A friend posted this article on facebook today, and I urge all of you 20-somethings to give it a read. I kind of skimmed the first couple, but the eleventh and final question was the one that really made me stop and think. At 29 years and 364 days, if I have accomplished just one thing, what would I want it to be?
I could give any number of answers:
- An apartment on the UWS, close to my beloved Trader Joe’s and Central Park
- An office of my very own (although I would also accept sharing it with one other person)
- An engagement ring on my finger (or at least on the way)
- Traveling to at least two new countries
But I think the biggest thing I’d like to see accomplished is a marathon. The ING New York City Marathon, to be exact.
When I was a kid, I was on my middle school’s track team. Don’t ask me why, because I hated running, and I wasn’t any good at it. It’s not like there were tryouts — they had to accept anyone who wanted to join — but looking back there was a reason I only ever participated in one relay. I usually just tossed a tiny ball down a very long field, and it never managed to get very far. I was out of shape, and didn’t care enough to do something about it.
It’s a miracle I ever passed high school gym. I refused to participate in anything that wasn’t a weight room day or badminton (which I was surprisingly adept at). If I kicked a soccer ball once, or hit just one tennis ball, my teacher gave me full participation points for the day. I flat out refused to swim or run the mile. Those physical fitness tests they made everyone do? I didn’t even try. That’s how little I cared. I was fat and lazy, but I didn’t want to see it.
In college I had to walk everywhere because our campus was so huge and lacked sufficient public transportation. The gym was free and I made an effort to actually use it. Not that often, but when I did go, I’d be there for hours. Half of that was probably spent waiting for a machine, but I digress. I ran outside on occasion, and made myself walk up Bascom Hill (the devil’s work, I swear) just to get in an extra workout. Instead of gaining the Freshman 15, I just kind of stayed where I was.
Still, I ate like shit and was overweight. I eventually found out that part of the reason I had such a hard time losing weight was due to medical issues, but that didn’t make me feel a whole lot better. Once my issue had been diagnosed, and I was told what things I could do to lessen the symptoms and maybe get some things under control, I failed to really try. I kind of continued on the same path, although I became slightly more conscious of what I put in my body. It was a small improvement, but it was an improvement nonetheless.
Things stayed like that for a long time. No gaining, no waning. Just stagnant. And it sucked.
Skip ahead to 2012. My little sister was in a similar situation, and has since turned her life around. She’s been my greatest source of inspiration, and in turn has helped get me on track. After seeing her lose weight and get healthy, and turn the rest of my family into health nuts, I was ready to make a change. So I tossed everything in my pantry and started from scratch. I joined a gym. I already loved to cook, but I was finally making things that were healthy. And eventually I saw those numbers on the treadmill push over a mile. Then two.
A year later and I’ve lost 40 pounds and I’m running 5Ks. I do yoga. I like going to the gym. I buy groupon deals for fitness classes. When fall rolls around, I plan on hiking upstate.
Thanks to my sister, I turned my life around.
But I’m not done, not by a long shot. Next year I’d like to be able to run a 10k. Maybe a half-marathon. Lose another 20-30 pounds.
And someday, I want to run the New York City Marathon. I want to be able to run across that finish line and look back at that pudgy little girl who couldn’t even run the hundred meter dash and tell her that someday things will be different. That it’s possible to make a change if you really put your mind to it. That I did, and I came out victorious.
That is where I want to be at 29 years and 364 days.