Friday, August 21, 2009

If the shirt fits...wear it!

At the end of March, 2008, my then 24 y/o daughter and I walked a half marathon in Atlanta. The year prior she had run the whole thing and had a mountain top experience. The request of my participation with her for walking the half, along with the hefty registration fee, was my 2007 Christmas gift from her, which I gladly accepted (silently dreaded for fear I wouldn't be able to do it). I have always been fairly fit and a walker, even when my weight ballooned into the stratosphere, but I suspected 13.1 miles was going to be one long damn walk.

I determined to train (and lose weight of course, which I didn't and ended up walking it at about 218 pounds), and while I gave a cursory internet search for training schedules, I ended up just trying to walk more than I had been, increasing distance over the almost 4 months prior to the event. Not surprisingly my training fell short, and the longest training distance I walked by myself was about 7 miles (it felt SOOO much longer). But I could do that distance easily, and so gave it over to the universe when I got on the plane to fly to Atlanta 2 days before. My biggest fear was that I would embarrass her somehow, and I kept saying that to her over and over (in the months prior) until she finally told me to knock it off. She said she actually offended that I kept anticipating and expecting her disapproval! She was right, and I got the message loud and clear. Isn't it interesting what old hurts and unhealed pain can generate within us?

Anyway, I'm using too many words to get to the whole reason I'm writing about this experience. The bottom line is that we walked the whole half marathon distance, it was hard for the last 3 miles and excrutiating for the last one, but we did it (translate: I did it! I knew she could, not so sure about moi). It was great. After feeling totally nauseous for about an hour afterward, we had the biggest guilt free IHOP breakfast ever. I wasn't sore the next day or anything. I felt like a winner.

So here's the thing to which I've been inching...we got top notch, high quality shirts for this cotton tees from ING DIRECT, who sponsored this event. The largest size available was XL, which looked to be truly a smallish medium, but I digress. It's a great looking shirt, and I'd never been able to get it on because there were many more X's to my size than the shirt could accomodate. That is, until 3 weeks ago when on a whim prior to working out, I pulled it on, and it fit! Granted, it pulled fairly snugly around by belly, but not so much that I didn't decide to go for it and kept it on. Got a number of compliments on it and questions about the advertised event, and all I could do was say that it was tight around my hips. Shut Up Leslie, which is what most of the people who commented on the shirt said after my typical self denigration. So that was a good moment and quite gratifying. But I wasn't prompted to write about it until...

Yesterday, as I dressed to work out, there was the clean shirt tucked back in a drawer, and so I pulled it on an GUESS WHAT???!!! It slid right over my hips - no pulling at all. It fit. After 17 months, the half marathon shirt fits. Quite thrilling. A little reward that feels BIG!

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