Recently, someone asked me to write a short blog about how I found the Highland Games...I am just gonna be a lazy athlete today and post it here....
I am Mona and I am a Highlands Athlete. Sounds like I am introducing myself at an AA meeting doesn't it? At this point in my life, it does almost feel like I am addicted to this sport. The concept of seeing myself or even calling myself an "athlete" is radically new. I had, for most of my adult life been a couch potato. I was never an athlete, not in High School, nor in College. I certainly never threw on a track team. I am what some affectionately refer to as an MCA~Midlife Crisis Athlete.
In the summer of 2010, I had to face the reality that I was getting sick and that I was the one making myself sick. I had given up on my body in the prime of life and I was now paying the price: pre-diabetic, had advancing arthritis, severe stenosis in my neck, bad liver and kidney functions, and joints that barely carried me up a flight of stairs. At the encouragement of a dear friend, I started CrossFit. It was horrible, but I stuck with it.
Fast forward about 10 months: I had lost about 65 pounds and I had begun to understand that yes, there really can be an athlete inside of everyone, if I just stopped saying "no" to my body and my health. While I enjoyed the gym, the classes , and the community of CrossFit; I was feeling that there needed to be more...I knew running wasn't for me, I wasn't going to find a soccer team, or play softball. Just about this time, I had remembered an old friend, Chuck Thomas, who had been bugging my husband to do something called Highland Athletics. I asked my husband if he thought women did this "thing" too. He didn't know, so I got Chuck's email and asked.
He sent me this really great description of all of the events and assured me that, yes, women do throw. I spent about 10 minutes reading through the description and looked at my husband and said, "Well, that looks ridiculous, I am NOT doing that." I threw out the descriptions...then a couple of weeks later I got an email from Chuck, "When you coming down to give this a try?"
Another couple weeks he checks in again and then my husband says, "Well, we could go down, just try it, what can it hurt?"
I thought about it, and really, why not try? Why not say yes? Why not experiment? I am looking for something to do with this lighter, slightly leaner body right?
Once we finally found the practice field, all the people there assumed that my husband was the one who was gonna throw...to the best of my recollection, it took some coaxing to get me to pick up that hammer. I had no idea what it would trigger, how picking up that hammer on that cool spring morning would change utterly and completely how I see myself, how I much I would discover about myself, about training, about determination, about failure, about success. I swear, I picked up that hammer the first time and fell in love, with possibilities.
I went to 4 practices before my first competition in May of 2011 and I have been greedily soaking up everything I can find about training for the games since. I have found pieces of myself, my power, that I didn't even know that I had lost. I am so glad I said yes to the "experiment." I have met the most amazing people from literally, all over the world.
I am just starting this sport and at 44, sometimes I feel like I will never be good enough because I don't have an athletic back round, then I remember that just a little over 2 years ago, I was slowing killing myself with my choices. So whatever I throw now is certainly better than that place. All I need to do is to be better than I was during those dark days.
That's it...that's sorta how I found this...I guess I wanted to post this because of the quickly approaching season...and um, I also said yes to a games....that I wasn't planning on....I suppose I will just trust that I can get there..and get the work done....
What a dork.