Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Healthy Competition May Kill Me

 Anyone who’s ever met me knows I’m not a type-A personality.  I think people who know my father and me wonder how we can be related.  The last time I got up before 5 a.m. to do something fitness-related was to cheer my best friend on at the Marine Corps Marathon.  The last time my father got up at 5 a.m. to do something fitness-related was this morning.  (It doesn’t matter what the time differential is between when I wrote this and when I published this—believe me, he was awake.)
I’m a high-functioning type-B and that’s always been fine with me.  I don’t need to be in charge of every group; I just need someone to make a decision.  People who can’t make decisions drive me crazy.  This is possibly a side effect of living in the South where people tend to polite each other to death: “Where do you want to eat?” “I don’t care.” “Well, I’m not picky; what do you like?” “Anywhere you like is good with me.”  Holy crap—someone pick somewhere or it’ll be dinnertime soon.  I have literally flipped a coin on multiple occasions to expedite this process.
To reiterate, I’m not type-A and I’m not competitive (unless it comes to trash-talking other SEC schools during football season).  And then two deadly things happened.  I started working at a law firm and then got a Fitbit.  These aren’t new occurrences, nor are they bad things on their own.  I’ve just realized that the Universe has been using these two things to conspire against me and I am helpless to stop it.
The lawyers I work with are relentlessly type-A and competitive.  It’s not a bad thing.  At this type of law firm, you have to have some serious drive and internal motivation to make a success of yourself.   I didn’t realize how much this had rubbed off on me until one of the partners and a senior associate (who are working on their own personal fitness goals) decided to create a firm-wide stair-climbing challenge. 
The rules are simple: Nine floors, 248 steps, two points for going from the lobby to the ninth floor, one point for going down the same distance.  Winners announced every two weeks. Prize: bragging rights and the picker of food and drink for an office happy hour. 
As some of you remember, the fires of competition have been smoldering since I got my Fitbit at the end of January.  Each milestone and badge thrills me more than I thought possible.   I achieved my personal best of over 15,000 steps in a single day on Valentine’s Day, as I wandered through the moors, bemoaning my imminent spinster-hood.  (Or catered a 90-person cocktail party, same difference.)  And it’s just gotten worse ever since.
I reached an all-time high/low on Monday aka Day 1 of the BCNT Stair Challenge.  At least for the day, I blew my competition out of the water with nine points.  And then, at 34 total flights of stairs, I just had to try for my 50-flight Fitbit badge.  So after 34 flights, after boot camp, I come home to my apartment and run another 15 flights of stairs.  I’d met my 10,000 step minimum for the day but I realized how close I was to my five-mile goal, and that led to running across my apartment for about seven-tenths of a mile while on the phone.
I thought I was done.  I’d showered, I was watching Dancing with the Stars, having phone time with the bestie, and managed to get to 10:30 which seemed like a good bed time for the day.  Then I made the mistake of checking the Fitbit one last time.  11,518.  Well, that’s not a round number of any kind.  Sooooo close to 12,000.  I could get there… 
I’m almost embarrassed (can you embarrass the shameless?) to admit I delayed bedtime for another 15 minutes just so I could get to 12,000 and attempt to beat anybody in my Fitbit circle.
As of press time, I’m in the lead for the stair challenge.  I’m also afraid to sit for any extended period of time as I’m just waiting for delayed onset muscle soreness to set in and lock me in place like the Tinman.  And it’s only going to get worse.  I fear for my sanity.  But I’ll have the best lower half of any resident at the asylum.
In other healthy challenges that may kill me, I am officially entered in the 2014 Peachtree Road Race.  I’ve run it in high school, but I think this is the first time I’ve actually cared about finishing it.  I entered the lottery on whim the Sunday it opened.  I was under-caffeinated and didn’t think I had any actually shot of getting a number.  Cut to this morning: “Dear Rachel Boyd, Congratulations! Your entry was selected for the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4, 2014.” Training hilarity will ensue.

I’m having a moment.  I know I’m covered in sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, but I’m borderline giddy.  I’m nervous, but more excited than I’ve been in a while.  I think I’m just fully recognizing the amount of potential my life holds in the few months.  I don’t mind the uncertainty and I feel like a kid on a high dive, working up the nerve to take the leap, getting ready to enjoy the feeling of flying, huge splash as I land, huge grin. 

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