I want to start my blog with explaining my title and giving some background about myself, “Success in Various Forms”. Graduating from college almost a year ago, I really have come to question the definition of success. Four years ago I would have told you success was going to college, graduating, making a significant amount of money, getting married, starting a family, and living Happily Ever After- Right!? However, after accomplishing graduating and not receiving a teaching position I’ve revaluated what success is.
Success=setting and achieving goals that are important to you as an individual.
My ultimate goal when I set off to college was to get a degree and help those in the inner cities of America. However, budget cuts and the economy when coming out of college put a damping on that. I couldn’t afford to live in the city, pay off my student loans, and not have a well paying job. Sadly, I moved home feeling defeated that God hadn’t opened up a door for me to stay in St. Louis, Mo (one of my favorite cities of all time!)
Upon moving home, I received a job with the local school district as a paraprofessional. It was great experience for my degree in Elm Education and Special Education. I also had been working hard on losing weight and eating right. School was over by 3:45 and I automatically jumped into classes with Eva Shurts, my personal trainer and great friend. My daily work schedule allowed me to put all I had into my training. I had started my weight loss journey at 226 and continued to fine tune it. Currently, I’m down 86 pounds and loving it. I’ve gained a new since of self appreciation and pride that I’ve lacked for many years. Many of you know that at the beginning of the year I was featured and Nike Women’s Spot Light. For those of you who want to know more details about that, here’s how it went.
Serg Eva Shurts told me about Nike Women’s facebook page where you submit a word describing yourself. I submitted, “I’m making myself Dynamic”. A couple of days later they contacted me saying they loved my word and wanted to know ‘how’ I was making myself ‘Dynamic’. The follow is what I submitted to them. I thought you all might want to read it…
[Many children are chunky when they're young. As children grow older, and become more active in school athletics, they tend to lose a lot of their weight. However, I didn't. One month after having to have my gallbladder out at age 11, I dislocated my right hip and had to have a pin and a screw put in. Being on crutches for a month and being completely immobile created poor habits. I began to watch TV. and eat. Two years later I had to have a pin and screw put in my left hip and I was on crutches again. I continued to eat and got bigger. As I grew older, I wanted to become more active. I was overweight though. I jumped on the Atkins weight loss train and ended up losing 40 lbs.
The 40 lbs didn't stay off though. No matter how less I ate, and how active I was, I continued to gain weight. I thought running would be the solution and so I bought my Nike shoes & Nike Sensor that connected to my ipod and shoes. My senior year I completed the Eisenhower 1/2 Marathon in Abilene, KS. I was excited about my success, but all the hard work I put in, I had actually gained more weight. I was frustrated and I promised myself I wouldn't run another 1/2 Marathon until I dropped my excess weight.
Off to college, I was determined not to gain the freshman 15. Sadly, I had gained back my 40 lbs I had lost in school high school. I started working out with a personal trainer and after kicking my butt day in and day out at the gym, and him seeing what few calories I was consuming, he directed me to a doctor. My blood was taken and it came back that my Thyroid wasn't working. After various medications, we landed on Synthroid. I followed the EAS.com workout plan and changed my diet to completely resemble a diet of a diabetic. I ate lots of fresh fruit and veggies, Lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates and cut out all refined sugar. The fat began to melt away. That’s exactly when I tried out for cheerleading at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA where I was attending school. I made the team and dedicated my whole summer to getting fit. The next school year came and went, cheerleading was a blast, and working out had never been so much fun. I was finally getting the results I had desired.
Who would have thought a tiny little glad would make my life so miserable? I had such poor self esteem, but it was when I decided that I was going to get healthy for me that I gained a whole new respect for myself. I continue to run, lift, dance, ride bikes, and swim. I'm hard working and never give up. I'm becoming DYNAMIC. Thank you Nike for providing the proper gear to do so. My next goal: Another marathon or Triathalon.]
I also submitted the same story to Oxygen Fitness Magazine and after various emails and phone calls; I will be in their August issue.
Now my question… what is success?! I have no idea, but if you would have asked me 5 years ago I’d be featured by Nike or in a fitness magazine, I would have laughed at you. Working out and eating right was never a passion of mine, however, it has become a passion. I’ve learned that you set goals and strive with all your heart to achieve them. And sometimes, you fall short and things don’t work out. That’s okay though! You have to give yourself some credit for trying. You don’t fail, if you gave it your all. Failing is not trying at all. So I ask you, what are you striving for? What goals have you set? Are you giving it all you have?! Are you doing it to glorify yourself, others, or is God getting the credit? I’ve realized through my many experiences, I’m me, created by God and here to glorify him. You may disagree, and that’s ok. But success comes in various forms, and many times when you least expect it. I encourage you to take a step back and reassess your goals. Reassess your attitude. And try again. Whatever you may accomplish, consider it a success, and remember- your success will be different than the person sitting right next to you.