I'm reading this book my friend gave me called, "Becoming an Ironman". Super awesome book. It's short stories from people who have done an IM and what they went through to get to it. Stories like "I began to cry the last 500 meters. The end was so overwhelming - the feelings that have been numbed by training and racing catch up to you." And "I was sure I was in HELL. All I needed was someone to drip water drops on my head and shine a bright light in my eyes. It was no fun." Stories that encourage me, and make me wonder why am I really doing this.
I train alone alot and that leaves time for me to get to know myself - maybe too much. In the beginning, when I first started this process I thought my reason for doing IM was different. Or, maybe it's just evolved - I don't know but it's bigger now and much deeper. So much deeper that I think it's time for me to "come out of the closet" and share some of who I really am. It just so happens that my diary is read by you... This is important because these things hold me back from being who I really am. I live in secrets and in shame. I just don't have the energy to hold on to all this crap anymore. Now, as you read this please note that to you it's probably not a big deal and heck, your story might be similar but I've hidden from it and pushed it down for so many years that now, when I think about getting it off my chest it feels like just yesterday.
I've tossed out pieces of myself throughout the 8 or so months I've been writing. I was running yesterday and felt like it was time to share all of it and just be free...I'm so ready to be free!!
I grew up in a combined family, like most I think. I went from being an only child to suddenly the youngest of four and I was pretty okay with that. I liked having a sister and brothers....but they were not too thrilled with me. I was 7 then. By the time I started 9th grade things started to go south for me. The typical teen who hated her parents and her life and school where everyday was a challenge just to not get beat up or made fun of. I was quiet and never had friends. This was a new school and my siblings had all gone off to college so I lived with my Grandmother and parents...a house full of fun I thought. My entire life changed in one day...one class...one moment when I decided to skip math because I was too scared to walk in late and have the entire class turn and look to see who walked in after the bell rang...I will never forget how I felt that day and will regret nearly everyday after for the following 10 plus.
I found some kids who did pick me that day...they picked me to smoke some pot and cigarettes and at that moment I was scared and happy at the same time. I was making friends and loved it. At the same time I had met a gal named Lori in church. Oh yeah, it was church morning, noon and night at my house. Anyway, I'll cut to the juicy stuff here. I was now a full fledged smoker, pothead and Lori and I started sneaking out at night to meet and party with whoever would take us. To this day I don't know how we didn't get seriously hurt. I tried to run off with my parents car once but the e-brake was broken and I didn't know how to get it undone...
Months of pot quickly turned to meth and drinking and lots of trouble. I new I was addicted to meth when I would buy it and not tell my friends because I didn't want to share. I think the longest I stayed up was a weekend on acid, meth and some coke sprinkled in my joint.
Maybe you wonder what about school? Well, I got kicked out and sent to an alternative school where I got kicked out of that too. My highest high school education is 10th grade I think....I can't remember really. I got my GED in 92 or something but I'm getting ahead of myself here. At the same time I was getting kicked out of schools I was running away from home too. My parents wouldn't see me for days until I finally ran away for 3 years without a trace or a word, letter or phone call. It never bothered me to sneak out the window at night and be gone for a weekend. They nailed my window shut so I started leaving through the front door and actually appreciated how much easier it was that way.
Three years of hell and shame that I have hidden and tried to forget. Drugs, Yukon Jack, and some homelessness change a person. I didn't trust myself anymore and I didn't trust anyone around me either.
My lowest point was giving myself up for a shower. My life was in a grocery bag, I had a dollar to my name and it was in dimes and I had nobody to call...nowhere to go and more than anything I wanted to take a shower...I got into a car with three grown men who promised they would help me. How naive and how angry I am for believing them....
So this story is getting pretty long so I'll finish tomorrow. It's about feeling good enough on my own...it's about seeing myself today for who I really am and being okay with how I got here. It's about forgiving and letting go and realizing that I cannot hold the weight of this anymore. I already feel free and clean and better and I've just scratched the surface....