It was a normal Wednesday evening. I was at the track at a local community college for the TNT track practice. I was looking forward to getting in a good workout, and had vowed, once again, that I was going to try to find time in my busy schedule to do the OYO workouts. I’d been really bad about going on my own (OYO) to walk, mostly because the walking became painful/uncomfortable very quickly. I had also spent the weekend “regrouping” after feeling down about my weightloss, TNT practice, and life in general.
I was raring to go, warmed up by going around the track 3 times (3/4 of a mile) with virtually no pain, and just joined the group to listen to the coach’s “game plan” for the evening. She mentioned that tonight she had “fun” idea. We’d be competing in relay races.
What? Ugh. This was probably the worst thing I could’ve heard. I’m the slowest one on the team, and I knew that any relay group would suffer if I was part of their team. This brought up all those feelings of not being good enough that I’ve been feeling lately in regards to my training.
And at that point, I decided to give up. I wasn’t even going to try. I felt empowered in a way, deciding not to put myself through something that would be humiliating. I knew that no one else on the team would make me feel bad. No, I could do that all by myself, and I didn’t want to go through that.
As everyone else on the team listened on to the coach’s directions, I went up to our Team Manager, Kelly, whom I’ve always felt an instant connection with. I think it’s her open, friendly personality and the fact that she’s always the first one to praise someone for being a “rockstar” when it comes to fundraising. No matter how many feelings of failure I’ve had in regards to my physical abilities, Kelly has always made me feel wonderful in terms of my fundraising.
So, I walked up to Kelly and told her I was going home because I had a terrible headache. (This was true, I had been fighting a headache all day). She asked me if I was doing alright, and then the floodgates opened. Tears filled my eyes and I rambled on about how hard I was finding the practices, how I hated being the last person to finish, how difficult it had been for me to find a fuel belt that fit, and how overwhelmed I felt. She said that TNT wasn’t competitive, and that no one was paying attention to when I was finishing. She said that she’s been to the Saturday walks, and she knows that I’m not the last person finishing. I told her that while I’m sure that was true, I still felt like I was, and that it was really affecting me. She asked me what she could do to help, and I told her I didn’t know. Then she said, “you know what, from now on, I’ll walk with you.” I asked if this was ok, since I’m sure she had other duties, and she said she’d love to. Then she looked in my eyes and said, “you know, it’s difficult for me to see someone like you, someone so strong, feel as if she can’t do this. You have no idea of what you’re capable of.” It made me feel better, but it also made me get really emotional.
As I walked off the track, I was fully crying, both from the emotional release of telling someone how I was feeling and knowing that someone cared enough to walk with me. I was so grateful, because part of the problem with being the last one walking on the Saturday walks is that there is no one around me at all. I’m left completely alone with myself, in pain, and feeling like I can’t do this. Walking along with someone would definitely help take my mind off everything.
And for once, I left the track practice looking forward to the walk on Saturday.