Persevere

6

So today I decided to test the magical ring I bought from EndorphinWarrior.com by going on a bicycle ride with daughter #2.  Magical ring?  Let me explain. 

I am a morbidly obese mother of four.  In my mind, I am still 135 pounds and unstoppable.  In reality, by body is in ruins.  I have chronic pain and crepitation in many of my joints and more “Mom stripes” (aka; stretch marks) than a pack of zebra on the Serengeti. I have come to realize a lot of things recently.  One of which is that just because I buy something doesn’t mean it’s going to magically start working.  I have purchased many “weight loss” items over the last 20 years.  Diet pills, memberships to gyms and weight loss groups, books, DVD’s, exercise equipment, food, shoes, clothes, etc.  It took 20 years for my epiphany.  I actually have to USE  these items or they don’t work!  They are simply tools in my shop.  I actually have to pick them up and use them in order for them to do their job.

Like so many other people, I was moved to tears and inspired by the Arthur Boorman video that went viral ( http://youtu.be/qX9FSZJu448 ).  Here was someone who was ready to lay down and wait for death, but instead found a means to survive.  We had things in common.  Both of us are veterans.  Both of us were/are overweight.  Both of us were/are depressed. Both of us struggled with injuries. Both of us are every day people.  He struggled.  He faltered.  He fell…but he got back up.  He fought for himself.  If he could do it, so could I!.  I went to the DDPyoga.com website and bought the Max Pack.  I could not wait for it to arrive!  I was going to be the next miracle!  I would be skinny and lean and awesome again!

The DVD’s arrived…I ran into my bedroom and opened the box, because I was too embarrassed to let my family know that I had purchased a weight loss/workout DVD (This would mean there were people in my home who knew about it and would hold me accountable).  I looked at the DVD’s and poster like a kid on Christmas morning.  I would start my life changing metamorphosis tomorrow!  I hid the poster and DVD’s under some clothes on my dresser so no one would see them.

Here we are…almost nine months later, and the DVD’s are still in their package…on my dresser. They haven’t performed their miracle yet…but that’s my fault. So…how does this all tie into the magical ring? I’m glad you asked.

As I said before, I went on EndorphinWarrior.com and ordered a ring for myself. It says PERSEVERE. I bought it in the largest size they carry which is a 10.0 it fits on the middle finger of my right hand. I put this magical ring on this morning, and nothing happened…no miracle.

Daughter #2 has cheer camp this week and due to my DH’s possible work schedule, she will not have a ride to get there. I had to come up with an alternate solution to this problem because I’ve already paid for cheer camp and it is one of the things that daughter #2 has her heart set on doing this summer. This is because tryouts are just around the corner for our city’s competitive cheer team. So, since daughter #2 is almost 14 years old…I figure it’s probably time I let her spread her wings a little. We live in a decent enough city and I found a route she can take that will allow her to be on sidewalks the entire time. I know, I know…a 13 year old and I’m making her ride her bike on the sidewalk? I like her! I want to keep her safe!

Anyway, in order for me not to have a panic attack, I figured it’d be a good idea to make the trip with her today. This way she could practice getting there and back and also practice locking up her bike for the first time. So, my DH got our bicycles down and off we went.

Now…I know I’m out of shape, but this is bicycling! I’m not having to run or walk, so my back won’t hurt. This is a good thing! Um, yeah. What I failed to remember is that my body would still have to do the actual work of moving the bike! I was good for the first five minutes…then the burning started in my Sartorius and Vastus Medialis (sorry had to put my college education to use! LOL! Ok, the muscles on the inside of my knee that run from the inside of my knee to the outside of my hip and along the inside of my thighs). OMG!!!! How could this be happening I asked myself. “DUH! LACTIC ACID IS BUILDING UP IN YOUR MUSCLES BECAUSE YOU NEVER USE THEM!” screamed my brain.

We made it to the park district building…with my thighs screaming in protest. As fast as I could, I hopped off my bicycle, put down the kick stand and collapsed onto the retaining wall bricks next to the bicycle rack. I started vigorously rubbing my thighs and flexing my feet in the hopes of deterring the charley horse cramps that were sure to follow. Daughter #2 asked if I was okay and after panting out a “Yep, just fine!” a little too overenthusiastically she gave me a weird look and put her bicycle in the rack.

I taught her how to lock it up from the retaining wall, and after she did, she was ready to go back home. I, on the other hand…was not. I was still panting…and hurting and conjuring up my inevitable failure of completing my ride home. I convinced daughter #2 to “practice” locking and unlocking her bike for about five minutes to buy myself some time. Finally she said “Quit stalling mom! I want to see if I can find my way home!”. I conceded defeat, and dragged myself up and realized I had sat on gum. My daughter started laughing, and I proceeded to try and reach around my body to remove the offensive blob of white gum on my brand new, black shorts.

After pulling off as much as possible and my daughter catching her breath from laughing so hard that she was doubled over, I begrudgingly climbed onto my bicycle. Ten minutes later, we were halfway home I was done. My mind was fraught with excuses on why I could and should stop. I was in pain. It was HARD! My legs were burning. My breathing was labored. I was sweating! My hands and arms hurt from the weight I was putting on them (did I mention I have tendonitis in my right elbow and a ganglion cyst on in inside of my left wrist?).

As I looked down at my hands…I saw the ring. The magical ring. It made me do something I didn’t think I could or didn’t want to do. It reminded me to PERSEVERE! With every pedal turn of the bicycle, I realized I was that much closer to home. I couldn’t give up…I’d been doing that to myself for years. If I could just make it the last few blocks. When I made it up the last hill, it was just a matter of not stopping. No more hills I reminded myself…almost there. We turned the corner and I could see our house. “Pedal” I told myself. “Just keep pedaling”. It’s not a race I reminded myself. I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t have the will power to start again, so I PERSEVERED! I didn’t stop pedaling until I was a block from home. I coasted the rest of the way with my legs on fire as they rested.

I pulled into my driveway with daughter #2 waiting for me. “Nice job Mom! You did it!” she said then held her hands up for a high five. In that moment I realized I had done it. I actually had made it! I didn’t quit on myself or let myself give up! She was proud of me, but more importantly I was proud of me!

Now…here I sit…painfully I might add…and realize that I just rode my bicycle for 1.57 miles…each way. Holy shit! I just rode my bike for 3.14 miles! The best part is I didn’t die! I did it!

I looked down at that ring again and realized that a simple piece of metal, gave me the strength I needed to do what I though was impossible. That ring is magic…it reminded me not to give up…not to quit…to persevere.

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