|No, I'm not contemplating ending it all. In fact, I'm feeling rather joyous! I've remembered who I really am.|
A memory hit me this week when talking to my dear friend Mrs. MonkeyParade about our new initiative. (Yes, Adult ADD is a real condition!) As I walked tonight, I remembered this incident from long ago in greater detail. I've skiied about a hundred million times and never once hurt myself. I played basketball ONCE in college to fill in for someone and tore a bunch of ligaments in my ankle. I wound up with a cast on my leg and crutches for a really long time. Not a fun thing to deal with in college, might I add. I had to work through a lot of surprising challenges everyday and it was a very humbling experience: how to carry my books to class (find some boy to do it); how to get my meal tray to a table; what shoe to wear on the other foot, etc., etc. Well, I was really starting to feel sorry for myself for a while there, when I bumped into Eddie Stephens.
Eddie had blown out his Achilles tendon. HIS cast went practically from the bottom of his foot to his armpits. He was going to be on those despised crutches forever, compared to my 4 to 6 weeks. He was much worse off than me. But was he feeling sorry for himself? NO! Eddie was absolutely injected with life. We started hanging out, helping each other, and before we knew it, two other girls injured themselves and joined our little gimp's club. Soon, we had figured out how to play flag football, on crutches, roller hockey on crutches (we could share skates, since we each had only one good foot), climb a few campus trees, and countless other things. What started out to be an isolating, social semi-catastrophe, turned out to be a real test of our mettle. And I passed with flying colors. I became MORE active than I had been when both legs were operational. It was with some pride that I heard the doctor say something along the lines of "Gee, this cast is broken in 3 places and covered with grass stains!"
Well, THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how I want to leave this world. With all obstacles to living life at its best broken in three places and/or at the very least, covered with green stains from the trying.
I remember how badly I longed to be able to go running, or climbing, or whatever, when I was locked into that body limited in mobility by that cast and crutches. And for a long time after that, I remembered to squeeze as much life as possible out of every moment lest the worst ever happen and I got permanently stuck like that. But eventually, life happened. The single largest contributing factor in that 75 lbs. gain is that I had children, and with that came a million excuses for not "getting out there." Now, I'm trapped in a cast of my own making. About 75 pounds of it! So the things I love to do are difficult for me, if not impossible. And if I manage them anyway, I'm somewhat embarrassed about it. You should see people stare when a 225 pound woman skis down the hill! And I'll never forget when I was getting into the kayak at the bioluminescent bay on Vieques, PR, and the guy said "Um, you'll need to get into one ofthose kayaks" pointing to some larger ones. That was at the height of my denial, so I thought "What the heck is he talking about??"
When you are young, there is always time to do it tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But I'm not young anymore. I hit 43 this year. Noone can deny that my life is more than halfway over, according to the actuary tables, at least. Do I want to go out sitting in a wide-bottomed cushy chair, remembering all the fabulous things I've done in my life, but really unable to replicate any of them? Or do I want to go out the way I lived when I was happiest? Maybe a few broken bones here and there, and lots of grass stains, but with a grin firmly planted on my wrinkled face.
I know the answer to that question.
The odds are against my success. Most people who get to a BMI with the label "Severely Obese" are not able to permanently change their condition for the better. Over the years, I've lost and regained more pounds than most of you weigh to begin with. But I have to try, don't I?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I've started a Biggest Losers' Club. There will be lots of adventure to report in the weeks to come. And hopefully, those adventures will include at least 8 others who are temporarily handicapped by extra weight, but are game to start living life at its fullest. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Unfortunately, so does a journey of 100 yards. So, my friends, I'm asking for help: Please pray that my Team members and I can stay the course and meet our goals and achieve a permanent healthy lifestyle change.
I'm going to be posting some very embarrassing information about myself in this blog in the near future. So check back! I need the accountability.