Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stripped Down

Wow its been awhile since i last sent my thoughts out into the blogging world. I was not feeling inclined to speak my mind or talk about anything. I didn't feel like I had anything of significance to express. But whether or not you read this post, I wanted to send my words out there, to hopefully help someone realize what I have realized about myself within the last 2 months of my life. So deciding to come back today is perfect timing. Writing has always been my way to express myself. Sometimes I am not the best on the phone, or even sometimes in social situations I like to listen and take in what I learn from others. I do not find myself voicing myself very much. When I am sitting here in this moment listening to my inner voice, I feel empowered to express myself. So here is my story and I hope that you read it, and truly know that this is coming from my heart and I am going to be as real and authentic as I know I am.

I have always known a finish line. To me a finish line represents accomplishment, hard work, a rush that is indescribable, and a feeling of being quite proud. My Dad taught me at an early age that running was a great hobby, he himself running 16 marathons and almost qualifying for the olympics. I really looked up to him. I had always played school sports, such as basketball and soccer and was not the star player by any means. Actually I sucked. I was always the 8th or 9th man off the bench, so I was used to all my peers shining over me. When I graduated from high school, my brother and Dad talked me into running a marathon. 1 marathon turned into 2 marathons, and I quickly realized that not only could I run a marathon but I was a pretty fast runner. I qualified for Boston after my 3rd marathon and continued to feed into that feeling of accomplishment. (now you are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this, but I promise i will get to the point) I felt like these races and these accomplishments gave me my identity. My Dad would tell everyone how proud of his daughter he was, and It felt good. I started to feel like the only way my Dad would be proud is if I kept doing these races, but each race I did I was slowly dying inside. After awhile marathons became a bit boring, I didn't quite get the same feeling I used to get when running so I began to look for another way to prove to myself that I was strong. I started teaching spin classes at the gym, and fell in love with biking. I wanted to do the next biggest and best thing out there, so once again my accomplishments would continue to define me. I realized that not only was I a strong runner, but that I was a stronger cyclist. So I opted to register myself for the longest one day sanctioned bike ride in the United States. LOTOJA 206 miles of 17000 feet gain in elevation throughout the day. Well I not only did this, but I did this 3 times after. I was feeling high on life and soon realized well there must be more that I can do. My ego was high on life, and I must admit I thought I was pretty cool. Fast forward June 2009. At this point in my life, I had failed miserably from relationships, feeling very unworthy of love. Never vulnerable, and always feeling like I had to hold up the "I am strong card" The guys in my life couldn't keep up with me. And now looking back, I don't know how they did for as long as they did. I fell in love, and I lost him and so I started to beat myself up. Thoughts came into play "Maybe I needed to prove myself more that I am worthy of love," "What did I do to drive him away, am I not good enough" So going back to June It was time to sign up for what I saw in my mind the biggest race I could ever do in my lifetime. IRONMAN St. George, now if you don't know what an Ironman consist of it is 2.1 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 marathon. If I proved that I could cross that finish line, maybe I could prove to myself again that I am capable of being loved, and that someone must see that in me. (Which come to find out, it was the lack of self love I had, and I was only telling myself that I was unworthy of love. Nobody else was telling me this) So I signed up. I started my journey of Ironman training in November 2009. I started off with a ton of momentum, feeing great. I even did my workout late at night on New Years Eve thinking to myself, I am awesome! Everyone else is out partying and I am running. "I'm cool" right? No......

I have always loved yoga. It has been a huge part of my life, now to the point where I teach it daily, practice it a ton more, and It is a safe place for me. So while In this Ironman training process I decided since yoga has been a huge part of my life that I would enroll myself into a certification that would soon transform my thoughts and my help transform my life. So in all this I was trying to balance work, yoga, and 4 hours of training a day for this Ironman, and started to feel very overwhelmed with life. I would get mad at myself when I was feeling frustrated, because I am strong right? I can handle anything. No need to back down, and no need to ever feel vulnerable. Needless to say I became depressed. I started skipping out on workouts, hating my runs, and to be quite honest at rock bottom in my life. I was digging myself into a dark tunnel, and I felt completely out of touch with my life. I toyed with the idea of backing out of the race, but decided not to because I was afraid of what others thought. (when come to find out, they don't care as much as you think) I went out on a 12 mile run and decided that I was going to do it anyways despite what i was feeling. The first time in 10 years where I had to stop and walk. (this is NOT in my character) The kids on the school bus where pointing at me, and I felt like they were mocking me for my weakness, when in reality that was in my mind. People walking their dogs were passing me. I felt completely defeated. I went home and just cried. A few days later I was sitting in class, still beating myself up about my training, and way too tired to think or pay attention. I was listening in on a discussion half heartedly when I had my "awakening" or "aha" moment if I must say. This person who spoke to me this day will never understand what they did for me. When this person started to tell their story, I immedietly connected to it, and realized that her story was for me to hear that day. She expressed that she had gone through the similar torture that I went through, that she fell out of touch with her body and even though they looked good on the outside, internally she was completely out of connection with her body. For some reason those words hit me like a ton of bricks, and I knew in a matter of 10 seconds what I needed to do. I told myself that I am done torturing myself, and that I am done proving myself, and that I am worthy of love. I had no idea how to love myself, I only knew a finish line and to me that was my identity. So I was going to try and love myself with out all that glamour. I pulled out of the Ironman, losing a ton of money. But in the end gaining more then money can buy. I was set free, I was bound to this identity. I have never felt so empowered. Right now I am learning to love myself again completely stripped down of my expectations. Taking myself off of that pedastal that I wanted to place myself on, and stepping below it was the greatest feeling I have ever felt. I am learning that when I am stripped down to nothing, all those thoughts of me only having an identity attached to a finish line are just false. I am learning that I am powerful just being me. That I can move mountains, without climbing one on my bike or in my running shoes. I am the stripped down Abbey, and right now I feel naked without it all, but it is a better feeling than having the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am worthy of all the awesomeness that will come my way, and I will fail at times because I am human. i will be vulnerable, because it is alright not to always be the strong one. I am grateful because I have had that realization. I am powerful because at times I have felt powerless. Thank you to that person for helping me see that. I am going to carry on, and remember when I am being too hard on myself that its not reality. I am going to just bring what I am able every day, and if its just that I love myself, and others then that is all that matters. Filling my life with abundance by giving others the same. To me a finish line represents so much more then i can express, to me it represents an awesome journey to self fulfillment.
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