Today the roommate and I went for a hike. I haven't been on a real hike in a very long time, so I started by looking up easy hikes for beginners in the Salt Lake City area and decided on Ensign Peak due to how close it is to home and the fact that it's only a mile and it was getting close to sunset.
For me, it wasn't easy. It was steep, and uneven, and my lungs were screaming at me reminding me that athsma + altitude + cold air don't mix well. There were so many times I had to stop to catch my breath and I felt really bad about making the roommate stop with me. He was so patient (and in much better shape than I am in) and just kept reminding me that it was okay, and to take long slow breaths.
When you stop and people are passing you and looking at you funny it's not easy to remember that it's okay. You feel horrible and embarrassed and everything inside your head is telling you "just turn around and give up fatty." So you stand there and try to fill your painful lungs with chilled air and work on not throwing up or crying from embarrassment. All the while the voices in your head are reminding you that you are the person stopping-as toddlers waddle by with little effort, and you feel pretty worthless.
But at some point, somewhere in my head another voice chimed in. Amongst the cries to give up and the voices telling me how awful it was that I couldn't even make it a half a mile up a hill, another voice just said "shut up, catch your breath, and keep going." So I did.
I made it to the top. I can't tell you how many times I had to stop and get my breath-but I made it to the top. To be honest? I don't give a single you-know-what about the douchey frat boys that were mocking me. I don't care that little kids and other large women had an easier time of it than I did. All I care about is that I did it, and I didn't give up, which for someone with commitment issues like I apparently have (especially when it comes to weight loss) is awesome. I finished.
I just keep reminding myself that you have to start somewhere. This isn't going to be the last hike I have to stop several times on the way up. There will probably be twenty or so more that include more than one stop, but eventually, because I started here and didn't give up-there will finally be a time where I don't have to stop. It will come, as long as I keep going and finishing in spite of the stops. Les petit pas. Small steps.