And I'll get to that in a minute.
September quickly approached and the list I was creating of things to accomplish in order to pull off this triathlon thing was getting interesting.
1) Be able to run a 5k. Check.
2) Start biking. Check.
3) Begin to weight train so I would drop more weight. The scale hadn't budged since May.
4) Learn how to swim. Um, yeah. I could doggie paddle and float on my back, but that put your face in the water and breathe thing...no clue how to make THAT happen.
5) Get gear. No idea what I'd need. I'd read a book about running over the summer and figured I should get some running shoes at some point. I had no idea how to pick them out. I'd have to figure that out.
And a swimsuit. Oh joy. That got me really excited.
Charis and I had been talking about which triathlon we were going to do and I encountered my first serious hurdle. Now, I mentioned that she was much fitter than I. She had it in her head to do the Lifetime Triathlon.
Here's what I had in my head when she said that -um, NO!
I was thinking that one of the ALL-WOMEN triathlons I'd read about would be great. No men = no intimidation for me. Besides, these women only events seemed like they'd have such a friendly feel. They even have angel/noodle swimmers in the water to cheer you along if your struggling with the swim. Some have a designated last place finisher, so no one finishes last! That was my idea of a nice, comfortable triathlon experience.
I lucked out. Charis decided that the Lifetime Triathlon was a little spendy (and it is). We continued dialoging about exactly which one we'd do. We had time yet to register. And in the meantime, I continued to think about my list...
I started calling around about swimming lessons. I didn't know much about working with weights.
I started to do my research. When I say research, what I mean is, I began to Google.
Should I get some DVDs? I could. I was motivated enough to do this stuff on my own. But, as I thought about it I was really concerned about hurting myself. Considering my size and the fact that I'd never had much personal instruction with free weights I knew that my chances of injury might be greater than not. I wasn't convinced that I'd be the most efficient and accurate about form if I was getting my instruction from someone I couldn't interact with.
Well, o.k., maybe a health club then? Somewhere like Lifetime or the Y or LA Fitness. If I went there I'd have to pay the monthly fee and pay a trainer to get me going. I wasn't excited about maneuvering through the health club scene. I was really self-conscious about my body and lack of knowledge related to health and fitness. I didn't want to be bound to a health club forever either to stay in shape. I really wanted to know how to do what needed to be done at home, on my own. I wanted this to be a lifestyle change for a lifetime.
So, I looked into having a trainer come to my home. Whew. Yeah. Expensive. Any of the female trainers I found lived quite far from me too and would likely charge a fee for the drive. The website for one close enough to me looked a little too glossy, and tan. Yep, glossy and tan. You know exactly what I mean when I say that, don't you?! Was not and still am not aspiring to glossy and tan.
I looked into training gyms. I'd read about gyms where you go and you pay more of a premium to have a trainer available to work with you when you're there. None of the gyms I found had hours that would match my childcare and they were quite a distance from me too.
I kept thinking and praying on it.
I was on my way home from the chiropractor one day. As I headed down a major highway close to home I spotted it. A Honda Element with a logo on the window. HOMFIT. Wait a minute! I think I visited that website. I couldn't figure out what area they covered. They must come this far 'cause, well, here they are!
I went straight to the computer when I got home and sent them an email. I set up an appointment with Michael to come and pitch me their program. He came out to my house and he was really great, polite, professional. I knew that they would help me get where I wanted to go. So, I told him to sign me up with a female trainer 3 mornings a week. Here's the thing, they didn't have a female trainer available during the times I needed. But, they did have 2 different men that would be able to fill the spots. Mark could come on Mondays and Wednesdays and Paul could come on Fridays.
This is where things get interesting...
When I checked the website to send my email, I made sure that they had female trainers. I did NOT want to work out with a man!!! I stated my preference for a female trainer in my email. There are a variety of reasons for this. Beyond the obvious of not feeling exactly self-confident about my body and getting sweaty and gross in front of one, the thought of really interacting with a man on a regular basis genuinely scared me.
Here I was, 3 years out of an abusive marriage, I was getting pretty comfortable and confident about the "just me and God doing life togther" thing. I loved it actually. I did not relate to my single friends that desired relationships with men-at all-I sure didn't desire that! I still didn't trust my friends' husbands. Whenever a friend was helping me with something or we were out having fun I'd worry that she'd get in trouble when she went home. I just really had a hard time fathoming a relationship with a man that didn't involve a good deal of tip-toeing, pain and hurt. The presence of a man made me feel degraded, who wants that?
The thing is, something had happened over the summer.
I was sitting on my bed. I remember that it was a beautiful, sunshiney day and I was very happy. I had my Bible open in front of me and had been spending some wonderful time with the Lord. I felt restful and peaceful and I was very conscious of the movement of my heart. Out it came, "I don't need a man."
Wow. The pricking of the Spirit came quickly on its heals! You see, this wasn't just an observatory thought. This was a proclamation that came from a haughty and insecure place. "What exactly are you saying, dear one? Do you know my plans for you? Is that an open-handed, surrendered thing to say? Don't make agreements with the enemy." Gently He said, "I alone know the plans I have for you." Gulp. Didn't I want what God wanted for my life? I did! What if that involved a man at some point? Gulp again. "Really, God, you could do that couldn't you? Could you heal me enough to bring me to that place? If that's what you have for me, Lord, I'm going to lay it down. I want to stay open to everything you have for me. Your plan for my life has been beautiful so far, help me to remember that."
But, if I had to interact with a man, my protective "you don't have to go there and think about the existence of men and how they can hurt you" bubble might burst.
So, not only would I not be getting a female trainer, but the man I'd already met wasn't available! The only option available was not just one man either, but two!
I told Michael I'd need to pray about it. I did pray about it-for a whole week. In the end, I remembered...