Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Things That Happened in the Past 12 Months (vs. the cliche Year in Review)

...lets just say a lot of things happened in January through December 2013. I have seen a lot of "Year in Review" posts and have enjoyed a vast majority, however, I wanted to take a different spin and just focus on the positives of the past year. Those who are close to me know it's been a challenging one (outside sport and running) but one thing I find the most noticeable value of a positive outlook (how many years have I been telling people about this;)?!). In the spirit of positivity and continuity-who says we need to hit the 'reset' button just because a number on a calendar has changed-I will share some of the notables of 2013 as I see them in no particular order.

"Highlight list" of 2013: 

  • I started my own business. This was big for me, I had to overcome a lot of doubts, fear of the unknown, and also thinking that "I'm too young, not ready...blah, blah, blah." The real lesson here is to follow your passion, have faith in God, and take a risk. You never grow or know what you're really capable of without pushing the envelope sometimes and facing the fears of the unknown.The opportunities and growth ALSPC has experienced I am absolutely humbled by in my first year of independent practice-you can't argue with working with top NCAA teams and other professional and upcoming elite athletes. And who knew I had such a passion for working with developing young cross country runners and swimmers?? 
  • I stood at the altar with my best friend as Maid if Honor and witnessed one of the prettiest, most heartfelt weddings in a long time. Did I mention it was bayside, at sunset, and a rainbow came out towards the end? I realized this year especially how precious my friends are to me.
  • In addition to my private practice, I taught two Psyc of Sport classes at the local State University and felt successful in doing so. 
  • I am working hard on my relationship and passion for the sport of running. We have been struggling over the past few years, and we've been in "therapy" for the past 5 months and we are getting on better terms every day. I am happy now, not afraid to be around it and keep wanting to spend more time together. What have I gotten from it? Learning new boundaries, that we need some time apart, usually a day a week, and it's not cheating by resting or cross training. The biggest lesson is this and this is hard but necessary to assert: "It's just running". Even though it takes a lot of work to be successful and I greatly enjoy the process, it cannot be my sole identity and I'm getting better at this. Funny how things go better if you put it in its proper place.
  • I seem to be leaving the stress fracture express behind (hopefully, finally) and feel STRONG again. Strong enough to have a successful first 20k race on 12/7. Better late than never to have a race you're satisfied with. 
  • I was able to get in some different yet fun racing experience, including a 1.2 mile swim where I cracked a 36:00 in open water with minimal OWS training, and a tri relay where we got 2 OA for females in the competitive CB&I Tri. 
  • The run racing was not what I hoped for, but that's okay. I still managed to run my only 5k under 20:00 in April. Reviewing these things in racing, it gives me confidence of the ability I possess and how to take care of it. 
  • Although it was not my favorite moment, Brooks discontinuing my program has brought new opportunities and has opened up the possibility to try new things in taking my running to another level-safely and swiftly. So far, New Balance and Saucony have satisfied the stride. I used to fear super-netural trainers and zero drop-but am in love!
  • I experimented with and had some successful experiences coaching other athletes. In fact, it has been quite fun: marathoners, half marathons all the way to short distance races and even 70.3s and an Ironman (which was it's own learning curve). Better yet, these individuals are all awesome and have influenced me in one way or another. 
  • I feel I matured in patience in training (and other things as well) and trusting my body; allowing myself to not always train in "bubble wrap". I've got a ways to go, but I'm better than I was.
  • I got to speak at some pretty sweet gigs: The Woodlands Marathon, College Team Meetings, and Elite Camps.All positive steps toward my ultimate goal of making sport psychology cool.
  • I learned SOOO much in how I need to take care of my body, including changing my training and thinking about purpose versus results; rest and nutrition. Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give as everything flows down from that. 
I know I have forgotten many, many things, but these really stand out in my thought processes today. I sit here and write this feeling satisfied yet still hungry for what lies ahead. I know the next 12 months will bring their own share of challenges, but there are many tools and takeaways from 2013. How about you? What has this year brought you that you can use into the next? Blessings and good things are all around-it's up to us to focus on the flowers among the weeds. I challenge each and every one of you to look more on the positive side of things. 

Stay the course-why wouldn't you?? 


L.A. Runner said...

WOW! You had a really amazing year. I tell you this all the time, but you are one heck of a kind of awesome. Starting your own business at 30?!? It's nearly unheard of. I'm so blessed to have you in my life, and it's been a true blessing to watch and experience this year with you.

Here's to many more!

Kate said...

Love this list A!! "It's just running" tough, but so important. You've inspired me through your victories and struggles alike. Looking forward to what you'll do in 2014. And more coffee. Perhaps with mints.

Richard said...

Looks like you've found the needles hidden in the haystack of your year. It's great that you can take so much good out of the troubles you've had and pair them with a strong attitude. You have so much going for you that you can overcome any challenge to which you set your mind.

HappinessSavouredHot said...

Your year sounds wonderful! I think you're doing useful things too! :-)

The scariest part in starting a business is how you feel BEFORE. Once you're started, you go with the flow and that is all. I know, because I've started 2 businesses (they're still going strong).

Happy New Year!