A little something personal inspired by something that happened in the park

I’ve spent the past week trying to decide if I should even write this. And if I did write this, how would I say it. None of you know me, I tend to lurk here posting every now and again. So please understand I’m coming from a place – not of mocking or disdain – but of actual fear for my own self (health). I’ve been calling what happened my Jacob Marley Moment.

Last Thursday, the 5th, it was DH, DS20 and I at DL. It was a little crowded, but when you are local with an AP, eh, you know you’ll do/see/ride another time. One thing through the season we hadn’t done was IASW. It’s a ride I tend to avoid (during a cast member event eons ago I spent the night on it). However since it was done up for the holidays I said I’d go.

This is where it happened. You should know, I’m not a slight lady. I am easily 100 pounds overweight. I’m uncomfortable and tired and the list goes on and on. Each year, each month even, I say I’m going to do something about it…but I’ve done nothing.

So a woman about my size and a young girl about 5 get the front row. DH, DS and I get the second. And I don’t pay any attention to what is happening behind me. We load up and we’re on our way – or not. You know how IASW is kind of like being carried along on a lazy river, well once the retainer dropped, we didn’t really go anywhere. Not at any decent rate of speed. One of the cast members called out “Are the jets malfunctioning?” And at that point I thought, oh, that’s probably it.

The boat in the lane next to us was underway without an issue, but we just kind of crawled along. There were some jokes about oars. We were even bumped by another boat. Finally we came to a stop just before you enter the building. A moment later a CM appeared on the ledge to the right. He and another CM were now holding the boat in place…like it was going anywhere.

The CM said, “We’re going to need to shift some of you to another boat. If you’d come with me.” He was standing right at the end of our row, so I was sure he was talking to me. I know all the color drained out of my face. There was some giggling behind me, and that made it worse. I am the youngest of 6, I don’t embarrass easily if at all. But in that moment, I was mortified.

Just as I was about to get up, a young man behind me said, “The four of us are together, but we can split up.” I turned to look back then and for a full 3 seconds I was relieved. I was so glad it wasn’t me. Sure I was a (major) contributor, but it wasn’t me. The group of four, sitting two and two never should’ve been loaded more thoughtfully. Quite a sum of weight was all loaded into the rear. But as I watched two young women, half my age, struggle out of the boat, my heart broke for them and I felt guilty for being relieved I wasn’t the issue. That’s putting it politely. I admit, I said in my head some not so kind things. I hate that I, as a person with no room to judge was so judgey.

I did realize my hypocrisy. And I also realized that if I didn’t get myself under control, THAT would be my future (my Jacob Marley Moment). I don’t want to be booted off a ride because of my size. I already struggle to buckle some of the lap belts. And the parks wear me out. Not woo-hoo we had an awesome Disney day, oh no. More like my knees ache, my ankles ache and I’m just plain tired of dragging my rear around this place.

I’d already planned on doing something about my health….like I’m always planning on doing something. I’m not going to say this time it will be any different. Except this time I do have some serious motivation. We’re heading back to WDW in September and I’d really like to have the strength and energy to make it through those days. A few months ago I signed up for a 5K. It was something I wanted to do while I was still 40, to kind of set a bench mark. It was this past Saturday the 7th. It took me just over an hour, and I beat a 76 year old woman by 17 seconds. I don’t know if I’m proud of that, or just embarrassed. Heck I’m proud of that woman getting out there at 76 and making this 40 year old work for it. I was last in my age group. And out of the #386 women that participated - I came in #376. I’m just glad I finished and didn’t give up.

It’s a start. And I guess that’s why I felt compelled to write this out. I know I can’t be the only one struggling with my weight and my fitness here. And I know if I do nothing it’s only a matter of time before it really begins to impact my visits to Disney either in the form of not being able to fit on rides, or just plain not being able to carry myself through the
parks. I really don’t want to ever be walked off a ride like those poor girls. The CM handled it so well, but still – it happened in front of the entire que.

I know sometimes it takes a moment like this to provoke action, and I really hope if anyone needed some extra motivation this may have helped. It sure has lit a fire under my keister. I know my health is more important that my ability to visit the parks comfortably. But I’m just going to try to take this as motivation and make it work for me.

If anyone has started off the new year with a goal of getting healthier know you’re not alone. I’m here if you ever need support and best of luck to you. Oh, I’m doing another local 5k in March, I hope to do it in under an hour this time. I’ve also signed up for the Disneyland 5k that’s this fall. Last I looked sign ups are still open. Anyone else already signed up or planning on it?


I feel for you. It’s never a nice moment when we realise our eight is affecting other areas of life and not just our clothes size and confidence.

Before I was taken out by hernias, I used sparkpeople.com to help with my lifestyle adjustment. It’s a free website, free app. Loads of meal plans, recipes, exercise for just about any level of fitness (would you believe chair spinning!?) trackers, goals, more information than you can believe and a super supportive community.

I really hope you achieve your goals.

1 Like

Thank you for such an inspiring post! Your story reminded me of an incident that happened with the wdw happy place podcasters. They have a “work out Thursday” podcast and a Facebook support group I believe. They were motivated after being removed from Space twice. Keep us updated on the 5k!

1 Like

Just wanted to add my support, encouragement and respect. :heart:

Thanks for posting. You expressed beautifully what many of us feel. Good luck with your commitment to good health.

What an awesome and brave post. In addition to being excited for your new commitment on this journey I am also thrilled that you’ve turned from lurker to poster lately! Love your park updates on chat and hope to get to see many more updates park and personal/health related! :grin:

You’re my hero! Thank you for sharing your very personal (& well written) and inspirational story. I am very similar to you in many ways, but I’ve never had the courage to sign up for a real 5K. I talk about trying to lose weight and trying to do some running all the time, and I’d love to do a Disney 5 K someday, but I worry that all of the participants are “real athletes,” not overweight middle aged women like me. Getting motivated to make the lifestyle changes is hard, and I’ve had a tough time with exercise in the past, but last month I signed up to receive emails from DisneyRun in hopes that I might someday be brave and in shape enough to sign up for one of the runs. I live in Northern California, so Disneyland isn’t exactly in my backyard, but it is close enough that I am able to go once every year or two. I’d love to hear more about your journey and maybe someday I’ll see you at a Disney Run. Thanks again! Your post was very poignant to me. Sending lots of encouragement and support your way!

@Ladythomas Not to sound like a politician - thank you for your support. I’ve used spark people before, but I find I keep going back to my fitness pal. I do well when I use it. I just have to USE IT. I’m sorry to hear about your hernias. My DH had his surgically repaired and seems to have more issues now than before. Hopefully they don’t give you too much grief.

@PrincipalTinker You’re welcome :wink: I really wish I understood the whole podcast thing. They faced what I’m afraid might be my future and they did something about it. Looks like they’ve participated in some run Disney stuff too. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

@SallyEppcot and @BackIntoTheFray Thank you!

@lolabear_la Be careful what you ask for! I had so much fun with the updates I was doing standing in line on that last day for ToT. I didn’t care who was listening, I was just taking anyone along who wanted to go. I’ll be sure to update every now and again.

@jstagnaro Sometimes all it takes is a little push - so come on in, the water is fine! Go on active.com and search for a 5k walk in your area. If you can do a day at Disney, you can probably pull off a 5k walk. I did it - I wanted to die - but I did it. If you don’t have the nerve to sign up, just go to the event. You will see that yes, there are some (overly) serious athletes, but there are all kinds of people there. You might even look at someone and think, heck, if they can, I can at least try. I don’t mean compare yourself to them, I just mean look at someone you think you can relate to - you don’t know what they have going on in their life, what there health is, but what ever they have going on, they made it - they made them self a priority.

Thanks again everyone for your kind words, encouragement and support. I’m here if you need me. Message me even. If you want to get healthier, know I’m in your corner and if you need some extra encouragement or a place to vent, feel free to get in touch. Countdown the the 5k in March - 9 weeks 2 days! I’ll be sure to post the results.


Good for you! I’m not overweight but couldn’t do a 5k, the 76 year old woman would have kicked my ass!

Thanks for having the courage to share this!