice and information, and told him and his sister that anytime they needed an answer about anything involved on their journey, to give me a call. Breaking through and losing their excess weight while they're still in their teen years would be something wonderful for sure!
My mother is staying with us overnight and I'll take her back home tomorrow. But not before we visit her favorite Ponca City restaurant, JW Cobbs. She's insisted we go. On Sundays they feature an all you can eat lunch buffet. I doubt any of us will order the Sunday buffet, instead we'll opt for some better choices off the menu. I'll tell you how that went tomorrow evening!
Our plan to hit the trail for a 10K at 8:30pm, turned into a late night 10K pretty easily. After we realized that today's 10K would find Courtney and me alone out there, we adjusted the start time to fit what we wanted to do. The 10K officially started at 11:10pm. After the first two miles we had to stop and treat Courtneys' sore heal. After the third mile we stopped again for the same reason. Courtney had to end her 10K attempt after she completed a 5K because her heel was fast approaching a really bad blister. She wanted to complete the 10K, but I just couldn't allow her to finish badly blistered. I told Courtney that this wasn't an excuse, it was a circumstance, and I was proud of her for recognizing that it's better to cut short her 10K than to risk being off of the foot for several days. With Courtney waiting, I embarked on the final three miles of tonights 10K walk. We had shed our jackets after mile one and by mile four I was dripping with sweat despite the cool and cloudy weather conditions. Then it started. Rain. Some people stay out of the rain. Not me. I love walking in the rain as long as it's free of lightening. The cool rain came down steady and drenched me from head to toe. At one point I closed my eyes and walked down the path with my head held high, letting the water pelt my face. It felt wonderful, so wonderful. As I finished the 10K, I couldn't help but reminisce about my slow start during the first two weeks of this journey. The following is an excerpt from day 2: We also walked tonight. Irene, Courtney, and I walked at the trail. They walked a mile, I walked as far as I could in one stretch...maybe a half a mile, perhaps even less. Probably less. A quarter mile? Wow...After I lost that 115 pounds four years ago, I could easily walk three miles without stopping to rest, now after a quarter mile I'm hurting and breathing really hard. I'll get it back, it'll just take some time. And here are some words from day 10: I had to stop a couple of times and breath, I had to slow down and pace myself, but I made it. I know I must have looked horrible trying to make it, because even Irene and Courtney told me it wouldn't be a bad thing if I took a short cut back to the van. But I just couldn't give up. I knew I could do it. And I did. Now, I'm going to go do it again. It gets easier right? Yes? Good. I know it will. I honestly would have never guessed that I'd be doing a 10K after seven and a half months. It does get easier, and much quicker than I ever expected. Thank you for reading. Good night and...