Monday, August 2, 2010

Old Friends

One of the highlights of my visit to California last week was getting to reconnect in person with my old friend, Matt. We grew up together in our sailing club - met when we were eight years old and, being the same age, naturally hung out every time there was a camp out, or a race, or a name it. As Matt said to me - "Any sailing event it wasn't ten minutes upon arriving that we were together." We were a part of each others lives for years and years, and then we grew up and families changed and we stopped sailing and camping. The last time we saw each other was when we were around 18 or 19 years old...ran into each other at the local community college. Now, I have to preface this all by saying that we were never boyfriend/girlfriend - just buddies - but best friends, although neither of us would have said it at the time.

Barbara, who used to go sailing with us in high school, and I met Matt for lunch the day after I arrived in California. We sat outside (you can do that in California in July without roasting!) - the most amazing thing to me is that we just picked up and started talking like no time had passed. It was the best lunch...although lunch was the last thing on our minds - in fact, after the waitress came back for the third time to take our order (and we still hadn't cracked open our menus), she jokingly threatened to order for us! Too funny - she was really sweet considering we stayed at the table for a couple of hours. I cannot express enough how glad I am that I stepped outside of my shell and not only made contact with Matt, but was honest about where I had been in my life. This confidence, and the (somewhat) self-assuredness that has come with it is a direct result of my losing weight, working out, and discovering that I AM capable of doing so much more than I ever would have realized. I'm beating myself up less and less these days - the fat guilt is slowly going away.

So to give you an idea of who we were back then, here's a few pictures:
The younger set of sailing club kids at Pinecrest - I'm on the end in the striped shirt (because my shoulders were always getting sunburned); Matt is the one either making a muscle or about to pound his brother next to him (and my brother is in front of Matt in the orange trunks). We were around 10 years old at the time.SuperMatt around age 14 - we are still debating where this picture was taken (I'm leaning toward New Brighton).Me around 14 years old - camping at New Brighton. Still having to wear a t-shirt because of the sunburned shoulders!

And here we are about ten days ago:
Not much has changed, right? Right??? I think this is a great picture, but when I look at it I still see the kids we were.

The nice thing about having a body that is capable of moving in comfort again is that we made plans to revisit one of the campgrounds - New Brighton State Beach - that our families used to camp at. I knew I could walk all over and be fine. The old me, even if I would have had the nerve to meet up with an old friend, would have had lunch and that's way in hell would I have made plans to do things like walking! Down a trail! On the beach! Too much for the old Shelley...but the 2010 version did just fine. As it turns out, Barbara's family used to camp at New Brighton as well, so it was really fun reminiscing together and seeing what had changed (When did the pine trees appear? All I remember were the eucalyptus trees!), what was smaller now that we were grown ups, and remembering what slightly dangerous things we attempted while kids (the giant tree teeter-totter comes to mind).

After we were through with the campground, we walked down the trail to the beach, kicked off our shoes, and walked probably another mile and a half to Seacliff. I started collecting seashells and with Barbara and Matt's help, amassed this little collection that I have sitting on my desk:
Pretty reminders of a great day at the beach with my friends!
Nearing Seacliff - Capitola is in the background, which is where we ended our Wharf to Wharf race. Barbara and I continued on to the road, while Matt ran back on the beach to pick up his van and meet back up with Barbara and I to go get some lunch.

We went to a shopping center in Aptos where we all could choose whatever we wanted to eat and meet up at the picnic tables in the middle. Matt and I chose hamburgers, and I swear, this was the best burger I've ever had:
I ate every bite of the burger and about a third of the fries - this has spoiled all future burgers for me now. Aptos Burger Company, I will be returning!

Barbara, having just attained her "free" status at Weight Watchers, got a salad:
At the top of the picture are Matt's hands making a halo over her head because she was being so good with her lunch!

So apparently after our beach cliff run, Matt was impressed enough by Ricky Bobby (and really, who wouldn't be?) that he bought his own Garmin...he normally is a trail runner, so it will be nice for him to see all the stats as he tries to avoid the mountain lions (run fast, Matt!). Naturally, I had to have him send me a picture:
Matt and Danica (lol!). One of these days Ricky Bobby and Danica (Patrick, the race car driver) will have to run together. In the meantime, click here to see the end of Matt's first run with Danica...and I'll leave it up to y'all to decide if he's really *that* fast.


  1. Lovely post back to memory lane Shelley!

    I love that picture of you and Matt during lunch, you both look so happy.

    I'm so happy for you that you found back your old friend and had such a great time with Barbara.

  2. I adore all the photos Shelley.

    Its amazing how different and NOT SO MUCH AT ALL you look.

    so glad you had such a nice visit, too.

  3. This post made me so happy. SO GLAD you were able to meet up with an old friend and to reconnect. I'm in an upswing in my weight at the moment, but that is just one of many things I have been working on changing for myself over the last few years. Like you, I am not nearly the same person I was even 5 years ago. Also like you, I have been reconnecting with old friends via Facebook, and it's been amazing.

    Even more amazing? To realize they never knew us as that fat/unhappy/unhealthy person. That whole low point in our lives is completely unknown to them. They remember us from a time way before that, and the great part about reconnecting is that suddenly we can remember who were before-before too -- and we can stitch our whole selves together. We were NOT just a fat person, we have been many things in our lives, and that is a tremendous reminder that our "fat selves" was really only one phase in our lives. It doesn't have to define us... unless we let it.

  4. What a wonderful, memory-filled trip you must have had. The benefits of your life-style change go far beyond the numbers on the scale, don't they? I am so pleased to read and see evidence of your wonderful vacation. As always, you continue to inspire.

  5. What a sweet, sweet post, Shelley. California really got down to your marrow, didn't it?

  6. It is so fun reading about your reunion with your friend. I'm about to visit my hometown myself, and this makes me want to look up a person or two.

  7. Such a sweet and lovely post filled with great memories. Made me smile.

    Too bad you and Matt don't live closer because he would be great to pace you when you start running longer. The nice thing about having a faster running friend is that they can always slow down but at the same time speed you up! It's one of the things I really miss about having a training partner. Oh well, here's to the two of you running together in the very near future!

    What's not to love about the Garmin, I tell ya!

  8. Your confidence these days is positively wonderful Shelley! I love how you compare the "old" Shelley to the 2010 version - love that nothing is holding you back from having the fullest life!


  9. Great pics Shelley!! Happy to hear it was so memorable and fun. That's the best thing about best just pick right back up where you left off with no awkwardness at all.

    I was in a sailing club in my early teens in Florida and I miss it SOO much. Not much sailing happens in Atlanta :)

  10. Shelley - I love this post! It speaks volumes.

  11. I'm glad you had a good trip with your old friends. And that y'all got a run in.

    That burger looks awesome. I've been craving a big juicy burger lately.

  12. Wow it looks like you guys had a great time. I love the pictures. That hamburger looks wonderful. Congrats to Barbara on sticking with her WW..

  13. It's always a wonderful thing when we can reconnect with "lost" friends. Glad you had a great trip and reunion.

  14. I love that photo of you at 14. What a killer!
    BTW, it's against the law to "collect" seashells and steal them from a California beach to take to your desk in TX but since Barbara and Matt are still in California, and you've admitted that they are partners in crime, they'll be arrested for the crime.
    Matt is very cute but too physically fit for my taste. hahaha

    Glad you had such a great time being a criminal in Calif (seashells and a hamburger and fries (meine gott!) Glad you went back to TX where you'd probably be on deathrow for the same crime.

  15. I love the trip down memory lane and you still are as beautiful and young looking.
    So glad you were able to reconnect with your friend.

  16. I think that is so great that you still had that old friend magic...I don't know what I'd do with or say to some of my old friends from that era...if I can remember them.

  17. I'm so happy for you, that was a great story. :)

  18. YOU are so cute!! You don't look any different now than that darling beach photograph...still the same Sunny Shelley! This post was wonderful, I wish every women could read it and feel the confidence and security you have from having changed your life in so many ways. You are so whole, true and honest. Hugs!

  19. That's so great that you got to re-connect like that. And even greater that you don't have to limit what you do because of your weight. Love the pics of you and Matt!

  20. Oh, great post!

    Aptos Burger Co.--I will be paying you a visit. I still love a good burger!

    And Shelley, when I saw the pic. of you at 14, I swear, it looks so much like a pic of me at the same age. Maybe we were sisters. Maybe you and my sister got traded at birth. Oh, except you aren't the same age.

    Its great to hear you are gaining so much confidence. It takes a long time, doesn't it? Still a work in progress for me.

  21. So my new uncle lives in Aptos and I never new about the Aptos Burger Co. so now I know where we will go!

    I love how you said you are losing the fat guilt. I am striving hard to do that but it is nice to know what to expect as the scale tips lower and lower.


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