Stop Sign is the name of a hike at Fitness Ridge. In the whole scheme of things it's not actually probably too difficult, but there is just something about it.
Before I tell you about my experience with Stop Sign I just have to share a few other cool moments that got me to Stop Sign.
I have, like I've said before, been dieting for about 16 years. I have had many successes along the way, but NEVER quite made my final goal and obviously never figured out how to keep the weight off.
The closest I ever came to keeping 70 pounds off was when my husband and I really took up running. We trained for and ran 2 half marathons. Well, the second one we mostly walked and didn't really prepare for, we just did it to support a friend, and when she was ready to walk we glady obliged :) Anyways, running sometimes more than 20 miles a week, we were able to keep our weight down for almost 2 years. Even after all that running... I still wasn't ever proud of my accomplishments because I was STILL FAT!! I didn't take up running for fun, I ran to lose weight. :/ Even 70 pounds down, I was still 30 to 40 pounds from my goal weight of 140.
Anyways, during my stay at Fitness Ridge I really struggled with feeling proud of myself. It was a LONG week of a lot of time to work hard, push and challenge yourself and THINK.
In one of our classes with Sione (from BL season 7) I kinda had a break thru. It was a REALLY hard class. Well,it was called Mountain. It was about a 45 minute class with 3-4 minute intervals to "reach the mountain". So it was a continuous push to the top, harder faster every 3-4 minutes. In the beginning he asked us to pick a goal, I was feeling like making the most of it and getting my booty kicked but I couldn't run because of my heel so I was on the bike so I picked maintaing my speed or increasing and getting to level 15. I knew it was going to be hard, but I HAD NO IDEA HOW HARD. I had only gone to 10 before EVER and I didn't ever think of pushing harder.
I told Tamara my goal, because she was next to me and I needed her to know so I would be sure I hit it.
Sione is really good at the whole "let yourself be great" speeches. The music was great, and loud like I like it and he was talking to us all about our families at home supporting us and cheering us on and about challenging ourselves and how we are stronger than we think we are and all this junk and I of course started crying and of course... I made my goal,it was really hard but I was sick of feeling like a failure and I decided then that I wasn't going to be a failure any longer.
The support I have from my husband, my parents, my extended family and friends is really UNBELIEVABLE TO ME!!! They are the BEST!!! If they all love me and believe in me then I was the only one to blame for holding myself back.
I was climbing the "mountain" when I remembered when my husband and I ran our first half marathon. My mom had our son, and our closest couple friends, Vicki and Darryl, were teaching at church that morning, so we didn't plan to look for anyone standing along the route, cheering us on.
As we were running, just after the route cleared out so we were running almost alone.... we SPOTTED VICKI AND DARRYL!!! It was an indescribable moment of love and appreciation!! We were kind of in shock the first time we saw them but we saw them a few more times and made sure to stop and hug them. I don't know why it meant so much to have them there cheering us on, but it did and I'll never forget it, it was SO encouraging!!!
Remembering that whole scenario while climbing the "mountain" of course didn't help the tears. <3
A few days later, it was my groups turn to do the Stop Sign. It was 4 miles and 1,000 ft incline. So it wasn't crazy steep, but up hill just enough, the ENTIRE WAY!!! It wasn't like it was a race, but I was with people who were at my "skill or speed level". It was the only hike where you could wear your headphones and it was just you and the mountain. I had no idea how far I had gone, and it was a whindy path so you couldn't even know if you were close really until you could actually finally see the stop sign at the end. I just kept pushing. I had just caught site of the yellow sign showing that there was a stop sign ahead and I was FINALLY so proud of myself for pushing and making it to the top, when one of our hike guides, drove by and said,"you're doing great!" and I lost it.... :) I don't know why sometimes it is so hard to feel proud of your accomplishments, but turns out it is. Somewhere I have a picture of myself still crying and hanging on to the Stop Sign.
Don't get me wrong, I know I cannot do ANYTHING without GOD's help!!!! I wouldn't even be on the planet without him and most days, probably not even out of bed. We were just reading in John this week in our Friday life group, even Jesus cannot do things on his own "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me." John, 5:30 and another verse about God's strength, Philippians 4:13,"I can do all things through him who strengthens me".
I desire to bring glory to God and be a testimony for him and I think he's ready for me to do what I need to do to stop letting food and my fears distract me from him and hold me back from the best that he has for me, and his plan for my life.
I pray that I can be an encouragement to you, as so many have been an unforgettable encouragement to me!!!