Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 332 A Real 10K and Courtney's Best First Day

Day 332

A Real 10K and Courtney's Best First Day

Irene and I hit the walking trail last night with a goal in mind: A real 10K. Yes, I'm still sore about thinking one thing and finding out another about the actual distance of the trail, but I have no one to blame but me. I should have been a little more diligent in finding the accurate length a long time ago. We talked and walked, quickened our pace, then realized we were pushing a little too hard if we really planned on doing 6.2 miles in one stretch.

What started out as a walk in the cool night air quickly became a real workout as we approached 3.5 miles. We were no longer cool. We decided to stop at our vehicle for some water before continuing when we made a crucial mistake: We sat down. We enjoyed our water and realized just how wonderfully comfortable the seats in our van can feel. And that's when I broke. “You know we've completed a little more than a 5K already, it wouldn't be too bad if we called it a night.” Irene just looked at me with that look that says I can't believe what I'm hearing. I knew I had to be a little more convincing. “Listen, I'll explain in tomorrow night's blog that it was late so we cut it short, no harm, we have plenty of time in the future for 10K's.” And then she simply said “we can do this, we're over half way there, we can't stop now.” Instead of trying to counter with another wonderful excuse to stop short, I chimed in “very true, and I really don't want to report that we cut another workout short for any reason.” Seriously, think back...How many times have you read in these writings “we planned on a 5K, but ended up doing a hard two?” Or “we set out to do a 10K, but settled for a 5K instead.” Too many times, that's how many.

So we put down the water bottles and set out under the stars to finish what we started. We occasionally studied the Northeastern sky expecting to be wowed by the meteor showers, but no such luck. We did witness a bunch of high school kids toilet papering the entire front lawn of the school across the street. They were being really loud and that's what probably got them busted. As we made our way around on the fifth mile we noticed the police there and they were making those kids clean up every last piece of toilet paper.

That last 1.2 miles was killer. The balls of our feet were really hurting. The structure of our feet- the muscles, the bones, all of that was fine, it was the balls of our feet that were really hurting. We were pushing through anyway. And after a little complaining about “my aching feet,” we crossed the imaginary finish line with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. We did it. It was officially the furthest either one of us had ever walked in one stretch. 6.2 miles, a real 10K.

Thank you for all of the comments about last night's blog titled “Scott's Story.” I did hear from Scott today in an e-mail after he read all of your comments. Here's what he said: Please tell your readers I appreciate all the positive comments and well wishes. As I told you before, I'm not much of a blog reader (I'll keep reading yours), and most definitely not a blog writer, so please tell the few that asked that I won't be writing a blog anytime soon. You and I will keep up with each other and you can update them on my progress if you'd like. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading daily and seeing you and your family's continued progress.

Scott and I will certainly keep in touch. I plan on taking him up on the workout offer real soon too. And I will absolutely give occasional updates on his progress. As I re-read his story today I thought about how he immediately kicked it into high gear. There was no time to waste because his life absolutely depended on his consistent effort. He wasn't backing down for a second, it was just too important. That's what I mean when I write about making this one of the most important things you've ever done. Defend the integrity of your journey as if your life depended on it. Give it that level of importance and it will make it almost impossible to fail. And really, with all of the horrible consequences of morbid obesity, your life really does depend on it.

Courtney's first day as a junior in high school was today and thanks to her dramatic progress so far, it turned out to be one of the best she's ever had. I was just going to relay what she told me about today, instead I asked her to write out her experience so I could include it in tonight's edition. Courtney's first day back at school after a summer of continued weight loss success, in her own words:

Today was the first day of school, the first day of my Junior year! It was unlike any other first days of school, my confidence was the difference. Everyone today DID notice my weight loss over the summer and over the past year, and DID feel the need to say something. I got probably 10+ compliments today. The feeling I had is something I've never felt on a first day of school, it was totally not like me. I felt like a whole new person. Being self-conscious at school is one of the most uncomfortable feelings, I'm just glad I never have to go through that again. Some of the differences were simple and some were drastic. For example, usually when I walk up to the 3rd floor for one of my classes I feel sweaty! And out of breath! Today after walking up to the 3rd floor with ease, I wasn't sweaty or the slightest bit out of breath. Then the next thing I noticed was fitting into the desk a lot better than I did freshman and sophomore year! The desk at the high school can really make someone feel uncomfortable if your overweight, cause the sizes of some of them can be a really tight squeeze. Not today! I fit in every single desk as if it were the easiest thing in the world. I had plenty of room between the desk and myself. It felt amazing. Last but seriously not least was the way my social skills improved 100%. I don't feel awkward and ugly when I talk to people. I feel confident and pretty. So just overall, losing weight has really made a difference in my high school experience so far! There's no way I'm going back to my old habits. I could get use to this amazing feeling, and it just makes me so excited for these next two years of my high school career. Can't wait!

Out of all we've conquered along the way, that right there is the most important accomplishment to me. Amber and Courtney both understand what this journey means to them on a physical AND most importantly, a psychological level. The transformation that takes place within is far more dramatic than any “before” and “after” shot.

My beautiful wife started her very own blog today. I encourage you to check out the incredibly inspiring messages that she's committed to sharing at http://www.livinlarge09.blogspot.com/ She'll provide a different perspective of this road we're traveling. There are many milestones, successes, and developments ahead---and reading about them from her viewpoint will be very interesting. I sincerely hope you add her to your blogroll or save the address in your favorites if you're a non-blogger.

Day 332 was a smashing success. I skipped all of the details of the day because this is already a really long post. So I'll head to bed feeling fantastic. Thanks for reading, I sincerely appreciate your support. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

21 comments:

  1. I am so pleased for Courtney - she has done so well and is now reaping the rewards - go girl!

    And I could do with Irene with me on my walks - she is so driven - no slacking there, lol.

    Well done on a great day all of you!

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  2. Sean Well done on the 10km.. Proud of you

    Courtney...may I say you were always beautiful you just couldn't see it ..... i am so glad you now see what everyone else sees....How fantastic of all those compliments....Think Dad my have to load the shot gun again eh... keep it up

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  3. I had a feeling reading your blog yesterday that Courtney would have a great first day. No one could fail to notice such a beautiful young woman. She has emerged from a cocoon into a gorgeous butterfly. I hope the feelings she had yesterday stay with her forever.

    Sean you have a fab fitness coach there..go Irene!!!

    Talking about Irene, I am just off to her place, byeeeeee xxx

    hugs

    Sheilagh

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  4. i am really at a loss for words with respect to what you did for yourself and your family. i mean, i know your family had it in them, but you clearly pushed them and somehow succeeded in conquering this together. i read irenes blog and she was talking about you wanting to be a motivational speaker. seriously, i cant get my husband to try a vegetable and look what youve done for your family! motivational speaking might be a good hat to try on.

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  5. Reading Courtney's first day experienced brought tears to my eyes. I thought she was a beautiful girl at any weight, and it's sad she didn't realize that. I am so happy for her! I am so happy for all of you.

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  6. How wonderful that Courtney shared her experiences here. Lucky family - all of you!

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  7. Congrats on the 10K! And good for Irene not letting you be a slacker! Kidding-obviously you two work very well as a team, when one falters the other encourages, which is awesome.
    I agree with Saoirse, you should absolutely do the motivational speaking thing!
    And thanks to Courtney for sharing her experience. I'm so happy for her! She's going to have a wonderful year.

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  8. Woo hoo for the 10K! Pretty soon it will feel like the 5K does now. I am so happy for Courtney and her best first day. What a wonderful gift you have given your daughters - unconditional love and support.

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  9. YAY for Courtney!! I think it's super how much confidence she has in herself now. It makes me happy inside to read about her first day.

    And congrats to you for walking 6.2 miles. That is amazing!!!

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  10. A big Woo Yoo for Courtney! Awesome - and of course, you and your wife, too.

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  11. Reading about Courtney all I could do was smile. I'm so happy she's going to have the confidence to make her last 2 years of high school great. I will definitely go check out Irene's blog too. Way to go to both of you on the 10K and on a weekday I'm impressed *smile*.

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  12. Wow Sean, it sounds like there are some very wonderful things happening in your life right now. That's fantastic! Thanks, as always, for providing such great motivation for all of us.

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  13. a good read as always Sean. I'm so happy for Courtney! She has something we're all striving for. Now I'm off to read your wife's blog.

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  14. Too awesome! I could only imagine how Nay felt yesterday. I wanted for so many years to feel the same way on the first day of school. I am so glad that she will be able to have a positive last two years in high school. I hope my own children will be able to realize that same feeling some day.

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  15. Sounds like an interesting and entertaining walk. . . cherish having someone to walk with that you have something to talk about for a continuous 6+ miles!

    I am so happy for Courtney! I wish I'd had a family to help me when I was a fat teen. . . it will surely make all the difference for her in the choices she'll be willing to make from this point on in her life!

    Does her school require gym? It would be great to hear her experiences about that . . .

    Can't wait to check out Irene's blog.

    Best wishes--
    Sandy

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  16. Good for Courtney! It is always great to improve your self confidence around that age...high school is awkward enough! She will reap the benefits and rewards of this for many years to come.

    Great for Irene for making you stick with your plan! I need a cheerleader like that in my life! I am on my way over to read her blog.

    Sounds like it was a great day.

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  17. I'm so happy Courtney had a good day! I just knew she would. How could she not, she looks AMAZING!

    The dreaded 10K. I'm so proud of you guys! I couldn't have done it...well I probably could have but with my legs the way they are...I would have be in some serious pain. Did you get any blisters?

    Eye witness to the Tiolet papering! haha. Senior Prank I'm sure. The seniors in my class did it the day before school started and the day before the last day of school.


    I love you daddy. I miss you all like crazy. I can't wait to see you all on Sunday. Tracy and Kenny said they are looking forward to seeing everybody. Moving in day is Saturday...so I will probably go up there Saturday to get a few of my things in my room. To ensure I get the side of the room I want. :) I am still in room 410 Oklahoma hall.

    Anyways. I'm proud of you like always my wonderful daddy. I love you with all my heart.
    xoxo
    -your fabulous daughter
    Ambeeeee

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  18. Courtney....it just thrills my heart that you are losing the weight now and won't have to deal with the things I dealt with in high school. Good for you for making the right choice to get healthy and feel great!!

    Sean...I think it's a trip that Irene kicked your butt into finishing that 10k...sounds like you're a lucky guy. :)

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  19. Wow! So much good news in this post! Yippee!

    Congrats to your and your wife for pushing on and completing that 10K! That is fantastic! And... I will definitely be checking out her blog!

    And I am so happy for your daughter! What a fabulous first day! I was the fattest kid in my grade all throughout school... and I know what it feels like to deal with that. Not fun... to say the least! So... congrats to Courtney... and best wishes for a successful year!

    I'll be looking forward to hearing updates about Scott!

    Have a great Friday! :)

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