Today, I got up and took a run. It’s slow getting back out there because of My Damn Toe, but today I managed to do a good 6.4 miles. It felt good. The weather was overcast and there was a little breeze. Just perfect, actually.
What really caught me today, though, was my reflection in the windows I ran past.
I noticed, for the first time, that my shape has started to change. The belly I once had is diminished somewhat. Yes, I still have a soft chest, but it’s not as pronounced. I look slimmer. I look like a person I haven’t ever seen. When I was a sophomore in college, I had starved myself to get down to about 155 pounds. Even at that size, though, I didn’t look like this. At that point in my life, I looked like a sack of saggy skin tossed over a frame of bones. It wasn’t pretty. Today, though, I can see muscles popping out in places I’ve never seen them before. I can feel a tautness building. I also feel lighter on my feet. I’m not feeling the same fatigue on my knees and ankles that I once was.
It dawned on me that I’m in transition. I’m going from a person of substantially overweight stature into something else. I don’t know what I weigh anymore, and frankly I don’t care. I know how my clothes are fitting, and even still, that’s neither here nor there. What matters to me at this point is how my self feels in my skin. Today, as I ran, I noticed that it felt pretty good to be in my skin, and I can’t really recall a time when that has happened before, even at my skinniest.
I still have a ways to go. I still have a few more phases of fitness ahead of me, and I have a feeling when I get to one phase, a new one will unfold before me. I am relishing this challenge. I’m loving how this is helping me deal with the stresses my life is full of now. Running and exercising is beating back the demons of depression and self-loathing with a giant knobby club. These things, this movement, are my defenses against a lot right now, and I’m so thankful I’ve discovered them and am using them as much as I can.