Chasing the Light | Week 35 Weight Loss

Athena Perez

September 1, 2017

Day 245. 157 pounds lost.

I had some work to do yesterday, so the family and friends left for the fair early. I intended to meet them all down there which is what I did. I managed to find a lot that wasn’t full, and I boarded the bus. It was standing room only, and I thought to myself “all these cars for one place”? It was only a five-minute ride to the fairgrounds, but I could feel my heart beating just a tad bit faster than normal; clearly, I was getting nervous. I had heard about this “monster fair” for years.  I was holding on to the bar trying to keep myself standing as the bus was weaving in and out of streets when all of the sudden it seemed just to open up and there it was; the entrance with all the flags. There were so many people there already all I could say when I stepped off the bus was……… “Oh… my god”.  People were coming up to me giving me pamphlets, trying to sell me water, gate tickets and holy cow the SMELLS. I followed the herd of cattle to the gates, bought my ticket, walked through the turnkey and reached my hand out to grab the unreachable star I had only heard about for years. I hadn’t been to a fair since I was a kid and the only thing in my memory bank was ski-ball and this merry-go-round type of ride.

I look around as soon as I was officially on the grounds and I don’t know any other way to explain it but sensory overload. I’ve actually had a condition with sensory overload since I was young; I have trouble processing too many things at one time. It’s the same reason I can’t type and talk on the phone at the same time. Or….. I can’t read and be in a car. I can’t type and talk to people; I am only capable of doing one thing at a time, but it does have a positive flip side to it. I single task because of this. I can work like a horse working down a punch list and accomplish tasks in usually half the time as normal.  At the fair, it was a slightly different story. I am immediately overwhelmed by emotion simply because I am standing in a place I never thought I would be. Suddenly, the previous nine months and all the struggles I went through to get to this day went swimming through my brain, and I just couldn’t believe I had done it. On top of that, sensory overload kicks in.

What might seem to be a normal sight upon first walking into the fair was something I had never seen before. I could hear and see SO many people, I could hear buzzers and bells, there were flashing lights, DONG, DING – my head is swimming, and all I could do was freeze and look around. “Do you remember the movie ‘Bruce Almighty’? He was receiving prayer requests by hearing them in his head as they occurred, hundreds at a time. They became jumbled, and he became frustrated and couldn’t make sense of any of them. That’s kind of what it felt like. I hear the call of Dennis saying “Auuhhhtthhheenaaaaaa” and BOOM I’m present again. The BOOM came with a level of excitement that I don’t ever remember experiencing in my life. Once my brain had time to process what this was I knew I wanted to SEE everything, EXPERIENCE everything which is what I did.

I felt like a 12-year-old girl yesterday. I couldn’t get over how much there was to see and do, and I wanted it all. I was utterly mesmerized by vendor trinkets, and food smells and watching all the blinky lights. My legs yesterday felt like blocks of steel. I was a tad slow as I walked around but they were solid as blocks, and they ended up carrying me to see everything I wanted yesterday. There was a level of pride that I can’t even describe. The final tally on the Fitbit yesterday was 19,000 steps which is the highest record thus far.

I ended up doing a ride with my nephew that many would hesitate on. Believe it or not, I used to suffer from a crushing fear of heights, but years ago I managed to kick this fear when I decided to learn how to fly in this little two-seater plane. There was something about “being close to God” that made me feel like I was personally handing him my fear and suddenly………… it was gone. I Haven’t had a fear of heights since.  

By far it was the craziest funniest thing I have ever experienced. I laughed all night and woke up this morning still laughing. I can’t remember a time when I laughed that hard. It literally was pure joy running through my veins yesterday. It was a very free feeling….. like somehow I was able to release all the pain and frustration and struggle of this year and let it go. I feel like it gave me more room to keep going. On the other hand, it made me realize that nothing is impossible. Yesterday was the literally the first day of the rest of my life, and I know that it set a precedent.

I fear nothing going forward. I can do every single thing my heart desires. And why not? There’s something to be said for letting light in your life. For me, it was God. It has changed every fabric of my life. To walk in the light means to know God, understand his truths (and mine as well) and live my life the best way I know how. For me, this means living with open eyes and an open heart – ready and willing for every new experience possible. I’m just going to keep chasing the light. Let the experiences flow….





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I’m Athena Perez, a Christ-loving dog mom and CrossFitter who has lost over 200 pounds on a long journey of self-discovery. I’m obsessed with sharing everything I’ve learned to help you too!  

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