No Category selected Victory coated in Temptation

    Victory coated in Temptation


     As the spring temperatures climbed and the kilometers added up, the countdown to the Good Life Fitness Toronto Half Marathon was on. With only 12 weeks of alcohol abstinence under my belt, I was focused on two things…21.1km and beer. You don’t have to be an addict to have experienced the obsessive thoughts that plague your mind when you can’t have something. Dieters always want more food. A jilted lover wants the one who jilted them and I wanted beer.

    I ran and daydreamed about filling my fuel belt with golden ale. I conjured up mirages of hydration stations passing out cups of lager. You wouldn’t catch me being picky about what was being served. In the end, I just ran and I didn’t weaken to the temptation.

     Early morning runs became necessary to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Being out on the roads at 5 am was very relaxing. I appreciated the calm and quiet all around me, my footfalls and the birds singing being the only sounds to disturb the tranquility. I was reminded of a time in my life when I often saw 5 or 6 am, usually because I hadn’t passed out yet.

     As I look back to last year, I don’t know how I did it, but I made it to race day, alcohol free. In fact the day of the race I was celebrating being on the starting line as well as being four months sober. I am certain one had everything to do with the other. The race was spectacular. At the 14th km, I was overwhelmed with emotions. The enormity of the past 16 weeks was profound. I wept with grief for letting go of an old life and its old habits. I wept with pride for being as strong as my Mama taught me to be and I wept with fear for my future.

    Four months of sobriety was everything to me and nothing to me. With each fore footed landing, a new thought was being pounded into my soul…I had the rest of my life…every waking minute that I live is another minute that I could fall off the wagon! This sucker could de-rail and fly off the tracks at any time. In a moment of weakness or insanity, I could fail at sobriety.

     The next few kilometers were blurred by despair. How was I going to live my life fearing failure? It was then that the phrase I had heard at the only AA meeting I had attended came to me…one day at a time. I couldn’t worry about forever. I could only worry about today. I won’t drink today, will be the goal. There was a lot of today left in that particular day, but in those moments, they weren’t serving lager at the hydration stations.

     I completed my first half marathon with a chip time of 2:08, with a dear friend by my side. We were corralled to the photo area as we recounted parts of the course. We were tired, but energized. I heard the announcer on the PA system calling out congratulations. He encouraged runners to visit the nutrition tent for bagels and bananas to refuel. With excitement he also reminded finishers to visit the Molson tent where we could pick up our complimentary 6 pack of Molson 67! I am NOT making this up. This was almost my dream come true…beer at hydration stations, this being the largest fuelling station on the course. I prayed for strength and I recited over and over…I will NOT drink free beer to celebrate my sobriety!

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    1. One day at a time, great friends and the will too succeed will be your strength christa. Your testimonial will be used by others as their strength to help them make it one day at a time.

    2. Christa…
      You’ve always inspired me, even back in grade school.
      Your enthusiasm, your strength., and your wit, in times of challenge.

      Christa. The World is a better place because you are in it…..

      Much love and strength


    3. I laughed when you said everyone got a 6 pack of Molson 67! Of all things……that was a true test! Looks like you passed! Way to go!

    4. A woman to aspire to. You are an inspiration to everyone Christa. We all have demons (hiding in our closet) but you were brave enough to share. Thank you for making such a difference and opening up to others. Wishing you the best with your future endeavors and proud to be a running buddy. Now go kick some $&@ at the races!!!!

    5. One of the hardest things to do in life is to admit our fears and weaknesses, you Christa are truly an amazing, strong woman to be able to share your story for others to learn and live by. Your story brought a tear to my eye with the honesty and truth behind it and it also made me want to put my running shoes on and go for a run to hear the birds sing and the tranquility that we can sometimes find in this hectic world. Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations.
      I send my positive thoughts and love your way.

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