“The Hill”

It was a chilly March afternoon. I had just completed my first day of work at my new dream job. I couldn’t believe my luck, I was so happy and feeling so fortunate to be starting a new career doing something that I loved.

At this University, parking close to your building is a VERY rare thing. I had planned to start taking the bus to work in order to save money because parking is also very expensive. Why would I want to pay $40/month to park far away when I can take the bus for $5/month? Seemed like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to stop by the parking office yet to get my bus pass, so I parked in the garage where most of my new co-workers park.

I had been thinking about my car all day long.  I had been dreading the end of the work day.  What? Why? What’s the big deal?  The big deal is that I weighed over 400 lbs and the parking garage sits on top of a steep hill (maybe not that steep to a “normal” person, but very steep to an obese person).  I thought all day about that climb.  All day, I sat and thought about how a walk up a hill that was a piece of cake to most people was going to be a huge physical challenge for me when the clock struck 5:00 p.m.

A hill leading up to a parking garage on campus.

A hill leading up to a parking garage on campus.

I wasn’t going to panic.  I was going to take it slow. I was going to walk up that hill… take breaks if necessary… do my thing until I got to the top. I wasn’t going to stress myself out over something like this because that’s just silly… it’s just a stupid hill! Then something terrible happened – terrible to someone that is severely morbidly obese in a department full of people that are a normal weight.

“Oh, you’re parked in the garage? We’ll walk with you.”

OK, now it’s time to panic! What was I going to do? I knew there was no way I would be able to walk with my two co-workers (one that I had just met and another that was a friend) without being out of breath and I really didn’t think I could make it.  Let’s just say that not making it is a huge understatement.

I had been fine keeping up with my coworkers for a few minutes and then I started to get tired. My legs burned, my back ached, my feet hurt.  I pushed further… never slowing down and trying to keep up the pace.  Then, I felt light-headed…. I felt sick to my stomach… my vision started to blur around the edges.

“Oh man… I’ve got to stop. I’m really not feeling so well. I’ve been feeling sick all day and it’s really starting to hit me.”

I lied. There’s no other way to put it – I lied. I knew it was a lie, but I was embarrassed. But in that moment, I really did think that if I walked any further I would pass out or throw up. It was horrible. Not only the shame and embarrassment that I let myself get this far with my weight, but that my two new co-workers were witnessing this episode. Of course they believed me. They were concerned for me because they said I didn’t look well and they really did think it was just an illness that would pass.

This hill has plagued me for almost two years. I’ve had to walk up it to go to meetings. I’ve had to walk up it to catch a bus to go across campus. I’ve had to walk up it to attend classes.  This chilly day in March 2011 is forever burned in my brain as a day when I was truly scared about the dark path I was headed down.

I look forward to a day when I am able to RUN up this hill. I will make it happen. I will conquer it!!

UPDATE (1/28/2014): I PLAN TO MAKE ME RUNNING ATTEMPT BETWEEN MARCH 9-15, 2014! I WILL BE TAPING IT SO STAY TUNED!!!

UPDATE (3/8/2014): I DID IT! I DID IT!!! I RAN UP THE HILL!!!!! SEE VIDEO BELOW 🙂 🙂

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14 thoughts on ““The Hill”

  1. I dread stairs as I lose my breath right away and can’t carry on a conversation like a normal person. I also dread summer, clothing shopping, events where you have to walk a lot…..I can’t wait to conquer all of them!

  2. I work for a university that has a giant “slope”. It’s basically a 30-degree uphill climb. I have turned down transfers because of this slope. I have paid too much for parking because of all the mini hills across campus. I hope by next semester, I will not have to do that anymore. 🙂

    • I feel you, all the way! Damn the “hilly” campus! I’m proud to say that this hill is my bitch now lol…. I walk up it with no problem. Someday I’ll start working towards the “running” part of making this hill my bitch ha ha! I hope you’re doing well!

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  4. I work at a hotel in Panama City that actually has a tunnel under the road to cross to the parking lot. Coming into a leaving work, you must conquer “the hill” and a couple flights of stairs…I too will one day conquer these things without a care in the world!

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  6. Pingback: I DID IT!!!!! I RAN UP THE HILL!!!!!! | Flirty by Thirty

  7. This really struck a cord with me…I started a new job in January 2014. I was out with two male coworkers and we parked in a parking garage…the top floor. I thought about those steps throughout lunch. Imagine my embarrassment as I stopped, gasping for air, sweating and aching after each HALF flight of stairs. The reasons I love your blog: 1. you get it 2. you’ve been there 3. you paint a visual image through your words 4. you’ve risen above it all! You are a true inspiration!

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  9. As someone who plans to be sleeved in three months, this is by far the most inspirational thing I’ve seen so far in my research. I also work at a university with hills and dread walking to meetings (I usually make up an excuse to drive across campus…). Thank you, thank you!

    • Yes, the excuses to drive… I hear you! I used to take the campus bus everywhere too. It was awful. Running up this hill was one of my favorite moments, by far! Good luck on your upcoming surgery… it is certainly something I would do over and over again!

  10. Did you EVER think you would allow someone to VIDEOTAPE you while you exercised or ran ???? (Let alone the running itself). This is so awesome. Thank you for sharing with everyone.
    As a “young-ish” 33, a lot of people have questioned me deciding to have WLS and this is exactly what I needed to see. To take care of it NOW and be able to enjoy my “good years”!!!!!

    • Hey there. Sorry that I didn’t see your post sooner. There are so many times, I sit and reflect about how far I’ve come and it really is a dream come true. I never could have imagined I would be capable of the things I can do now. My 20s were spent in a miserable and sad place and I’m trying to live everyday in a way that makes up for it! 🙂

      Best of luck to you in your journey!

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