As I rounded my 4th mile of the day on my stationary elliptical machine in my home gym, I really started to notice the pain in my right knee reaching a new level of discomfort as well as my still sprained ankle screaming at me to stop… telling me that it’s not worth not being a fat body anymore (Navy joke). How did I get here and why is this so important to me to keep going?
As my readers already know, I recently made a personal decision to move back to my small home town in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota. It was a difficult choice, but one that I decided to do with arms wide open. Since being home, I have reconnected with old friends, made some new ones, made a few mistakes in my love life but also ones that I’ll always remember as amazing times that were too short-lived. I also revisited a friendship that was one of my closer ones in high school and my early Navy years, as well as with her husband and her closest few friends. It was from this reunion that “The Challenge” was made, and one that I intend to see through (even if it destroys me).
Erin (the close friend), her daughters, my close friend Cody and at one point her husband were helping me to unpack my house and set things up when she made mention of wanting so badly to use my personal gym that I have. “Why not use it then? Not a big deal, just clean up after yourself,” I told her. She made mention that she didn’t feel like working out on her own would be successful and asked if I would do it with her until she got on her feet with it, and I readily agreed since I needed some motivation myself. We agreed to the following weekend after my next work trip and parted ways, excited to actually have workout partners that won’t allow the other to back down from this.
The next week on my travel, I did some light cardio every day after work was complete so that I would be prepared for the onslaught that was going to be my weekend. I knew that it was going to hurt if I didn’t prepare a little, and I also didn’t want to let my friend down since this meant a lot to her as well. 2 miles one day, 2.8 the next, up to a 5k by the end of the week… I felt like a cardio god! During this time, 2 of her friends asked to join this and make it into a group exercise challenge… I immediately agreed to this arrangement! What a better way to get into shape than a group of people pushing each other to better themselves?!
So this brings me back to the here and now as I approached 4.3 miles in 30 minutes on the elliptical prior to heading off to thanksgiving lunch/dinner/dessert/overkill. My knees are done with me, Lilly (the dog) is tired of watching me, sweat is dripping off of me into small pools on the floor from the exertion and heat of the house (I jack it up during my workouts). I quickly take a picture of the workout and send it to the group of people who are in the challenge together and immediately felt satisfaction in what I’m doing. This isn’t just for me… this is for my friends that need the push to go a little farther, to lengthen that stride, and to drop those few pounds to have the bodies that they crave in the mirror. I’m enduring this pain so that they can be proud of their results in the long run because my friends mean more to me than my own discomfort and old military injuries. It’s not been 3 weeks since I started working out, 2 since they joined me, and I’m really looking forward to a new year of possibilities!