Sidney and I met 7 years ago. I needed a running partner to keep me safe on the trails, and she needed someone to keep her safe from bad people. She was 2, a skin-and-bones rescue dog with timid eyes. I was 39, three years into a life-changing journey of fitness and weight-loss, not skin-and-bones but 45 pounds lighter than I used to be and training for my first marathon.
Fast-forward to one year ago. Our running journey has taken us through a marathon and multiple ultra races, enjoying off-road trail and mountain running every week. After reaching the best fitness we’ve ever known, I pushed my limits too far and ended up with a significant Achilles injury. Almost 10 years of running and I was broken.
So began a 10-month season of recovery that I affectionately call our “gain weight and get out of shape plan”. Both Sidney and I sulked in our forced sedentary state, watching the winter and spring come and go, dismal at the passing of the seasons while we were stuck indoors. I’m not sure which plummeted faster: our spirits or our metabolism. I gained back all the weight I had lost ten years earlier plus extra for good measure. Sidney, now a senior, joined me in eating her emotions.
By July 2017, Sidney and I were back on the trails, starting over, huffing and puffing beside each other, wheezing and taking frequent breaks to lean against trees and try to settle our heartbeats pounding in our ears. Still, we were running! It was hard to tell who was more excited, me or the dog. In September, two months back at running, we realized that while our endurance had improved, our speed and fitness still sucked. We looked at each other despondently as the truth set in: We needed to lose weight.
So, here we are: Sheryl and Sidney’s weight-loss story. We vacillate between grand plans of dropping all the weight by Christmas, and post-binge acceptance that ANY weight-loss by bikini season would be a win. We’re already off to a rocky start. Today, Sidney stole Daughter 2’s chicken sandwich and I snuck Daughter 3’s popcorn. We looked into each other’s eyes with understanding, no judgment. It’s a journey, not a race.