Friday, July 27, 2012

Go For the GOLD!

Who wants to walk into a gym 100 + pounds overweight?  My husband and I owned a gym for 8 years (World Gym, Campbell CA ), and I when I was overweight I never walked in the front door!  Embarrassed for myself, but also too embarrassed for him to have such a fat wife.  How would my life change, permanently, to that of an athlete in training, and feeling driven to be the best.

Remembering the Olympic Games came one of the biggest athletic memories of my life....along with thousands of other young girls!   1972, Olga Korbut. What little girl doesn’t dream of being the Women’s Gymnastic gold medalist?  The Olympic games, only the best, the top of the top.  The event, Gymnastics, was only an example that reminds us of what lies underneath, and inside of us…..our inner athlete.

At only 9 years old this left an impression of the physical possiblities, the physical potential available to all normal girls, but I wasn't normal.  Being overweight, “chubby”, my entire life was painful.  I felt like the only chubby girl in the world.  I was always the last one picked for team sports, I never was able to do a cartwheel or hang from the monkey bars like other little girls, gymnastics was totally and forever out of the question.

Looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of a fat girl.  Who was that?  That was not me.  I have never seen myself as that fat person, and it always surprised me to see that reflection knowing I was so much more than what my physical body looked like. I always felt judged and underestimated because of my physical condition....underestimated and judged by everyone, and maybe myself. 

Over the years I had, in addition to Olga Korbut, one more deep lasting physical impression.  Rachel McLish, bodybuildings 1980 Ms. Olympia . From one Olympian to another!  Talk about the perfect female physique.  Remember, this was 1980.  Bodybuilding in the 80’s set a standard for lean muscular physiques and it still has lasting effects on diet and training. This is the reason I joined Gold’s Gym, San Jose , and where I would meet my future husband Mark.  Fate?  Or part of my dreams coming true?  Mark was a former Olympic level athlete and the one who would unknowingly help me turn my dream of being and living like an athlete into reality. But who knew it would come almost 20 years later!

It had seemed like forever that I wanted to be able to express some physicality and athleticism throughout my life.  As a young adult I dreamt of bodybuilding and things like competing in the Ironman triathalon, and yes, the dream of being Olga Korbut still resonated.  But they were still only dreams, it was way too late for me.

Could I do it?  Would I do it?  Would I ever lose the weight?  Would I ever stop stuffing myself full of food?  I liked overeating food, and it liked me…until I didn’t, and it didn’t.  Change was up to me, and change was possible.

Why not me?  Why not you?

I believe in you the same as I believe in me.  I support, but I don’t commiserate.  I expect the best, the biggest, and the fastest changes.  I’m your biggest cheerleader.  You can do this...go for the GOLD!


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! No one understands this like a former fat girl--Jabba D Butt, that'd be me. But no more. Preach it, sister!

We all have to get to that point, whatever "that point" is. And then the magic happens (with lots of hard work, and lots of swings!).

Tracy Reifkind said...


It was not the same for the "husky" boys...or at least that's what we think...

Most young people have their own feelings of being different, misunderstood and underestimated. Being overweight, fat, whatever, was part of my experience....along with a few others, and I have no regrets.

KrisR said...

Thanks Tracy - I needed a cheerleader today!

I'm about 5 weeks into clean eating and yesterday was an intense day of struggle. Made it....but just barely. :)

Still struggling to get through the KB workouts in The Swing - keep injuring myself (lat area) when I go to the one-handed swings. Have an appointment with an HKC next week though so am hopeful we'll get my technique sorted out.

Thanks again for your support!

Mark Reifkind said...

my love, I immediately saw your potential the first time we met. I wasn't sure for awhile that you would do it, but I always knew you could.

and now you have, SO proud of MY Olympian!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Go Kris, go Kris, go Kris!

You'll get to a point when you prefer to eat better quality foods. But it's not really the quality as much as it is the quantity!

Let me know how it goes with the trainer!

Tracy Reifkind said...

My love,

so sweet, I learned from the best!

Diana said...

No matter how long we have traveled in the wrong direction, we always have the choice to turn around. Now that you've made the turn around, I can only wonder how many are now looking at you the same way you looked up to your Olympians! :)

Keep changing lives Tracy! I know mine is forever!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Truly I never looked at it like that, so thank you for such a high compliment! I needed that.