the wall

i think i jumped the gun a little bit…  i think i thought the hard part was over…  i think i underestimated the challenges i had yet to face…  i was expecting there to be a wall…

there is no doubt about it, i have come long way.  it was hard-fought and required much discipline and self-control.  i have achieved a lot, am very proud of what i have done, am humbled that God gave me the grace to do it, and thankful for every person who has encouraged me along the way. but i have not yet arrived at my destination.  my goal was to lose 37 pounds, which gets me to a nice, round number on the scale.  i have lost 32.5 and have pretty much quit losing.  i’ve been rounding up to 35 pounds lost because i have fluctuated up and down by a pound or a pound and a half over the last two months.  but i’m not there yet.

now, i was worried.  i was afraid i was obsessing over a number on the scale.  i decided since i’m hovering at around this weight, it must be right for my body.  i decided it was ok to stop shy of my goal because it’s been pretty easy to maintain this and knew it would take another deep breath and round of dedicated discipline to drop those few more pounds.

i told my husband of this decision.  he looked at me doubtfully.

don’t misunderstand (like i did)…he was not disappointed that i was not a certain weight.  he doesn’t care about that.  however, he knew the goal i had set and was disappointed for me that i was not reaching it. my husband is great.  he is much better at seeing the big picture, down the road, what lies ahead kind of stuff.  after an emotionally charged conversation, we came to several important conclusions:

1.  if i don’t hit that magic number, arbitrary as it may be, i will always have that little, niggling voice in my head that is disappointed that i never quite got there.

2. i am afraid that i will not be able to succeed.  like i said, i’ve been hovering at this near-weight for awhile.  that fear has played a role in my giving up.

3. here’s my favorite one…remember the marathon.  i did a marathon several years ago and never had any clue that what i did to accomplish that would so often play out in my every day life.  a marathon is an arbitrary 26.2 miles (i know the reason it’s 26.2 miles, but still…rather arbitrary when it’s all said and done).  i trained for my marathon.  it was grueling.  the physical exertion was actually the easy part – it was the mental game that wore on me.  your body can handle a lot more than your brain gives it credit for.  if you can just overcome that stupid voice in your head that says you simply can’t go on, you can, in reality, go on.  the night before my marathon i attended a “carb fest” to load up for the big day.  there was an awesome speaker named john “the penguin” bingham.  he had some words of wisdom that were especially poignant for us first-timers.  they went something like this…

–  you will hit the wall.  the wall is real.  the wall will knock you down and stand looming over you, smirking.  the wall will seem completely insurmountable.  you will wonder why you ever began in the first place.  you will doubt your ability to take just one more step. want a visual of what it’s like?  here…watch dennis hit the wall on “run, fatboy, run.”  (a great movie, by the way):

–  you will encounter the “bite me” phase.  you will hate everyone.  someone on the sidelines will cheer for you and you will have an almost uncontrollable urge to shout, “Bite Me!” in response.  you will despise those around you.  you will look with disdain on those you pass and more so on those who are passing you.

–  you will come to the realization that you will finish the race.  you may have trained and trained and feel confident that you will finish, but at some point, you will actually know it with your entire being.  (this one was my favorite.  mile 20.  i knew i’d finish.  cried like a baby.)

–  never believe anyone when they say you’re almost there.  they are, bless their hearts, trying to make you feel better, but really they are NOT helping.  you will be able to see the finish line when you are almost there…

so after recalling these life-lessons from a marathon, i realized today that i have hit the wall.  i have given up on myself and have looked around to find myself all alone.  i am faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and was so blinded by it that i didn’t even realize it was there.  but now i see…

i see you, wall, and you’re going down.

you see, after my conversation with my beloved today, i realized that i’m at the 26-mile mark of my 26.2 mile race.  why would i quit when i am so close?  i can see the finish line.  it may seem an arbitrary place for the finish line, but there it is, none-the-less.  i made a decision to cross it, so far be it from me to walk off the course without completing it.  talk about anti-climactic!

today, i know with my entire being that i’m going to finish this race.


3 thoughts on “the wall

  1. What an amazing post, Suzi! I am very, very inspired by you. What wisdom. What fortitude. It takes guts and an amazing amount of courage to chronicle this for the world. I really admire you.

    And I love the insights about the marathon! I ran one several years ago, and what John Bingham said is true!! I even aimed a couple of explicits at one of volunteers at an orange/water station during the “bite me” stage. (I had to go back and find him and apologize afterwards…) 🙂 But those insights are so applicable to many struggles and walls that we face daily.

    I love using the analogy of walls while facing seemingly insurmountable things in our lives. I love to relate it to Jericho and Joshua and the people of Israel. Just go ahead and shout, because the Lord has given you this city!

    Sorry for the long comment…

    Have a wonderful day,

  2. Pingback: An informal test… « journey

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