Saturday, September 14, 2013

Life's purpose...

Last night Marc and I were watching a couple of TV shows that we recorded while on vacation.  One of those shows was American Ninja Warrior.  You guys familiar with this show?  It's basically an UBER hard obstacle course.  Every year there is a competition and people go through stages in order to get to the end.  NO ONE in the American version has ever completed the last stage.  But people train like crazy believing that they can be the first to conquer the course and in turn win $500,000.

So they show contestant profiles before they compete.  And they showed this one guy who has been training for this for a YEAR.  He built a similar course in his house and he and his wife talked about how it has been a lot of sacrifice of time and space (they also had a couple of kids) and that he practices 4 TO 5 HOURS A DAY!!!  

So this guy gets up, makes it through the first relatively easy obstacle and then stands there about to take the next obstacle and - about 12 seconds into his run - slips and falls into the water.  He is disqualified.  

OH. MY. GAWD.  I mean can you imagine?  Training for HOURS a day.  Taking time from your wife and kids.  And then falling 12 seconds in.  They interviewed him and he looked upset, but said "I'll be back next year."

I can't even conceive of this.  And it made me think of something I've been thinking a lot about lately.  What are my goals and what do I see as the purpose of my life?  Am I wasting time and sacrificing anything for this journey I have taken and still take every day?  I'm lucky that I don't have kids, and that Marc and I have made this commitment together.  So any potential guilt from that is a non-issue. 

I stopped over at my brother's house today.  And my extremely thin sister-in-law was in her pajamas at 3:30 PM and was making and eating this apple dessert with my nieces.  I envied the freedom that she has to make these choices.  They are choices that I feel are forbidden for me.  To just be sitting around in the middle of the afternoon?  (Incidentally we were near their house because we had just taken the dogs on a 4 mile trail hike).  And to just make and eat a dessert in the middle of the afternoon????  

I enjoyed the freedom of last week.  But I guess it comes down to this.  My sister in law has good genes.  But she also clearly has much better self control then I do, because if I allowed myself this liberty all the time?  I'd be back to 300+ pounds in no time. 

But sometimes I wonder what I'm working for.  What is my purpose?  What is the meaning of my life?  Why do I HAVE to weigh under 120 pounds or I feel worthless and ashamed?  Why must I come in first in all my races or I failed?  Sometimes I think that I worked so hard to get where I am and - 12 seconds in - I could fall and it would all be for nothing...

Do you guys feel like you know your life's purpose?



  1. Hello and welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your vacation because you deserved it! I totally understand your post-vacation freak-out. I had one myself a couple of weeks ago after the scale showed I had gained 4lbs over a weekend! Now the rational part of us knows that is not possibly a fat gain, but the girly part of us freaks out that all of our hard work is about to fall apart. It took me about 10 days or so to get the scale back down, but why do we do this to ourselves? We know that we can and will get back to our routine and those few pounds will depart. I know this is a life-long battle for me, but will I always feel like the "fat girl"?

    1. Yes, the scale is still up today and I am resisting the urge to flip out and do something drastic that ultimately ends up back-firing. Good to know that others can identify with my crazy ;)))


  2. First of all, I *love* watching "American Ninja Warrior," and so do my boys (ages 9 and 6). Sometimes I find them practicing for the "jumping spider" in our hallway! Even my wife kind of gets into watching it. I think the athletes who try out are pretty incredible. I'd consider trying out just for the experience, except as a runner, I'd have zero chance of making it through even the qualifying round. (I mean, I can do ten pull ups, so I'm not completely weak in the upper body, but there's no way I could do the salmon ladder or any of those tests.)

    Second, I used to be one of those people who could eat and eat and eat and gain no weight. Then I turned 30 and began working as a lawyer, and all of a sudden my body started behaving normally, and I gained 20+ pounds, which doesn't sound like much, but it definitely showed on me.

    Over the next 13 years, I would manage to drop as much as 10 pounds and then gain it back, and so on. It wasn't until 2 3/4 years ago that I got serious about getting into shape and took up running. I've kept all that excess weight off for two years, but like you, I still fret (sometimes) about slipping up. It's more like a low-level worry, and at this point, I run not so much for the primary purpose of weight maintenance as for running-related goals (i.e., run a 5K in XX time).