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I used to be a tomboy. I ran track, broke the soft ball throw and long jump record, and was MVP on the Junior Varsity volleyball team. It was a regular occurrence to see my name in the newspaper and my bedroom wall was decorated with ribbons and medals.

Then Life happened.

As a result of circumstance and poor choices, my drug addiction manifested itself among late night school parties and curfews being broken. Not much room for sports when getting loaded is an extra curricular activity.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I find myself back at another starting line.

Since leaving my life of debauchery, I’ve cleaned up my act, only to fall off the wagon again – and again – and again. I’ve recharged my batteries so many times, I should have a therapy punch card: “Buy ten sessions, your next issue is FREE.”

When we’re young and we make mistakes, we’re told it’s part of life’s lessons. We dust ourselves off and

forge ahead. As we get older, the lessons get harder, and much more difficult to shake off. But with increased responsibility come amazing rewards. The lessons may be harder, but what we take with them can be priceless.

Somewhere along the road from the drug addicted anorexic party girl, a middle aged, out of shape woman emerged. Once the star of the track field, now, a tired chubby gal who pants after climbing the stairs at work. But something inside me knows better. The same way I knew to walk away from stripping and leave my drug days behind, I am ready to own my health again. And every day I am reminded about how strong I am capable of being.

Although I’m no stranger to fitness, it’s been so long, I feel like such a newbie at the gym. I have little endurance right now and my muscles are weak. It’s inspiring when I see an elderly woman pedaling her heart out on the stationary bike next to me.

When I am walking, pedaling or pulling my weight at the rowing machine, I zone out. I take myself back to a place when on stage I was a fit, young woman with a stripper’s physique. Body parts didn’t sag and my belly was rock solid. With every step I see her – that gal with the stripper body – and I push myself a little harder.

This new workout routine has effected more than just my body; my attitude and self-esteem are being lifted as well. I actually had a friend tell me the other day, he could feel my spirit lifting. It’s amazing what a little change in our lifestyle can do.

We are all capable of pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones. Questioning our limits can be a rewarding and healthy experience. So why do some of us get stuck in a rut? For me, it was a perfect storm of not believing in myself, and ignoring my personal issues. The trick is to just start. Right now. Today. Whatever we want to accomplish, it all starts with the descision to try.

With my foot issues (after dancing in 6″ heels for ten years), I may never be a track or volleyball star again – but that’s not going to stop me from kicking ass on the playing field of life.

So tell me – what motivates and inspires you to push yourself beyond your comfort zones?

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“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

6 comments

  1. One of my best friends is 51 and just released his first solo album. And it rocks! I mean really, really rocks. It's never too late! You go, gurrrrrrrrrl!!

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  2. For me it is innate… I don't know 'what' makes me push but I simply do… I know my Mom had me think I could do and be anything that I set my mind to… but other than that, there isn't anything 'driving' me other than a belief in myself and that I will get wherever I am going..!

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  3. That's cool. I have been on a sloooooww road to try and regain. I'm not over weight or anything but I just want to feel better and from my days of youth and being in shape, it seems like it was just yesterday but hiking reminds me of how far I have to go. xo

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  4. Just writing this and being honest is half the battle. If you are ready to shed the "skin" that has been your protection for the last decade, it will happen. You are SO ready for it, I can tell. What motivates me to keep in the game? Really, besides the fact that I feel like crap when I don't exercise and eat right, it is just part of my routine. Like brushing my teeth…there is no option to not go to the gym. Is that Psycho or normal???

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  5. @Mike – Thanks, friend! @Mark – I love your attitude! @BamaTrav – I love to hike. It's one of my favorite ways of getting out there. Good for you! @Dalai Lina – Not psycho at all! Thanks for the comment – I really appreciate your input and opinion. You're right – I am SO ready and loving it!

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  6. If you ever need a hiking buddy, you know where to find me. 🙂 I was motivated to start running after a bad breakup. Now I struggle to find the motivation but sometimes looking in the mirror helps push it. Like you, I think of my old body and wish I could get it back. And so I try…

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