No, I'm not pregnant.
In mid-October, I ran into a fellow school mom, Hether, at after school pick-up. Hether said, "Hey! I tore this out of the paper for you."
It was an announcement that the local American Heart Association was looking for five women to participate in their Better U 12-week Heart Healthy Makeover. Anyone can go online and follow the program for themselves. But the AHA here wanted to find five women to put through the program with the help of cardiologists, dieticians, and personal trainers. The chosen women would be asked to blog about their experience and will be featured at the Go Red for Women luncheon in February.
The blogging component is what made Hether think of me. And serendipitously, we ran into each other at school, which doesn't happen often.
So I took the article home, sat down to write my 100-word statement about why I should be chosen (I think I fudged and used 107 words) and e-mailed it off. About 10 days later, I got a call saying I was a finalist! And I didn't utter a word here because I didn't want to jinx it.
I thought the interview went well. They asked me to tell them a little bit about myself, what I wanted out of the program, if I would be comfortable doing media interviews. And I had a good answer for every question, I thought. I left there feeling pretty good about my chances. They had received 120 applications and were interviewing 12 women to select the final five. So I didn't even have to be the best -- just better than seven others!
They said it would be a week or so before they announced the winners. But because I'm an impatient sort, I went to the local AHA website yesterday and saw this:
Go Red BetterU Heart Healthy Makeover
The American Heart Association selected five women who are ready to improve their health to participate in the Go Red BetterU Heart Healthy Makeover Challenge. As part of the Challenge, the women will receive free wellness screenings, consultations with a medical professional and ongoing coaching from a personal trainer and dietician.
Selected. As in already chosen. As in I didn't get a phone call. I was absolutely crushed. I'd really be counting on this opportunity to give me the shove toward better health that I need. Minorly hopeful, and a little irritated that I didn't at least get a "thanks but no thanks " e-mail, I sent a note to Kelly, one of the Heart Association women I'd interviewed with.
"I noticed on your website that the 5 women for the BetterU program have already been selected. Does that mean I should uncross my fingers?"
Then about 20 minutes later, after I had checked my e-mail about 47 times, I got a response from Kelly saying "We haven't made any public announcements. Can you send me the link where you saw that?"
So I sent her the link and one desperate, shameless plug for myself reminding her that I'm practically a cardiac catastrophe waiting to happen.
NOTHING. No response at all yesterday afternoon. None at 9pm. None at midnight. None at 7am this morning.
I was just sick and immediately transported back to my junior year in high school when I was so sure that I was a shoe-in for yearbook and I didn't get picked, which threw me headlong into a genuine depression. I just felt deflated and sick to my stomach and began second guessing my interview.
"Maybe I shouldn't have been so cheerful? Maybe I should have gone in teary and begging for rescue from my sorry self? No. I had been myself and did my best," I thought. "When they do make a public announcement about the five women, I won't be catty and petty and think how they should have picked me. I'll be a grown up about this. A grown up who is going to drown her sorrows in Maggie Moos ice cream."
And then the phone rang. It was Kelly from the American Heart Association. "You jumped the gun on me yesterday," she said. "I told you we hadn't made a public announcement, but I didn't tell you it was because we hadn't notified the five women yet."
Well, at least she was nice enough to call and tell me in person that I hadn't made the cut. Except she went on to say, "So I'm notifying you. We are really excited to have you as part of our Go Red for Women Better U Heart Healthy Makeover!"
WHAT?! WOOHOO!!! They picked me! They picked me! I thanked her and quickly assured her that I am not some kind of crazy, desperate, cardiac stalker.
So, over the next few weeks, I'll be setting up appointments with the cardiologists and whomever else they want me to meet with. Then in the first week of December, I'll get to meet the four other women at a kick-off breakfast. Then in January, my 12-week BetterU program gets underway. In February, the five of us will participate in the Go Red for Women luncheon and -- get this -- fashion show!
I really feel like this is my time to make a change in my life. If I were any good at singing, I'd belt out "This is My Now!" But since I'm not, I'll let Jordin Sparks do it for me: