On Metamorphosis

Bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage in Ohiopyle State Park. August 2012.

I am sure that the caterpillar can relate. The path to becoming something new is long, a bit messy, and often times a complex process of intertwined efforts.

Somewhere, beneath all of these soft layers that bounce and jiggle, is a person that I am hoping to meet. We really aren’t very different. We are both beautiful and intelligent and wildly funny human beings. This other woman has a bit more confidence, though. And much less need for self-deprecating humor. Mostly, she doesn’t worry about what everyone else thinks when they see her because she is no longer hiding behind her wit and her intelligence, she no longer lives on the offensive in fear of rejection or judgment. She just is. She is the sigh of relief I will let out when I’ve metamorphed out of this pudgy body and into one that is stronger, more powerful, healthy, and happy.

I downloaded a Couch 2 5k application to my iphone. Not so much because I have a desire to complete a 5k, but more because I was getting bored of 40 minutes on any given cardio machine without some sort of goal or purpose. Also, it’s time to get over my fear of running. I am TERRIFIED of running. In my body, it is uncomfortable – my breasts heave painfully with each step, my legs quiver precariously beneath me, my lungs threaten to collapse, and my stomach sends mayday signals to my brain that I just may vomit any second. It’s my body’s way of shouting “NO! STOP! Stop this right this minute before I quit”. All that over 30 seconds of running. The program guides you through alternating sessions of 30 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking, a warm up and cool down period. I was waiting for the endorphins everyone talks about but I only felt them for a fleeting minute or two if at all. I managed to power through the discomfort by channeling my absolute loathing for the body I currently inhabit. Somewhere around the halfway point I even forgot about the other gym members that could very well be snickering about my jiggly bits behind my ample rump. Even though Week 1 Day 1 of the program only lasts for 40 minutes, I wanted to jump for joy when I finished. “Take that, treadmill and chubby thighs!” Then I remembered I still had another half hour of strength training to complete. So I pulled myself together and kept going. Change is intentional – something to be thought about every day, to be lived deliberately. One foot in front of the other, choice upon choice, thousands of beads of sweat until I wriggle out of this chrysalis.

Mile marker 72 – we started here, rode to 82, and made the return trip.


The Youghiogheny River viewed from the bridge that connects the bike paths. Those yellow things are white water rafts.

The quintessential view of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” – constructed in the late 1930’s over a waterfall. Another reason for the 5 hour drive west.