As this training session comes to and end with our show tomorrow, our coach asked all the women to write a journal entry on how we feel. That’s one of the many things I love about her program. It’s not just, come to the gym, do these sets, track your sit-ups and go home. She has built a team, a tribe, a squad. The point of this program is about growth and self-discovery. The fact that we get in great physical shape as a result of our personal transformations is an added bonus.
She asked us to be real and raw in these journals, to leave no stone upturned and no emotion unexplored. Below is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed training for it the last month and a half.
You asked us to write a recap of our personal experiences training with CCF. You asked us to write it now as we finish the last physical assessments, complete the final dexascan, and pose in the final progress photoshoot. You said it’s Peak Week, we’ve made it. Our journey is complete, we’ve already won. For many the women I’ve been training with that might be the case; those who had goals of weight loss, tightening up, and body acceptance. They have all worked very, very hard, look amazing, and should be so proud of themselves. I on the other hand, will not have ‘won’ or ‘completed my journey’ until after I step off stage.
For me personally, competing in this show wasn’t about a number on a scale or inches lost from my waist. I don’t care so much about how many sit-ups I can do in a minute. I’ve always had a very strong positive body image (Ask any of my best friends, in high school I was always the first one to suggest skinny-dipping.), and the fact that I worked out harder in these past 6 weeks than I ever have in my life reinforced that self-love. Hard work comes naturally to me. You tell me that this is the workout we are doing and this is what we are eating, I will do it. I know hard exercise and diet are expected and necessary to achieve the desired result. I accept this and I rise to the occasion. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not discounting the work that we did. Like I said, it was intense, and I am proud of myself for giving it my all and being witness to the changes my body has made. I’ve always wondered what my body was physically able to look like, and I’m starting to find out.
I wanted to do this training program, and ultimately the show, because I am not comfortable being the intentional center of attention (yet). And honestly up until writing down these thoughts now, I hadn’t thought out 100% why not. If I tell any of my friends that statement, they’ll object in disbelief and recount stories of me amusing large groups of people, times where I would approach complete strangers, of times where I acted super “silly” in front of large crowds. They tell me this and I cringe a little inside. Most of the times they’re referring to I was drunk and therefore not as in control of my words and actions as if I had been sober. This doesn’t mean I’m afraid of crowds now. If I’m telling a story, doing “my thing” at Burning Man or anywhere, dancing at a club, whatever, and more people join in, great. I am super extroverted and feed off the energy of people and large groups. I’m also very inclusive and want people to join in the fun I’m having.
What is uncomfortable for me is standing up in front of a group of people and saying, “look at me”. When I got sober (and I didn’t realize how much of an impact that event played on this show until I started writing, these thoughts are coming to me as I type.) I completely rediscovered who I was. What would I say and do now that I didn’t have the liquid courage of however many mixed drinks? What would I talk about with people now that I am consciously aware of what I’m saying? At first it was terrifying discovering who I really was. The good news is it got easier, and easier, and easier. I started to learn who Morgan actually was, and I liked her a lot. She still liked to party and go dancing. She could still easily talk to strangers and she was still fun. But that insecurity of being center-stage is still alive. During my drinking days I would get up on stage anytime anywhere and think I was absolutely hysterical. Looking back now, I was making a fool of myself. My mom would tell me how I was an embarrassment. Now, tomorrow, I am going to get on stage, more than half naked, and be judged on how I’m presenting myself. If that’s not the final test of courage, I don’t know what is.
What’s different though this time is as I write this I am 1,221 days sober, I have the strength of my Higher Power behind me, and countless tools in my belt from the hundreds of AA meetings I’ve gone to over the last three-and-something years. I also have the support and encouragement from my fiancé, friends, family, you (Coach), and the other women I’ve been training with the last 6 weeks. Not to mention, my body shows the results of long hours working out and following a strict diet (minus a few sips of the Unicorn Frappuccino).
Three years ago, I did not feel this great. I didn’t realize how bored and discontent I was. I thought I had high self-esteem, but really I just had a high BAC. Now, I look amazing, I feel amazing, and Saturday after I step off stage I will finally prove to myself that I’m as confident as I believe I am. I will prove to myself that I can intentionally put myself out there, and it’s ok because I’m in a healthy frame of mind. I deserve to be the center of attention because I’ve worked hard for it. I will trust myself that I have earned this and I am not making a fool of myself. I am not embarrassing myself. I’ve forgiven myself for the stupid things that I did while drunk, it’s time to put my best foot, or hip, forward and move on.