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As I was walking back to my office (and my bike) after my swim today, I was thinking about how much I’ve changed in the last two years. And I owe it all to one former student of mine, and one small decision I made over two years ago.
During the spring of 2009, I was busy playing rugby, and volunteered to teach a summer class. Little did I know that teaching that summer class would change my life. That April, I broke my ankle in a rugby tournament, ended up with a blood clot, and was forced into early retirement. Needless to say, I was bummed. At that point, my rugby team was my life. I had created that team from scratch and put every single ounce of my time and energy into it. Now, I was no longer able to play. And I didn’t want to run the team if I couldn’t play. That would just have been torture. So I retired and turned the team over to the other girls and hoped for the best.
But I was feeling very lost.
That July, my summer class started. My ankle was back to normal, but I had nothing to do with myself and my time. But fortunately, I had a student in my class that was a freshly-minted triathlete and was extremely enthusiastic about it. We often talked during the class breaks about his triathlons, and this got me thinking – I could do something like that…
One night, a few months later, I decided to take the plunge. That October evening, I signed up for my first marathon. I remember sitting on the couch, afraid to click the “submit” button because that meant I was really going to do it. I took a deep breath, clicked “submit,” and then informed my husband that I had just signed up for my first marathon. He must have thought I was out of my mind. But fortunately, he only looked at me like I was nuts for a split second.
Since then, I haven’t looked back. I have completed a half marathon, two marathons, and several other shorter races. I’ve come to love running, training, and pushing myself to see what I am really capable of. Sure, there are often times where I just don’t want to go out and run – that’s normal. But once I get out there, it feels great.
Now, I’m training for my third marathon and starting to train for some spring triathlons. And I’m absolutely certain that some day in the not-too-distant-future, I’ll complete my first Ironman triathlon (obviously I’ve got some training and shorter tris to do first!). If the me of two years ago saw who I am today, I don’t think I would recognize myself. And I’m happy with that.
The thing that amazes me is when I think about it, I owe it all to that simple decision I made back in the spring of 2009 to teach a summer class. If I hadn’t done that, I never would have met that enthusiastic triathlete student of mine, and never would have been inspired to begin my own marathoning and triathloning (is that a word?) journey.
So I guess the lesson for today is to keep an open mind. You never know where you’ll end up.
My birthday is next week, so I wanted to take a minute to look back on my 27th year – it was a good one.
This past year I made a few HUGE changes to myself and my life…
And just because it was awesome… I went to New Zealand for three weeks.
I have a lot of things in store for my 28th year. I want to push myself to continue to improve and grow as both an athlete, and as a cook. I always like to make goal lists. There’s something nice about seeing things written out right in front of you. So here’s some things I’d like to do in this upcoming year:
- Complete marathon #3 – I’m currently training hard for a second pass at the Adirondack Marathon this September. I loved that race so much last year and I can’t wait to run it again!
- Complete The New Rules of Lifting for Women program – I’m almost done with stage 1, and I’m loving it so far!
- Complete my first triathlon – I’ve been swimming and biking a lot in addition to my marathon training, and this coming spring, I plan on completing some triathlons. Eventually, I’d love to complete a half Ironman and an Ironman. I’ll get there someday!
- Cook my way through Veganomicon – One of my favorite cookbooks, and a “must-have” for any vegan. It contains 242 recipes (yes, I just sat there and counted the whole table of contents), which I should be able to get through within the year (yes, very “Julie and Julia,” minus the dairy, veal, killing of lobsters and whatnot). I LOVE everything that Isa and Terry make – I wish they would come be my friends who would cook for me every day! I’ll start the day after my birthday and go from there.
So, 27, you’ve been good to me. It’s been a great year. I’m looking forward to the next one.
Now, I’m off to the midnight showing of Harry Potter! WOHOOOOOO!