At the start of cycling class, the instructor — Salina, announced the ride would be a consistent climb in zone three/four. Zone three/four is a nice pace. Your legs burn, your heart is pumping, you feel exhilarated, but you never really become taxed. In cycling, some rides are about intensity, some about hill climbing. If you enter zone eight with the tension cranked — you are riding hard.
Some days the goal is to really max yourself out and ride hard. Other days it’s about going the distance. The instructor sets the tone, however, everyone has different goals and are at different levels. Each day your body feels different which can alter your performance. Each day you want something more or less from the experience. So, today, about midway through class Salina asked, “What do you want today?” How fitting…I thought. When I got to class my mindset was to ride hard. I had even wrote a Facebook post saying “Ride hard or don’t ride at all.” In that moment I cranked another gear and brought it to another level. Instructors, trainers, they guide you, but it’s up to YOU to find the zone. Today, for me cycling class wasn’t about going the distance — it was about riding hard. My legs are heavy and burning and I feel good!
I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures...
Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!