Somewhere inside of me, there’s an athlete begging to be released.

I can hear her screaming, banging her fists against the wall, chanting numbers at me as I crunch, crunch, crunch my way to a thinner waistline. I can feel her inside of my brain, pushing me to run farther, run faster, run longer, even when my lungs and my legs want to give out. I can feel her spirit as it leaps in excitement every time I lace up my cross trainers and strap on my heart rate monitor.

She’s within me. Somewhere.

When I reach for that second helping of starch, My Inner Athlete directs my spoon toward the roasted winter vegetables instead. She steadies my hand that sweetens my coffee every morning, speaks to me through nectarines at the grocery store, and steers me away from the cookies in the bakery.Β It’s My Inner Athlete that causes my eyes to pop open an hour before my alarm is set to go off. She’s right there, in my head, whispering “Take to the road, wake up your calf muscles, let’s burn some calories before sunrise.”

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

I can feel her, slowly taking over my thought processes, sending me, the Fat Girl, into an emotional tailspin.

Each time I make the decision to put myself and my health first, the Fat Girl in me cries out. “You can’t do this! It’s too hard! You’re just going to fail again!” She whines with every lunge, weeps with every squat, begs me to stop each time I increase the speed on the treadmill. She keeps me up at night, nagging me with sore muscles, taunting me with cravings for foods I don’t need, waving my shortcomings in my face like so many flags.

Last night, I completed an entire Army PRT program. With support from Dana and guidance from Justin, I power jumped, dead lifted, and half jacked with the best of them. By the end of the conditioning drills, I felt faint. Exhausted. Nauseous. Sore.

And inexplicably, utterly defeated.

My Inner Athlete was nowhere to be seen. When I should have been singing my own praises, I was instead left drowning in self doubt. I climbed into my car, drove to the stop sign, put the car in park, and wept. The Fat Girl was singing in my head. “I told you it was too hard! You’re too big for this! You can’t keep up with trained athletes!”

I dialed my husband’s cell phone, begged off grocery duty, turned my car toward home instead of the store. And halfway there, My Inner Athlete finally broke through, shouting over the din of the Fat Girl. “Are you seriously going to let some sore muscles stop you? You just completed a friggin’ bootcamp workout. Why are you sobbing like a baby?? Get over yourself, woman! YOU’VE GOT THIS!!”

Her words broke through, and the tears stopped immediately. I slammed on the brakes, made an illegal U-turn and headed straight for that grocery store. Because if I could do V-squats and mountain climbers and 8-count pushups, I sure as hell could pick up some ground beef, zucchinis, creamer, and cat food.


In that moment, the Fat girl shut up. In that moment, My Inner Athlete won.

One day soon, the Fat Girl will be gone forever. Because as I’m shedding pounds and inches, I’m also shedding my insecurities, my past, my fear, my failures, and my Fat Girl.

I may not be running marathons or even miles (yet) but I’m getting there. I’m getting stronger and stronger with each passing day. And every time I listen to My Inner Athlete, I make the right decision. For my family, for my husband, for my health. For me.


12 thoughts on “Contradictions

  1. danadominata

    You can do this, Abby. You’ve got this! and on those days that you feel that you don’t, I’ll be right next to you saying “one more minute” or “5 more squats” because I know that you can! πŸ™‚

    I’m so proud of you!

  2. Kindred Adventures

    YEAH YEAH YERAH ABBY YOOOOUUUU AARRRREE AAAMAZING AND AWESOME!! Ok your probably wondering who is crazy woman is?! I loved this post… Loved!!! I am finally fit after two children and I remember the struggle to find my way. You are doing Boot Camp and you f*cking survived…you did it… all of it!!! I am so happy for you and proud of you! Way to go girl!!! -LV

  3. Murr Brewster

    I don’t have an inner athlete. And nobody will get me to get out of bed at five–oh yeah, except for my JOB FOR 32 YEARS. But I can trudge like nobody’s business. And I’ve walked my way to an acceptable weight that seems to be sticking around. Next time your fat girl gets too mouthy, take her for a simple walk, and notice things. At least some of the time, it shouldn’t have to hurt! Good for you. You look gorgeous. And thanks for visiting.

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