I want to start off this entry with a picture of what I looked like before my swim this evening.
Today before my swim, I told Christie that I was going to swim tonight with my shirt off. This is the first swim I have done since Plastic Surgery without a compression top or Tri Suit on. You may not think that this is a big deal, but to me it REALLY was. Ever since surgery, even though I really have not admitted it to anyone, I am VERY self-conscious about my MASSIVE scars and the ones on my chest are so thick and dark red, I was so affraid of people thinking I was some sort of a freak or maybe even a trans-sexual (NO Joke)! Who has a big scar under their breast? I do not know a single man with this. Aside from that... While the front of my body may look decent, I still have a role of skin on my lower ribs and sternim that could not be removed yet due to blood supply issues to my lower abdomen, which I am frustrated with. Also, I probably have another 12-15 pounds of skin on my flanks (Where my love handles used to be), my butt, and upper legs. So, needless to say I was VERY apprehensive about going shirtless this evening, but I did it.
As I got to the pool and watched all the older somewhat over-weight folks begin to exit the pool after the water aerobics class, and as I witnessed and elderly couple, who consisted of a white-haired man lovingly help his wife, who was an amputee with only 1 functional leg, out of the water and back into her wheelchair, I began to think "What is wrong with you DAN". THE TRUTH IS, this evening at the pool, I had an epiphony. I felt at peace with the fact that I may never LOOK like a shredded athlete, cut up with muscle, but the FACT is, I have worked DANG HARD to get to where I am at, and I am proud of what I have accomplished, and should have no reason to feel shame about myself. The Fact is, we all are imperfect, whether it be a weight issue, cellulite, amputation, wrinkles, scars, severe burns, etc... And each one of us MUST come to a point when we can allow ourselves to love and ACCEPT who we are both on the inside AND outside, whatever that may mean. So, here is a picture of what I looked like after my swim this evening...
Yes, it is the same person in the picture but NOT the same person inside. I changed during my swim tonight. Once I took my shirt off, and jumped in the pool and started lapping the folks lingering there, I found a certain pride that came from within me, and the scars really did not seem to bother me anymore. So, if you take anything away from my post this evening, take away the FACT that none of us will ever be perfect, and while we will always be our own worst judge, we also need to learn to be gentle on ourselves. I think when we die and meet our maker and are reunited with our families at some point, I doubt those we love will really care or remember our cosmetic imperfections, rather, they will care and remember all of the fond memories made while sharing in happiness and joy. So, to sum everything up... THE TRUTH IS, WE ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN THE REFLECTION WE SEE IN THE MIRROR! This includes what a scale says, what foolish people may mock you and call you, what anyone may say about you. We were NOT sent to this Earth to FAIL, we were sent here to succeed, find happiness and joy, and to build friendships and relationships that will endure through eternity... Let's start today to achieve that which we were sent here to do!!!