Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: Redefining Epic Awesome

At the close of last year, I predicted of 2012 that it would be "... epic, BlogLand. Epic of Biblical proportions, I tell you."

(Check out last year's Farewell to 2011 and Hello to 2012)

I am proud to say that not only did my wildest dreams of that statement come true, but more incredible, unbelievable Epic Awesomeness just piled right on top. I think I finally understand what it means when they say that if you are open and ready for people/things/experiences, the right ones will come to you. 

I was reading back what my goals and hopes were for 2012, may of which I'm closer to, but still pursuing (Damn You! Elusive Pull Up!); but many, I have not just accomplished, but smashed to oblivion. For instance, on New Years Day 2012, I set my own distance record, by running 6 miles. My goal for the year was to run a non-stop 10K. 2012 would have me run several 10K - road and mud races - tackle 10 mile distances in weekend "long runs", and complete my first half marathon. Why complete "just" a 10K, when you can keep raising the bar a bit to see just how far you can go? I am amazed. I think that sometimes you just get so caught up in the immediate days around you, or the current problem in your face that you forget just how much you have accomplished. 

So, for the sake of reflection, refocusing and remotivating in the year to come, here are some of the highlights of 2012:

- finishing (albeit an ugly finish, but still a finish!) my first half marathon
- completing the Vermont Spartan Beast - a half marathon distance, with a 5000ft elevation change and 35+ obstacles
- double-digit weight loss (more to come in 2013!) and feeling "healthy" for the first time in my life
- being comfortable enough with myself to attempt things I never would've thought of - like Rock Climbing and legitimately attempting a 1/2 marathon
- Owning ME and not being afraid to be that - giant, muscular and Amazonian as that may be - and wear a dress in public, or hit the grocery store in my post-Workout Spandex.
- making my life a positive space. I am proud to say that the people in my life right now are all those who are bring something positive to it; I refuse to allow a negative drain to drag me under. I've had to stand up for me, for my "weird" eating habits, defend the workouts I do and prioritize my races, much to the dismay and confusion of many people.... but I remind myself that I do these things for ME and not anyone else. So what if they think that me asking for "no rice" with my Chinese takeout is weird?

On a less tangible note, I've seen the ripple effect of my changes. 2013 will see my 62 year old Dad train for and take on a Spartan Sprint, having never been "athletic". I've watched my great running and crazy adventure buddy, Stacey, take the first steps towards fitness and now kick my ass into the car for early morning Crossfit WODs, or to pick up the pace at our runs around town. THESE are the things I'm most proud of. These people are now my inspiration, when the going gets tough. 

Similarly, 2012 was the year I really realized my dream of allowing my writing voice to be heard in a more professional sense. I've always loved to write and had some small successes at it.... but 2012 was the year that I let it lose - and this time, I had something to say. started out just as a chronicle for myself, to hold me accountable for the changes I needed to make. Little did I know that so many of you would find glimpses of your self and your situation and your struggles and triumphs in the ones I have faithfully written for you, BlogLand. Honestly, with every positive compliment I receive, I am forever baffled that anyone wants to reach the battles of a 30 year old women just trying to be a better version of herself. But Thank You. From the bottom of my  heart, Thank You. Because you read, you commented, you shared yourselves with me, continuing to push me forward, egg me on and hold me accountable, I've been given opportunities to share my story and hopefully help to move many other people off their couches. My writing has appeared in the Spartan Race official Blog, in a caption of a great Fenway Park Spartan Race photo in the Boston Globe, and most recently, I've been asked to be a regular contributor to the ground-breaking Obstacle Racing Magazine. When I opened up that first issue to page 38, saw myself leaping flames and crawling through mud, and saw my name - MY NAME! - in the byline, I cried a little bit. I've always wanted to actually "be" a writer, and now I can say that I feel like this has really come true. 

.... all because one day I decided I wanted to play in the mud.

Speaking of which, in 2012, I realized that that - remembering how to play - was really the secret of it all. I started having fun in my life again - running without a particular time or distance in mind, climbing rocks because it was fun, crawling through the mud with a smile on my face, getting sweaty at CrossFit, because picking up Heavy Things can be fun too, particularly when done in the company of a great group of people. release your inner kid again!

Anyway, in the spirit of looking forward to the awesomeness that will be 2013, here's a few goals I've set for myself:
- ONE unassisted pull up (yep. Just ONE would make me exceedingly happy)
- Complete a half marathon in 2:30 or less.
- Spartan Race Trifecta 
- Reach and maintain a weight under 200 pounds
- Continue to pursue healthy eating habits, leaving out things that don't "fuel" my body
- Try at least 3 things that I have never done before

So, with that, BlogLand, I'm off to start tackling the 2013. Tell me, what have been your successes for the year, or what are you planning on owning in 2013?

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