8 months and climbing
Wilderness hikes and mountain climbs, a skirt and a dress, new friends, Lori time EVERY morning, a porch light that is back on, a chance to pay it forward, and a fresh new optimistic outlook on life. Oh, and -130 lbs and counting! Yeah!
I felt compelled to mark this day – July 28, 2011 – eight months since my Fitness North journey officially began. A journey to better heath and happiness with a life that holds Lori in the center of the equation. And what an amazing climb it has been!
I had no realistic idea of what I was getting myself into eight months ago when I checked in at my beloved Surfside on Lake Superior and turned myself and my life over to those who new best at FN. My true inspiration, mentor and role model who had walked the journey on national TV – O’Neal Hampton; and the best program director, nutritionist, trainer and coach I could ever have asked for in program director Leif Anderson. So today, it is with a full heart and tremendous gratitude that I write. I am almost certain without their nudge and ongoing direction and support, I would not be here today.
That said, the hard, hard work of dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn and up to the gym or out on the mountain to snowshoe through sometimes excruciating pain and tears, was all mine. The physical journey and the physical transformation to date is great: -130+ lbs and, last time I measured which was two months ago, more than 45 inches off chest, waist, arms, thighs…
How I got here has become less important than the journey itself and the physical and emotional transformation –just as O’Neal (Unc) said it would be. For me, the real transformation has been that of how I now approach my life. There is no question that I am the center of my life. I view the world from the lens of glass half full and opportunities instead of challenges (most of the time), and I am happy. Perhaps most importantly, I have learned so much about myself and the emotional road blocks I have managed to erect over many years. And I am working through them one day at a time, one opportunity at a time, and winning most of the time. Another yeah!
Let’s mark a few of the incredible milestones – big and little – for fun, since I am certain this blog will make its way into some version of printed form and will be part of the story I will share with others when I take my big pants and hit the road.
Just this past week, the little milestones were telling:
- I now start my work days EVERY DAY with Lori time – 90% of the time my fitness routine. This past week, I walked/hiked every day on the Superior Hiking Trail for an hour before work. Training for climbing a decent size mountain in Acadia in October!
- Wore a skirt! In fact, I now own a maxi dress and a skirt. Haven’t been in either in more than 10 years.
- This past week on the shore, on one of my work days, I spent a total of 8 of 18 waking hours in one day on myself. Started with my morning hike, took one hour out in the middle of a gorgeous work day to sun on the deck, spent 2.5 hours in the spa, had dinner with a friend, met another friend at night. 100% healthy time and nurturing for Lori’s soul. In the past, I would have worked 16 of those 18 hours without a break.
Today I am thinking of my FN 2 lions — Shari, Carrie, Sue, Phillip, Leslie, Jim, Jusselin, Mark, and Gina — with whom I shared the on-campus journey and the beginning of the transformation that will change our lives forever. I wish them all well and I can’t wait to see where we all are at the one year mark!
My training team from the Twin Cities at Balance for Life Fitness Center – Julie and Sandra – and of course my fearless leader and program director, Leif Anderson – how incredible you all are to see me through and help me bring this home. Thank you seems too small for all you have done and continue to help me do every day.
Finally, I am so incredibly grateful to ALL of you who have supported me in this journey and who continue to offer your love, support and friendship for my life changing transformation. Tomorrow is the sports bra challenge sponsored by Biggest Loser 11 winner Olivia Ward and her sister Hannah. I am considering it and I have a hot pink new Nike Sports Bra to sport. I will let you know how it goes!