Miles. (Wade, Guest blogger)

Wade and Betsy

Meet Wade!  Not sure how much of an introduction he really needs.  His post perfectly describes the strength and fabric of our friendship.

He is one of the people who has been with me through this entire journey.  He knew me at my heaviest.  He was the very first person I told when I decided that I was going to get started saving my own life…

I could not have done this without him.  You’ll see that for yourself.

It’s all yours Wade…


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

~ Lao Tzu

January 27, 2013 at 12:12am (EST)

Betsy: “Think about something… HOW would you even begin to go about the permitting processes for a NAKED 5K? Logistical nightmare.”

That is approximately the 3,700th Facebook message between Betsy and I. She sent it to me, it was the first message in the conversation that day… Nudity, logistics, running… Somehow it is a perfect representation of our relationship.

We’ve known each other since late 2007. Since that time we have amassed over 4,000 Facebook messages, an unknowable number of text messages, and hours on the phone.

September 17, 2009 at 1:16am (EDT)

Betsy: “We have 142 friends in common. I didn’t know I had 142 friends. I just noticed that little factoid on FB. 142 is a lot.”

142 is a lot, it’s 46 friends fewer than we have in common now, and it’s also 92 less than pounds lost on this journey…

Think about the last substantial road trip you shared with friends, you learned something about each other. You saw the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious. And at the end, hopefully you are better for it. AND there is always more to the road trip than gets reported when you are showing off photos…

Betsy’s journey so far has covered many miles but what six years of Facebook messages revealed is that it really did begin with the first step…

Monday, May 24, 2010 at 4:52pm (EDT)

I’m gonna lose 25 pounds. When I do – I’m buying this (a Tiffany Bracelet). And I’m not telling ANYONE but you. Not my dad. Not my sister. And I don’t want you checking in on me. Just wanted someone to kinda/sorta hold me accountable… I want the bracelet.

There may have been little steps before this one, but this was the one, the shot across the bow. When Betsy brings up Tiffany you know it’s serious. It was followed a few days later by an email and subsequent message that she was joining Weight Watchers. While the bulk of the message was the how, the important part was this:

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:51pm (EDT)

Weight Watchers starts tomorrow. (Actually – I’ve been doing it most of the weekend, just because I’m that ready to get going.) Attaching the link — so you can see the basics of the program… All good stuff. And yes — I’m that much of a brat that I need to pay someone to tell me the things I already know. Snacks packed for tomorrow. Lunch packed too. I’m gonna do it this time Wade. I really, really want to. I really, really intend to. Wish me luck…

And then a week later this:

Monday, June 7 at 12:10pm (EDT)

Betsy: Weight watchers not working… This is what other folks have used and been successful on. What do you think?

Wade: I think you need to give it more than a week…

Betsy: Walking to a full sweat each day. And I’ve gained 8 pounds in 8 days. Am I just doomed to be fat??? This is so discouraging.

I’ve never done anything like what Betsy has done, many of us haven’t, and god willing won’t have to. I can’t fully understand what it takes to make that kind of a lifestyle change (this is just eating and exercising, just wait until you find out what losing that much weight does with your skin…).

The one thing these messages show is that it is not easy.

Just as with any journey there are bumps in the road (or concrete barriers). But if you manage to crawl (yes crawl) over them then you can get to this:

November 16, 2010 at 4:37pm (EST)

So — I’ve been dropping down on my insulin and the most HAPPY, exciting thing has happened… I’m not as hungry. I’ve lost about 2 pounds. Which I know isn’t a big deal – but the decrease in appetite is HUGE NEWS. My doc gave me the approval to try to get my numbers of insulin waaaaay down and after a bit of a mixed-result start — I think it’s going to work. Less insulin = less hungry = less Betsy… 🙂

And then you get to this:

August 2, 2011 at 12:22am (EDT) … (YES we have odd message times)

Diet this time is odd…I’m solidly happy and committed.

I’m walking 2 miles a day.

It took over a year to go from almost a meltdown when the latest diet didn’t work, to being solidly happy, committed and walking 2 miles a day. 2 miles is a far cry from a 50k, but it’s a hell of a lot better than a burger, fries, and large coke at the drive through on the way home.

There are a lot more steps and milestones in our years of conversation, like when Betsy decided to sign up for a 5k, and then discovered good running shoes. Or when she said she actually enjoyed vegetables.

What I think this shows (I really don’t know much, but this is a blog so I must be right) is that Betsy’s blog posts cover up some of the details. It takes seeing the day-in-day-out conversations to realize just how much work this really takes.

So whether you’re setting out to lose weight, get in shape, or just eat healthier, remember that at one point our fitness freak, Betsy Hartley, was melting down because she gained weight on Weight Watchers.

For the record she stuck with it and it worked, but it was not always rainbows and trail runs…

The journey of a thousand miles may begin with the first step, but, if you don’t keep walking you’re not going to make it very far.

Pacific Crest Endurance Triathlon (Wade) and Duathlon (Betsy). 2014. We signed up a year ahead – and spent the year being training partners at a distance. Wade in DC, Bets in OR. Friendship and support knows no bounds. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Miles. (Wade, Guest blogger)

  1. Reblogged this on all bets are off… and commented:

    This post got dug up a few days ago by one of my friends… I published it over a year ago. It served as a good reminder in the days following Transrockies and the days leading up to the 100 miler that once upon a time I gained weight on weight watchers and walking 2 miles without stopping was a freaking exciting benchmark. Times change. And people can, if they’re willing… 🙂


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