“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. -Anatole France
I wanted share an inspirational story today from a young lady I went to high school with named Heather. She recently finished her first IronMan race. If you think an IronMan is something someone just DOES one day, you are sorely mistaken. If you have ever competed in an IronMan, then I salute you. And I must ask you “Are you nuts?!” Ha!
This is just her short “recap” of what the race was like, but I found myself in tears at the end of it. Although it doesn’t relate to a figure competition directly, you can see the parallels of it with regards to Heather’s training and the mental fortitude she needed on race day. We shared similar messages this entire time via Facebook and her blog posts seemed to echo mine sometimes that I felt like we were sharing the same brain.
Please click the link and enjoy Heather’s journey. Congratulation again on being an IronMan Heather!!
My Mom was my biggest fan. You can see how she commented on quite a few of my posts and was my photographer for my progress pics. She was very supportive of my endeavors and always found an opportunity to say “I’m so proud of you honey!”
Although I know she probably cringed as I became the Tupperware queen as I would leave some of my empty containers all around the kitchen, she did express to me many times how she loved that I cooked and prepared all my meals. “There’s my cooking daughter, cooking up a storm in there!” she would say.
These last few weeks of my mother’s life were especially difficult. She knew her health was deteriorating and although she said she was trying to remain positive, I think she knew something was terribly wrong. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings and the horrible things that happened, I’m trying to remind myself of all the good things that took place, especially these last three months. I can’t help but smile a little as I reflect on them today:
– I was able to make my Mom some delicious smoothies every morning, some of which she said “This is the BEST one yet!”
– When I would come home from the grocery store with food from my meal plan from my nutrition coach, she actually asked if she could eat some of it too. It was such a joy to be able to cook for my Mom! The orange roughy I baked was her favorite by far.
– Wednesday night, just two days before she asked for hospice, she looked over at me and said “I’m tasting for something but I don’t know what…maybe some oatmeal. Do you have any oatmeal?” DO I HAVE OATMEAL?! I have a membership to Costco and stocked up on the stuff, I HAVE Oatmeal Mom! 🙂 She wanted butter, milk and some sugar in it. I brought it over to her and apologized for not making it very “mushy” and instead it came out “watery.” But she gobbled it up anyways.
-Thursday night she asked for oatmeal again. “This time could you make it less watery?” I whipped up the butteriest, milkiest, sugariest oatmeal anyone could ask for. It was the last thing she ate. I was honored to do it.
-She was able to celebrate Fat Tuesday and have a paczki with my Aunt just a couple weeks ago. She told my aunt it was “The best time I’ve ever had!”
-I drove her to my nephews basketball game a few days later which would be the last time she was out of the house. And what a game! Triple Overtime and they won!
– The last thing I said to her before she passed was reading to her from her own book, “A Grandma’s Book” that was given to my nephews. It’s all about her. I read an excerpt from her “Favorite Things.” For those that didn’t know her, here are a few of them:
“I love my friends, I love my family, I love them more than life itself. I love hummingbirds, I love CHOCOLATE. Especially Lindt Truffles. I love Tote Bags, I have about 20 of them! …I love baking bread and giving it to my friends at holidays. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. I love when it’s thunderstorming outside and I’m safe and sound in my house.”
I know I’ve said it before but my Mom was simply the best that there ever was. Her smile was the biggest, her heart was the largest, her love was the greatest.
I had toyed with the idea of throwing in the towel on this competition. I even thought about giving up on eating healthy, on working out in general. But after talking to my sister and a few other folks, it’s pretty obvious Mom would be PISSED if I gave up. She’d especially feel guilty for being the REASON to give up.
So I’m back on it today. I started back on my meal plan a couple of days ago but today is the first full day of getting my habits back in line. It’s rough…but it’s not nearly as rough as she had it. I have to remind myself my Mom had quite a tumultuous 6 months. I try to live each day for her now. I only hope I can be a reflection of what she was like. I definitely have some big shoes to fill, I’m sure I will never fill them. But I will try to live each day with that bright smile on my face.