“Change”. (Not the coins in your pocket)

December 18, 2012

My Running

All it takes is a simple sentence to throw me in flashback mode. And I never know who is going to say it, or where I’m going to hear it.

This morning I went to a spin class. First weekday morning class as I usually work day hours but this week I’m working evening hours. So I dropped my daughter off at school and headed over to the gym. Throughout the whole class, it didn’t seem like there were many motivational comments. Most of the classes I’ve been to (and this is still new to me so I’ve only gone to like six or seven classes maybe?) the instructors usually yell out something to make you want to work harder.

“YOU’RE COMING UP TO THE TOP OF THAT HILL!! WHO’S UP THERE? IT’S YOU THAT’S UP THERE!!! WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE?????” (That one made me push myself harder and it made me tear up a little when I imagined myself up at the top of the hill, smiling and happy and proud to see me coming up the hill)

“WHY DID YOU WALK IN THE DOOR??? WHAT’S YOUR GOAL???” (That one made me push myself harder because my goal is to be a runner. And with this bone spur I am not a runner, temporarily, but I’m gonna be again. And I pushed myself to keep my legs strong. Why was I there? To eventually run!)

“CHANGE YOUR BODY!!!” (That one made me push myself harder because I’ve struggled with weight issues all of my adult life. And I’m done struggling with it. I’m done with the yo-yo dieting. I’m done with being hurtful to my body. I’m done with regretting the fat food choices I’ve made.)

So in this particular class, we were about halfway through and I realized this teacher wasn’t really like the rest because there weren’t any motivational yell-outs. Not to say she wasn’t good. She was great. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I was still making my fat cry (that’s the definition of sweat). I was still giving my heart a workout. And then when we had about 15 minutes to go, she said we were on our final hill. And it was going to be steep. But we were in the home stretch. She said it was going to be a challenge. And then she said:


And I thought about everything that has challenged me. My divorce. Losing a job. Union activity at work. My bone spur. Not being able to run. My gallstones.

If I hadn’t had the physical pain of gallstones I would not have changed my eating. But the gallstones forced me to change how I ate and made me more aware of what I was putting in my body. And as a result of that challenge I have dropped about 23lbs. I feel good about that! If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

My biggest challenge was probably my divorce. I have said often that it was not something I wanted but I rarely talk about how it must have been to be married to someone like me. I was very dependent on him. Too dependent. And I couldn’t break myself of it–nor did I ever try. Until I had no choice but to depend on myself. I depended on him for MY happiness. And I’ve learned when you put your happiness on the shoulders of someone else–they will always fall short. When you put your happiness on my shoulders I will always fall short. I learned with the heartbreaking challenge of divorce that only I am responsible for my happiness. It took me 5 years to reach that point—but I reached it. Through that (what I thought to be devastating) process, I learned how to be a better mom. A better daughter. A better version of myself. I must have learned a hundred things about myself and others through the pain of heartbreak. There were times it got really dark—but they say without the darkness you can’t see the stars. They say the bigger the crisis, the bigger the blessing. They say when you’re in the ocean to swim INTO the waves. And I say the bigger the heartbreak, the greater the happiness when you reach the other side. You just have to HOLD ON.

Spinning made my mind spin today. In a good way. And my mind doesn’t usually spin in good ways. Because I left class this morning thinking a few things. Grateful for my challenges. And when I walked out of the gym I thought:

I will be running again and I will be a strong runner and I will PR at the next half marathon I sign up for.

IF IT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU—IT WON’T CHANGE YOU. Are you being challenged? Yes??



Thought it was funny this song came on as I was finishing this blog. LOL


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About rsouleret

I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I work full time. And I run. ILML.

View all posts by rsouleret


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2 Comments on ““Change”. (Not the coins in your pocket)”

  1. hkbunk Says:

    Today’s post reminds me of a comment I heard this morning in my early pilates class.
    “Embrace the challenge (as it pertained to a certain exercise) because it is the challenge that is changing you (meant about our bodies but definitely had a larger meaning for me).” The instructor followed this in the next pretzel-style impossible position by stating that “The pain and exertion we feel are temporary but bring permanent changes for the better. We can endure anything for a moment in time but when we endure it, we become stronger and better.” As always, thanks for sharing!


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