Guest Post: Health Coach Jenn Bonner
My reality used to bite. Being an athlete at heart, morbidly obese and hopeless was my reality and I hated it. I wanted to be ‘normal’ – whatever the definition of that is anymore. I wanted to be able to do the activities I used to enjoy so much. And I didn’t know how to get back to being an athlete.
That was fifteen months and 187 pounds ago. Now, I am a Health Coach and an athlete that recently participated in this awesome event called Wild Canyon Games (WCG). It pushes people to their limits through a variety of events. After last weekend, I will never doubt the intensity or difficulty of these events. I was absolutely spent last Sunday night when it was over. And I have never, ever felt so alive!
I went out to the games with a team of seven, and the first morning three of those teammates participated in a triathlon. The four other teammates participated in geocaching, using GPS units to find ‘treasures’in the middle of nowhere. The geocaching teams were out hiking, running and or walking for 5 hours. Some teams covered 20-25 miles of terrain while others covered 6-10 miles within the 5 hour limit.
Later that afternoon the teams participated in challenge events. Each team member picked one of the following: a ¼ mile long zip line, a 35′ high ropes course which included a leap of faith jump at the end, a 50′ canyon swing, a blob tower/iceberg swim, a two-story stacked ropes course, a 15′ cliff jump with a rope climb for extra points, or a 278′ long by 52′ high water slide.
I decided to do the ropes course for my challenge event that ended with the leap of faith, and I never felt so alive because this helped me conquer my paralyzing fear of heights. The ropes course was 35′ above ground, and I was harnessed to a wire above me. I had to walk on a wire from telephone pole to telephone pole, and I was petrified!
Could I ever have done this course before I lost 187 pounds? I don’t even think they would have had a harness big enough to put on me for me to even TRY the course! And that would have been fine withme. It wasn’t like I was asking to do active events when I weighed 334 pounds.
Many, MANY times during that event – and it felt like I was up there for a week! – I asked myself, “Why, for the love of all that you have been blessed with, would you choose THIS event to conquer?” Well duh! Because it is the worst fear I have! That’s why!
I couldn’t even think about the way I was going to get down from that hellish course: jumping! And not just jumping, but trying to jump and grab onto a trapeze bar that was six feet away from me. Again, sounds easy right? Not when all I saw was this bar that – because of lack of depth perception – looked like it was about 20′ away from me. But I did it! And the guy on the ground who caught me through the pulley system I was hooked up to didn’t even grunt when I missed the bar!
Sunday morning there was a relay race called the Creek2Peak. The relay had seven legs that were a 300-meter sprint, cyclo-cross course, obstacle course, ½-mile sprint, 1/8-mile swim, ¼-mile sprint up the first half of communication hill, and the last leg is a ¼-mile ‘sprint’ up the second part of communication hill.
I wasn’t even asking to get off the couch when I weighed 334 pounds. Because at that level of morbid obesity, I ached. I ached everywhere. From my neck because of the way I slept on it, to my knees that would give out on me if I put too much pressure on my legs the wrong way, to my hips that would be sore from sitting in a chair that I literallydidn’t fit in.
My aches and pains are so much better now. I ache because I run in races throughout the Portland/Vancouver area. I ache because I ‘sprinted’ up the second half of communication hill (which included 45-degree inclines). I ache because I worked hard in my backyard yesterday pulling weeds. I ache because my body is finally able to do what it was created to do: Be active.
When you reach your goal weight, should you do something like the Wild Canyon Games? Only if you want to! But think about what YOU want to do when YOU reach YOUR goal weight. Do you want to hike more? Do you want to run a race? Do you want to play more tennis? Do you want to learn how to play volleyball? Do you want to walk around the park with your children/grandchildren? Concentrating on those future events will give you the focus and tension to reach your goal weight so that your reality never bites again.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, it doesn’t matter where you live, I can help you reach that goal the same way I did. Read more about me and my husband and our journey to health under products and services: health coaches.