Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sexy Unicorn's story continues in 14 photos

In April 2013 I told about my first year of "Sexy Unicorn" using 16 photos. The post ended with my finishing the half marathon (just barely I had an incredibly high fever that sucked the life force out of me, but I did it). My story didn't end there and so much of it is no longer focused around weight loss but on taking risks, exploring, nurturing my strengths, and accepting (but always challenging) my short comings. I keep saying it and I mean it: Comfort Zones aren't set for life. Challenge them.

Strength. For a while this past year I worked with personal trainer Kevin Purvis. I loved working with the ropes and reminding myself just how strong I am. Also, Kevin let me throw heavy objects around... Always a favorite activity of mine. No matter what happens I cannot let myself ever forget again just how physically and mentally strong I am.

I was terrified to perform with one of my favorite guys Greg Shapiro. I used to work at a comedy club he performed at (Boom Chicago) and would watch from the balcony too scared to even try and perform myself. However, when asked to do the show I sucked it up and agreed to do it. I have no regrets about it and have to remind myself to play it cool whenever I get recognized from it. And the only person who thought I shouldn't be allowed to perform in the same show as someone I respect was me. I can perform with anybody.

I helped plant the Andersonville location for Urban Village Church, and used to be a name tag dictator by heading up hospitality and greeting. On Memorial Day weekend I got to serve my church in a way I had long desired to, I co-preached with my dear friend Matt Richards. Now my church knows all about my youth spent going on architecture tours, my vulnerabilities, and my take on the Christian life. Also, I will end a sermon by playing the music of Swedish pop star Robyn.

Hula Hooping!!! I have always wanted to do it, but never seemed to have the body for it. What a blast to be able to hula hoop around my newly found hips.

Yes, I woke up at 3am and realized I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep. So, what else could I do but bike to Indiana to see the sunrise and still make it back for work at 9:30? So, that's what I did.

I kinda zone out on my bike and on one day when I was meaning to have a quick ride, it turned into 140 mile adventure. I only realized I had gone long past my original goal when I saw signs for Kenosha and thought, "yes, but Kenosha is in Wisconsin.... Oh..."

Trying to blend being a fabulously grown up woman with my inherent Tom Boyness sometimes is awkward. However, it's 100% me.

Biking from Urbana Illinois back up to Chicago with Lily (the girl who sold me my the bike that would change my life) was quite the adventure. Ending up in the middle of no where in a real biker bar hang out and being unconditionally welcomed. Reminder that even if on sight you don't belong it doesn't mean people won't welcome you in with open arms.

The extender belt. I stole this from an airplane 10 years ago on a flight to London. In September I had my first flight since losing over 100 lbs. I was a bit panicked... What if I still don't fit in the seats?!!!! I went back and forth about whether to take my security blanket of an extender belt and last minute opted to leave it. I was fine. I fit! Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I look the same, nothing has really changed and than I sat in an airplane seat with some extra left over on my seat belt and I knew things had changed.

I ran a marathon! No that's not right. I RAN A MARATHON!!!! That's better. I finished it too. A month before hand I pulled my glute and could barely stand or walk. I ended up doing my last month of training all by bicycle and yoga. And some how I pulled it off. I finished a marathon and it was wonderful, so much love from the city I love. Accomplishing the goal that had set all my life changes in motion.

Yes, confident enough in myself to perform in a gold skin tight jump suit.

Random decision to attend a Computrainer race (specifically because I was promised free beer) with Lily has now lead to me joining a new cycling team BFF Racing. I am so excited to have teammates and competition again.

Posted this photo as a joke because this dress always emphasizes my "line backer shoulders" Then I really looked at the photo and thought for the 1st time: ya know Carol I wouldn't automatically see a "big girl" or a "fat chick" if I saw you. So, why do you still automatically assume that's what others see?
Really time to start looking in the mirror differently.

I have had an on and off again relationship with yoga. When I first attempted it my stomach was so big I couldn't even do resting poses. My body hurt and ached all the time but I did nothing to fix it because doing something would remind me how far I had to go. I still have a long way to go with all my goals, but now when I focus on my body and health it is also a nice reminder of just how far I have come.



  1. Laura Mcneill said...

    Carol, I woke up this morning sore, tired, sickly and in truth feeling a bit sorry for myself thinking haven't I been through enough this pastyear, when will it get better......then as I lie here in bed reading this you remind me of why it is we face adversity, if not to overcome it. Why we can overcome our struggles, better yet, we can learn and grow from them. You never cease to inspire those around you, setting aside all of your other fantastic achievements thus far for a moment, I congratulate you on your constant ability and desire to inspire - you do it in bucket loads!!!! I hope you are as proud of this as every person around you undoubtedly is! Now, I'm getting out of bed and taking my day head on :-)

  2. Kaitie said...

    You look slammin' girl!!! I am so proud of all of your accomplishments! Is yoga fun? I really think I want to try it! I love following all of your adventures on facebook! I hope you have an AWESOME 2014!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous said...

    Well done Carol, Big inspiration!! Blessings Yak.