Two years ago, I was what you would call a skinny fat girl. I was a couch potato, ate poorly, and rarely exercised. I was extremely prissy (and I still am to an extent…lol)–I didn’t like to sweat, never wanted to get my hair wet and often found myself sick with sinus infections. However, running a 5K back in 2010 without training changed my view of exercise. I was sore for a week and vowed to kick that race’s butt in 2011. I did the couch to 5K program and went from barely able to run for 1 minute to running for 20 to 30 minutes without stopping. I aced that 5K! I started eating healthier and becoming more and more active. I still need to work on my eating habits–I tend to still favor processed food when I choose food mindlessly, but I am working on that day by day. I am hoping this human nutrition class I am starting today will be the final push in that direction.
Anyway, I am digressing. Yesterday on Labor Day, I went on a 6 mile hike on Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, MD. With my book bag filled with lunch, water, and some dried fruit and seeds, I headed out with some folks from Hopkins. The most interesting about this hike was that we started near the summit and did a loop that took us full circle. Here’s the view from the top:
I was so proud of myself. I was sweaty, dirty, and even slightly wet from a little bit of rain at the beginning, but I finished. There were tons of uphill, rocky paths on this trail, but enough even path to help you endure to the next stop. I have hiked before, but never that far. It was great talking with my classmates that went on the trip as well as taking in all of the nature that surrounded us. It really looked like it was going to rain(and it did rain a little), but around lunch time, it cleared up and became hot and beautiful.
While we were walking through the woods, I reflected on my two recent life changes: chopping off my hair and going back to school. Cutting off my hair has been so liberating for me. I love the fact that I am not worried about getting it wet anymore and that now I don’t have to put heat to it. It is interesting to watch my hair change as the days go on–it is starting to find its own groove. It is sort of taking on a life of its own. It has been interesting learning how to do it in its natural state as well. I find that my hair likes to be wet and likes simple treatments. My curls are becoming more defined. I still have that one straight spot in the front, but I am confident that it will change.
As first term starts today(my second term here at Hopkins), I found myself also thinking about how far I have come in the past two months. I can’t look at the environment the same, nor can I think about health and diseases without trying to figure out relationships and public health implications. I also think about what that means for my health and how I definitely must practice what I preach. How can I encourage others to take care of themselves holistically if I don’t do so first hand?
That’s why I went on the hike even with the threat of rain. I could have stayed in bed and lounged all day, but I wouldn’t have felt that same sense of accomplishment that I felt today at the end of the hike. My body was tired, but I was proud of myself. Little by little, I am becoming a healthier person-mind, body and soul. I am not perfect and I know I will never be, but I am striving. I am in a very happy place and I feel without a doubt that this is my season to really make strides in those three areas. I am holding Philippians 3:12-14 in my heart:
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.