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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's a marathon

I'm going to get to the punch line of tonight's Biggest Loser quickly because I want to spend some time talking about life as a marathon.

You'll recall that the Final Four were Koli, Ashley, Daris and Michael. Ashley and Michael lost more than 7% of their total body weight in the month they spent at home, so they are definitely in the running for the title "Biggest Loser." Koli lost a little more than 5% of his weight (13 pounds). And Daris gained 2 pounds, despite training to compete in the Biggest Loser Marathon. He later admitted to out of control eating late at night.

Click here to vote for who you'd like to see included in the top 3.

This is not the first time the Final Four on the Biggest Loser has had to complete a marathon -- 26.2 miles -- as their final challenge. But it was the first time that the marathon struck me as a metaphor for life.

As they four made their way through the marathon course, they were not alone. There were people who stood by on the sidelines and cheered them on. There were others -- several former Biggest Loser champions and family members -- who joined them for part of the journey. But ultimately, they had to finish on their own.

While watching, I was struck by the fact that life is like that. It's not just about finishing -- it's about who we encounter and how we carry ourselves along the way. Daris's knee was hurting. Mike's thigh was cramping. They acknowledged the pain, but plowed ahead, not giving in to something that would have, just 17 weeks earlier, kept them from getting off the couch in the first place. The journey can be made more pleasant by those who join us along the way. And sometimes they're presence is not just about enjoyment, but about the ability to keep on keeping on.

When Koli weighed in at the end and had only lost 13 pounds, he owned up to being singularly focused on having the confetti rain down on him. He said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the end result, that he forgot to celebrate the small successes along the way. I get that. Whether it's being focused on wearing a certain size or being in a rush to get to the point where the kids are more independent, if we forget to breathe in and embrace all the moments that actually make up a life, we'll be left to look back and wonder what happened and what we might have done differently.

And while we can talk about life "taking a village," ultimately, we are accountable for our own choices, our own failures and our own victories. And in the end, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey.


Sara said...

Hello! Just wanted to leave a quick comment but I am hoping tomorrow to be able to come back and leave a better once since I am totally not with it right now, I missed bits and pieces of the show tonite due to a migraine of some sort and then ended up in the ER afterwards so yeah, my thoughts are a bundle. But I wanted to quick add that I couldn't believe that Sione(right? from a couple seasons ago?) had gained so much weight back. It really surprised me. Anways, I will come back after I sleep and add my final thoughts!! ;)

Cat said...

I have a hard time staying in the moment for the journey. Thanks for the reminder, great takeaway from the show.

Anonymous said...

It is not uncommon to gain some weight while training for a marathon. I gained about 3/4 pounds while training for mine. And I did not start out overweight.

I am rarely in the moment, I am tend to worry about what I just said or did or what is to come. I miss a lot of fun. And I worry that I am passing this trait on to my children. It leads to unhappiness.- Though I consider myself happy and always working on "just Being"


Eternal Lizdom said...

I love this, Amy. It's so true. While all that we have is this moment, right now... what we are right now isn't necessarily the end. And it isn't the goal that is important- it's how you get there and the choices you make along the way.

Joanie said...

I just realized this is a novella!!

No one has said who they'd like to see in the Final Three. I voted for Daris, despite his gaining 2 pounds while he was at home. Seeing him sneaking food in the middle of the night reminded me of me on so many occasions (actually, I did the same thing last night, at 1:30... couldn't sleep... got a piece of sugar-free cheesecake... and it showed on the scale this morning). I've gotten really turned off by Koli's sudden arrogance. I know everyone wants the confetti to rain down on them, but the way he puts it, it just turns me off, big time. Daris is so quiet and seems so humble by the progress he's made. Unless Daris gets a handle on what's going on inside his head, he may struggle quite a bit. Still, I'd like to see him in the Final three.

Now, Michael and Ashley... I'm very happy how they are taking responsibility for their journey... Mike seeing what he has accomplished so far and not just what he still needs to do to get to his goal. And Ashley for realizing that she's finally happy, and doesn't need to hide behind partying all the time to prove she's happy.

Could it be, maybe, that these two have found each other? I've been noticing a closeness the past few weeks. This could be wonderful for them! They find happiness in each other and can help each other on this new journey.

Yes, Sara, I did notice how much weight Sione had gained back, such a shame and at the same time, not surprising. Many of us do exactly that (I know I did). I have to give Soine big props though, because he stayed with Koli through the entire second half of that marathon!

Anyway, I cannot wait for next Tuesday!! I have a feeling pink is still the color to beat! I'm predicting that either Mike or Ashley will take the big prize! The at home winner? My money is on Sunshine!

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh - you should RUN one & you REALLY see how life applies...

But what stood out to me is when Mike was running low & then the young Mike came out & you should PHYSICALLY see the change in Mike, how he pepped up... shows how we influence others...

LOVE Marathon night on BL!!!