Sunday, January 04, 2009

I used to look at the mountain and cower in its shadow.

I'm changing. I've changed. What scares me is the idea that these changes aren't permanent. Am I going to fall down and roll back down to the bottom? This journey has been all up hill. And I don't ever want to go back to the valley. Yes, its easier there: the sun isn't cruel and the legs never tire and harsh winds only whip through every once in a while. But here, I can feel the welcome burn in my muscles telling me I'm making progress. Here I can see my future stretch out for miles in the brilliant sunshine. Here, I am out of reach of those waters that would soon flood the valley and carry me away. But what if I fall? What if I stop climbing? Because these last three weeks two weeks I haven't taken one step forward. I haven't stepped backward either, but progress is the tool by which I measure my happiness anymore and I've been standing still.

Standing still feels good for awhile, but that leads to stopping altogether and the next step still beckons with increasing intensity. This can't go on. I'm moving forward again. Complacency is no longer who I am.

Little things are changing too. I'm trying to like salad and I absolutely hate salad. Its all wrong. Its cold and crunchy and foreign. My mother never fed us salad, what is this monstrosity? But I've been eating it, trying to think of something else, trying to chew fast and swallow faster. I hate salad.

And fruit. I tried fruit cups. No good. They are so full of sugar and syrup its not fruit at all. Fresh fruit feels funny in my mouth. All stringy and seedy and running juice. So I drink smoothies. They taste excellent. They are low in calories and high in calcium, vitamin c, and other good stuff. A little protein powder makes them a meal. And slowly, the seeds become part of the experience. This is what fruit is: seeds and juice and sweet bitterness. And I like it. 

Maybe I'll learn to love the lettuce and strawberries. Maybe it will always be work. But I know that I used to hate the gym and now I love it, so this is what progress feels like. This is how it feels to be successful. 

One more step.

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