Wednesday, December 9, 2009

As explained in my first blog post, I created this web site in hopes that I can help motivate other people like me to get to the summit. Today, I was asked to clarify this a bit further.

Who are people "like me"?

Well, I am morbidly obese. I have struggled with it all my life. True story: Growing up, the main exercise I got was running off to hide in the woods behind the softball field during gym class. There were train tracks back there, and I remember being afraid of the trains, but that was not anywhere near the fear of being in gym class. Seriously, as a child that young, I was so filled with shame and self-loathing that I would rather have been hit by a train than have people see me in shorts, be picked last for the team and all the other joys of gym class.

I'm 45 years old, but I try not to act it. True story: I was having dinner with some (older) friends a few weeks ago. I mentioned how happy I was that I went to a rock concert at a club a few days prior, I told how great the concert was [Blitzen Trapper] and how I stood by the stage screaming and dancing and the band high-fived me coming off the stage. And the BEST part was that the bouncer made me show ID to get into the club! To which my "friend" replied, dead serious, "Really? Was he going to give you the SENIOR DISCOUNT?"

But I digress. What I mean when I say "people like me" I mean other folks who struggle with their weight, and are not neccesarilly young and athletic.

What it is "the summit"?

Well, when I think back to being in that gym class, I remember the terror, the knots in my stomach, the abject horror of the thought of someone seeing me run, having someone see my body parts jiggle and bounce, having people see me sweat and breathe hard and always come in last. I was able to overcome those fears as I wrote about previously. But for many obese people, those fears are still there, and they are what keep us not just from exercising, but from enjoying life.

For me, the summit means not just facing those old fears head on, but being done with them and putting them in the trash where they belong. Your personal summit might be coming along on that first hike or bike trip with me listed on the events page. For others, it might be replying to a blog post annonymously and saying, "I'm here, I'm reading, I'm too scared to come out to an event but I'm listening, and maybe someday..."

The Goal of This Site

My main goal with this web site is to get people who might otherwise stay inside -- out of shame, out of fear -- to get outside with me. I'm not going to turn you into a super athelete, I just want you to know that being obese does not have to mean that you have to hide indoors in shame and fear. I am proof of that. Come outside with me into the light, there is comfort and joy in numbers.

Comments from previous blog:

(Anonymous) at 2009-12-10 20:16 (UTC) (Link)
Is this thing on?

But you're my "People Like Me."

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