My work gave us the option of getting health risk assessments done a few weeks ago. Basically, they took our blood to test our cholesterol, tested our blood pressure and body fat percentage, calculated our BMI and had us fill out pages and pages of questions on our lifestyles. When all is said and done, a health coach is supposed to contact us to talk about our results and – if we want – to guide us through our journey to better health.
I participated in this despite the fact that I knew what the coach would say (“You’re too fat!”)…first of all, I was intrigued. I’d never had my cholesterol tested before and wanted to know more about that. But secondly, this qualifies for my “safety” goal at work, so I figured I’d knock it out. I got my results in the mail last week and everything tested out normal, except – surprise – I’m too fat!
My weight is a touchy subject, and not the point of this post at all. It’s taken me years to get to a place where I’m okay with how I look…and a lot of times, I’m still not okay with it. Regardless, I brushed the “too fat” comment off (and for what it’s worth, no one actually said the words “too” or “fat” to me) and agreed to be coached. I got the phone call from the health coach about 30 minutes ago while I was sitting at my desk at work. When the woman on the phone identified herself and said she was calling because I’d expressed an interest in being coached, I immediately knew what I was “supposed” to say. And the second she asked the magic question, “What is your goal?” I had my answer – the “right” answer – all ready for her.
“Well, I’d like to lose weight.”
“Really?” She replied. And silence.
Now what? She didn’t start in with the spiel on how it was a great goal because I’m too fat. So I did what I do best when I get nervous. I started blabbering on and on with no direction. Somewhere in there I mentioned training for a marathon and maybe losing weight isn’t really the main goal I had in mind.
“Wait. What race are you training for?”
“New York. But this will be my second marathon.”
After she expressed her excitement with that (and there was some squealing…and yes, it may have been me squealing) and told me how she’d run four in the past, we got down to business. When she asked me how I fuel during my long runs I admitted that I’m only using gels right now but planned on adding in some pretzels due to the fact that I can’t stomach the sugary gels after hours and hours of taking them in…I’m just that slow. We continue our conversation and she eventually asks me how fast I’m running right now, considering I’d mentioned that I’m slow.
“I averaged just over a 14 minute mile on Saturday.”
“Wow. That IS slow.”
Cue the sound of my heart breaking, my hopes and dreams being crushed, the wind being sucked out of my sails. I know this. It’s not breaking news. I’d just finished talking to my co-workers about my slowness…but none of them had said those words to me. NO ONE has ever said these words to me. She continued with “What kind of speedwork are you doing?”
“None,” I said. “My coaches suggested I lay off of it since I’ve been injured since Christmas.”
And the subject is changed.
My goal is to finish. My goal has always been to finish. If I do it in 14 minute miles, that’s awesome….but I’m not going to kill myself trying to do it in 8 minute miles. I’m not going to take something that I like and enjoy doing and turn it into something that I dread. Yes, it’s work. It’s hard. It sucks knowing that I’m going to be out there for 6 hours working my ass off. But I enjoy those 6 hours. I like knowing that I went out and I did the best I could today and that I’ll do the best I can tomorrow. Maybe I’m not doing this coach’s best, or the hubs’s best, or my co-worker’s best….but I’m doing MY best.
I still think this woman is nice and she seems to know what she’s talking about. I’m supposed to send her my workout and food log for the past few days so we’ll see where that goes. And I’ll get faster…but I’ll get faster because I do…not because I’m not meeting someone else’s expectations of where I should be.
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