Saturday, August 14, 2010

Important Lessons You Can Learn in Nine Innings.....

I know everyone is anxiously waiting for a post about last night at the Twins game, but I have to admit I am not sure how to write this all out. Even though it happened to me, it doesn't quite feel real, so talking about it (beyond saying "it was amazing") is hard. I'll do my best.

As I said in my post yesterday, my companion for the evening was Todd Lynnes, the trainer I had worked with at the Lakeville Club. I can't thank him enough for appointing himself to be there with me. It made the night so much better. Not only having someone there who so wanted to be there with me and was so full of pride for what I have done, but also just someone so fun. Todd, I will never forget you for being there last night with me and I'll hang out with you anytime!

Todd and I met up with the Twins coordinator around 6:25 and headed down to the field. It was really cool to see some of the back of the house. Once we got out to the field we got to watch some other pre-game activities  from the third base line and take a couple pictures before we headed out to the field.

Then it was off to stand on home plate. We had our backs to the jumbotron, which while a little frustrating (I kept wanting to turn and see what we looked like) it also made it a lot safer. It didn't quite feel like it was going on. I think that was also amplified by the fact that only about 1/2 of the fans were in their seats at that point, and those that were seemed more interested in getting settled than paying attention to us.

I stood there and heard the announcer say my name and read my story, and was just taking it all in. Hearing him talk about me getting sick in 91 and then my nerve damage and strokes. I was hearing it, but it felt very distant. It wasn't until they got to the line about having lost 100 lbs that it clicked in that this was really about me and where I was. At that moment I saw the fans in the stands ahead of me starting clapping. I saw it before I heard it, and then the sound hit me and it seemed to just keep spreading. I have to admit if I hadn't had Todd next to me making jokes (thank god he was) there would have been tears at that point, because it was truly overwhelming. It made a lot of things real.

While we only stood for there maybe about 2 minutes, and the announcer reading my story was only about a minute, it seemed MUCH MUCH longer. It seemed to go in slow motion. I had expected it to feel very fast. When I was told last week they had cut my story at about a minute, I have to admit I felt cheated, but that turned out to be MORE than enough time.

For as great as being on the field was, I have to admit my pride really hit when we got up to our seats and I started to see all the people from Life Time Fitness who had come, both from my club and other clubs and corporate. I felt like a dork all night because I kept looking over at all of them and trying to take in they were really there. I was extremely grateful when the club manager, Tony, moved down to sit with us and started explaining to me who ever was that was there and what clubs they were from.

While I was thrilled to meet new people from other clubs, including some corporate level team members like Steve I had emailed with but never met, the greatest was seeing all the people who had come from Eagan. From the front desk, to the member advisers, to Tony, having the people who have watched me from day one and knew where I started meant more to me than the entire stadium ever could. I was especially touched that Lance was there. Lance was the first person I met at the Eagan club, he gave me my first tour and just made me feel so welcome. Since that November day he has been one of my loudest cheerleaders and who I have turned to more than once for help. He was the person who started this whole nomination and celebrating without him there would have been weird.

I rounded out the night in a perfect way. After the game I met up with a couple good friends at a local restaurant. We toasted, had a couple drinks (yes the trainer knew) and some chocolate fondue (ok that he didn't approve but oh well *smile*). It really was the exact way I would have chosen to end the night. With people who have been there with me step by step through this journey! Who know all the ups and downs I have faced, who have cheered with me and who have wiped my tears.

Monday I start a new journey, with a new trainer, with 80 or so more pounds to lose. What I have accomplished with Gui and to here are now great memories, but I now need to refocus and dig harder for what comes next. I actually think in some ways this will be the harder part of the road. The easy weight is gone, the easy demons have been conquered and what is left will take a lot more work and discipline, but that is Monday.

Tomorrow I have one more commemoration of how far I came on this first journey. It is a surprise I have been working on for a few weeks.....more to come on this.

So for one more day I will celebrate.....

Celebrating my weight loss....

Celebrating how my life has changed...

And celebrating realizing for the first time in my life how important it is to have cheerleaders and others to be just as proud as you are of yourself.

While slaying the weight was the focus of the last 8 months, I don't think that truly was the lesson in all this. I was raised being told by my mother that being proud of yourself was wrong. That it was egotistical and pompous. That if you were proud of your accomplishments you were some how thinking you were better than those around you. While all the professional accomplishments I have had in my career could not erase those lessons, I think they are finally falling away. Last night helped me remember that we should all be proud of what we have done and how hard it has been to do it and that it is ok to let the world in on that pride. That whether you are alone in a room or in a stadium full of 40,000 people what matters is knowing you have worked as hard as you can and to taking the time to recognize that!

Now stay tuned for tomorrow's adventure... (oh and try to ignore that it will involve the same outfit you saw in these pictures *smile*)


  1. This brought tears to my eyes, Pam. You are an inspiration to so many!

  2. Pam, congratulations! You don't know me....I am Tony's mother, Tari. He has sent me a few articles about you and I am so very proud of you. I too am overweight and struggle with that constantly. So Kudos to you Miss Pam! You are and will be an inspiration to many!