Looking back for motivation

In some of my ponderings and reminiscings while wallowing in my self pity pool last week, I came upon a memory that at first worried me and then reset my resolve a bit.

I had kind of been concerned about losing fitness because I didn’t know how long I was going to be off  while the eggplant at the end of my foot healed.  To set this up a bit, one of my other hobbies is midieval re-inactment with a group called the SCA.  I was at an event with my previous group about 4 months before I moved to Columbia.  We were setting up for the event and I was carrying a 30 pound bale of rope used to mark off the area we fight in (yes, I put on armor and hit my friends with sticks… it’s great!).  As I was walking around unrolling this rope, I realized that I was becoming very winded and there was this odd noise coming from my lungs that was quite similar to a dog’s squeaky toy when I exhaled.  To the point that the guy helping me laughed at first but then stopped and said “Whoa…  Are you OK?”  because he said I was red faced and looked like I was about to pass out.

Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, this was a defining moment for me.  That memory stuck with me, and even though I can’t point to it as THE reason I finally committed to losing weight and getting back in shape, it certainly was a silent motivator.

The reason this all came back up was that I was laying on the couch with my eggplant elevated because I had just come back from an SCA event here in Columbia.  I was thinking about the day when a random memory came to me of helping a couple of people carry a big picnic table to another area.  It was big enough that it took 4 of us to carry and we were moving it about 75 yards.  Once we got it where it was supposed to go, all three of the other guys immediately sat down on it, breathing hard and with that same “squeaky toy” exhale.  I, on the other hand, immediately went over and picked up a case of water to move to another area, not even the slightest bit tired.  They all glared at me as I wandered off, and this look was not lost on me.  I knew how they felt because I was there once.  And even though I feel great now, I will never forget that feeling.  It was very uncomfortable and more than a bit embarrassing for me at the time.

I guess I look for motivation where I can find it.  I know that what I am doing is helping me, but sometimes I take where I am for granted.  This just reminded me of where I was and how easy it could be for me to be there still.  Yes, it is hard to lose weight and get in shape.  No, it hasn’t come as easy as I had hoped.  Yes, I still have a long way to go.  But… Little memories like this just serve to mark my progress and push me along down the road another mile or two.

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