Make No Small Plans.
I have lived nearly my entire adult life in a world where my dreams eluded me. My desires were fantastical at best for a morbidly obese 20-year-old girl with multiple sclerosis.
I couldn’t even hold myself up or walk without a cane. To lose 100 lbs? To learn how to ballroom dance? To run a marathon? Nothing more than beautiful pipe dreams that helped me sleep when the pain was too much to handle.
My friend had a heart attack as we walked to class together in January 2008, and that moment changed my life forever. I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror and thought how easily that could have been me, nearly 300 lbs and passively letting life beat me down.
I gave myself a simple motto to start to live by:
You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be better than before.
It stopped being about the dress size I would never fit into, or the perfect partner I would never be able to attract. It was the stark realization that I was killing myself slowly with my bad habits and poor health.
It was the urgent revelation that I want to live.
I want to live well, and I deserve better than what I was giving myself. I owe it to myself to chase that dream with everything I’ve got — not just wait around passively for the MS to destroy me.
I decided to stop treating myself like a sick person, and not let myself take a shortcut unless there was no other choice.
Eight years later, here I am. Two months after my second half marathon, somewhere between 110–120 lbs under my highest weight.
Life has thrown me several curve balls in the past two months, and I spend most of my days feeling like I’m spinning my wheels in the mud, watching my dreams drift further and further from my grasp. These are the times I somehow manage to forget how far I’ve come and how much I have accomplished.
My ability to run has an expiry date, and I am acutely aware that on some unpredictable day, the other shoe is going to drop.
But not yet. Goal set: May 2017.
I still have enough of this decrepit body left to raise some real hell before I go down, and I am not going anywhere before I cross that 42.2K finish line.