How laundry day can turn into a trip down memory lane.
A few nights ago I sat on my bedroom floor trying to create some kind of order out of my t-shirt drawer, which lately has been overflowing with new additions to my race shirt collection. I pulled this large, wrinkled shirt out from the bottom of the pile and smiled.
The story behind the shirt is that a few years ago I signed my boyfriend and I up for the Boston Diamond Dash, a scavenger hunt that had couples running up and down the streets of the city for a $20,000 diamond ring. I remember putting on my best “workout pants” (AKA what I threw on every day when I got home from work and parked it on the couch) and digging a pair of sneakers out of my closet. I had NO idea what was in store for me. I wish someone had recorded it, because I can only imagine what a pathetic participant I was- huffing and puffing as I jogged/walked up and down the cobblestone streets for clues. I vividly remember is as one of the times where I literally felt weighed down in my body.
It’s no surprise that we didn’t win first place, and I consoled myself with a beer and appetizers at the after party followed by a trip to McDonald’s on the way home (Clearly I deserved it after all that EXERCISE!). And while we may not have won the grand prize, I woke up a few months later to an email in my inbox that I had won a diamond necklace from a raffle we had thrown our names into that day. Lucky me!
The diamond necklace eventually became a diamond ring, and on a frigid night late in February my boyfriend slipped it over my chubby little finger. And what was a feeling of absolute happiness also became a moment of panic- for I immediately had visions of a gorgeous wedding dress that I didn’t fit into. The panic lead my chubby little fingers to a Google search for weight loss in my area and well, we all know where the story goes from there. A match made in heaven. I found my happily ever after- and then some.
As much as I should probably just throw the shirt out or turn it into a cleaning rag, a part of me can’t let go. That shirt has so much history to it. That shirt is the reason I am participating in my first triathlon in 3 weeks. It stands for everything I have overcome. In place of this one large t-shirt I now own tons of (much smaller) running shirts.I kind of owe that big old t-shirt a big old thank you.
In the end I didn’t get a free engagement ring- but what I won was a heck of a lot better. I won my health. I won not just fitness- but a love for it. I won confidence. I won a place that has become a part of me. I won running shoes, brick workouts, and swim caps. I won a strength I never knew existed inside of me. I won incredible friendships. I won a wall full of race bibs and more safety pins than I’ll ever find a use for. I won the discovery of an unconditional support system in my fiancee. I won badass-ness. I won a body that I appreciate (most days). I won a spot in a world I never dreamed I’d be a part of. I would take these things over a free ring any day, over and over and over again.
Oh and image if I participated in a Diamond Dash these days? I’d fly past most of those girls 🙂