The blue rubber ball came rolling towards home plate, where I stood awaiting its arrival. With a few quick steps, I kicked it has hard as I could and turned towards first base. I dug my feet into the dirt and ran hard, trying to beat the throw.
As I ran, I felt my right quad strain.
Son of a bitch, I thought as I stood on the base. The next kicker was out number three on a pop fly to second and I limped my way to the outfield.
“Is your leg ok?” asked one of my teammates.
“I’m cool,” I replied with a smile. I wasn’t cool.
Somehow I managed to finish the scrimmage on Sunday night, but definitely wasn’t playing well.
The following morning I winced as I climbed out of bed. It felt like someone was holding onto my muscle, squeezing tight with no intention of letting it go.
No, no, no, I thought. I’ve been forced to forgo the majority of upper body workouts for months, thanks to a tear in my rotator. My legs are all I’ve got and I was determined not to make it worse.
After work on Monday night, I drove to my favorite park in the city. I stepped onto the pavement, took a deep breath and made long strides, stretching my legs as far as I could as I made my way through the three miles around the lake. I felt my muscles loosen and I could tell that while I had to be cautious, this was a salvageable situation if I didn’t push it too hard.
I woke up today, feeling looser, still with a slight twinge. I knew I made the right decision by taking it easy last night and made myself skip my work out tonight to be safe. What’s surprising, is that NOT exercising was really hard for me to do. Or not do. Or… whatever.
My point is that weight loss and fitness are extremely mental. (Thank you Captain Obvious! You’re welcome.) I thought it would get easier as I crept closer to my goal weight. But as I enter the home stretch, with 15-20 more pounds to go, I’ve hit a wall of frustration. I’ve been stuck at the same weight for three weeks and it’s been a struggle to keep focused. My confidence is shaken and I feel frozen, terrified of heading back in the wrong direction.
What I’ve learned is that the mental part of this process doesn’t “end.” I can look at before and after pictures while sitting here in size small shorts… yet when I look in the mirror I still see the fat girl I was. I look her in the eyes and try and find that fire she had to push herself harder than she ever thought she could go. I try to rediscover that unwavering determination, that heart.
Until then, I push forward to keep from falling down... trusting that I’m one good work out away from finding that resolve again.
Be well, friends.