When I reflect on 2017, I feel like I could sum up the majority of that year with the word scars. Internal scars from my life taking a drastic change from the path I had envisioned myself on, invisible scars on my left hand where a wedding ring once was, and most notable to an outsider – the scars a surgeon left all over my stomach.
I was that weird kid who loved getting a cool looking bruise. The darker and more colorful the bruise, the more excited I was. That weird kid turned into an even weirder adult who will wear skirts to work the day after a Spartan Race to show off the cool battle wounds. The amount I love bruises, is the amount I hate scars. It took me about a week after I had surgery to work up the courage to look at my stomach. I knew there were 3 small incisions, an incision that held a drain, and one 2 inch incision above my belly button (disclaimer – pics at the end of the blog, if you don’t like scar pictures, don’t scroll to the bottom). I started to become ashamed of the way my new stomach looked because I knew my bikini days were long gone, and would frequently find myself staring at the scars with disgust and hatred. I didn’t just hate the way they looked, I hated what they symbolized – pain and weakness.
Around the time I was realizing how vain I was for placing so much emphasis on my stomach, I heard a beautiful sermon that spoke about how scars and imperfections are often the most attractive traits about a person because every scar is a sign of healing – they show healing and strength, because what once was broken is now made whole. As I was listening to the message I began to think about how when I view my life I often think about the broken parts, and ignore the strength that came from that brokenness. My scars,both the physical and the emotional, have all worked together over the past 14 months to make me into a stronger, more resilient woman. The journey that I have taken with not only learning to accept, but love and embrace my scars, is now fuel to my Ironman journey. I’m looking forward to earning a few new bumps and bruises as I continue to train to earn the right to call myself an Ironman.