Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vikings Experience....What you didn't see on the big screen......

"He says it's really kind of simple,
Keep your mind in the middle ,
While your butt spins 'round and 'round...

Take heed to Sankey's preachin',
Keep liftin' and reachin',
And ridin' like there ain't no clowns...."
Garth Brooks

My life is hard to desribe or sum up in a few words, roller coaster is one I used to use a lot, but as I have started riding I think it is closer to broncho riding, a lot of lulls with a few really crazy moments thrown in here and there.

Earlier this week I was struggling badly with some challenges in my life, and said to a couple people close to me how I feel like I always get the harder road, that nothing is ever as easy as it should be and that I had had enough of it. But then today I stood staring at 50,000 or so people all looking down at me and thought, how lucky am I to be living the life I am living. How many people get to have the experiences I do, and in this case got to do twice? Once with the Twins and now once with the Vikings (hey LTF I like Hockey, can we three-peat with the Wild *grin*).

Days like today challenge my thinking. I was raised by a mother who spent a lot of time trying to convince me I was nothing special in the world, that to be proud of myself was wrong, that I was nobody and to think anything different was delusional and that I was more a hinderance than anything to the people around me. And for the most part I have let her thinking control a lot of how I view myself and the world. I have marginalized and minimized myself out of a lot of experiences and chances to have fun - big and small. So to stand there today while people say "you did something worth noticing" was hard for me, and truthfully really uncomfortable.

But today I tried my best to push past that, to take in what was going on and why. That I have done things others havent accomplished, that I do have a story that isn't common place and that it is ok for others to notice that.

The interesting part for me though is the parts of the day that others won't ever know about. Yeah the big deal from the outside was down on the field, but for me that was probably the least miraculous part of the day.
For me the little things today are what I noticed and what made me smile....

  • Fitting in the seat at the stadium and not feeling like I was either squeezed in or spilling over into the people next to me (although I will admit I still worried about the second part and kept turning to not bump into the people on either side of me...that is "brain fat think" and not sure it ever goes away)
  •  Walking down the stairs in the stadium which had no hand rails without falling on my face
  •  Handling the three flights of stairs down to the field and back up without being totally overwhelmed or having to stop to rest
  •  Being able to balance standing on the light rail all the way back
  •  Having to squeeze between a pole and the wall on our way to get our tickets and not getting stuck or even slowing down
  •  Being able to walk fast enough to keep up with people
  •  Wearing a Vikings sweatshirt from a normal store in a normal size
  •  Being seen with my trainer and not feeling like people were laughing at me and noticing only how fat I was comparably to him.
For me THESE were moments that took my breath away much more than standing on the field or seeing myself on the big screen. These are the battles I have fought to win! It has never been about publicity or fame, but about being normal, about not having my life controlled by my weight.

Am I all the way there, nope. I still looked at my pictures from today and cringed at my stomach and my chin, I still fought all the voices in my head last night and this morning about not eating before I went so I wouldnt look fat (sadly my eating disorder won that battle).

But despite that, when I stood there on the field and looked over and saw my trainer standing there I knew I had a lot to be proud of, of how far I have come, that I havent given up in this last year when things arent going as I want and just how lucky I am to have the ability to have people around me who keep me moving when I stall or start moving backwards, who genuinely care and do want to see me win this battle and who have stood by me even when I wasnt making the kind of progress I should be.

Today wasnt about all the fans or the recognition of others, it was about me having that chance to remember where I have come from, what I have accomplished and how lucky I am to have had the chance to walk with some really great people along this journey!

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