currently // april 2018

Favorite quote of the moment // “Never be afraid to start over. It’s a new chance to re-build what you want.”

It’s a few months into 2018, and I am more excited than ever to get back into triathlons. After all, I took last year completely off from the swim, bike, run game to just relax, step away from structured training and racing, and simply have fun.

I’m looking forward to getting back to triathlons because that’s who I am at the end of the day. A triathlete. Riding bikes is fun, but it’s not who I am entirely. I’ve found that I need the swim and run components, too, to feel completely whole.

I won’t lie though, I was absolutely terrified to start swimming and running again after taking so much time off. Let’s be honest. I was never a strong runner to begin with — so, I was anticipating mile splits in the 11’s when I got back to it.

But, the human body is simply incredible, and things always seem to come around when you least expect it.

I’m running faster now than I ever have in my entire life. In fact, every single day that I go out for a run, I’m so mystified by what’s happening that I tell myself that it’s all a fluke, my Cinderella run-streak will soon be over, and I’ll be back to running to 10-minute miles in no time.

But, it’s NOT HAPPENING! I’m seeing 7’s and low 8’s on my Garmin time after time, and I’M PERMANENTLY PARKED ON CLOUD 9!

Reflecting // ….on this new Ironman journey. I’m already a steady mixture of irreversibly happy and utterly exhausted. But hey! Isn’t that the very essence of this race, you guys? Training just started to ramp up, and I’m loving every second of heart-pounding intervals, long trainer rides, and pushing myself to new levels mentally and physically.

When I did my first Ironman, people always talked about “the journey” ad nauseam. Honestly, it nearly made me start twitching towards the end of training because I was so sick of hearing about how important the “journey” is in lieu of the race.

But, here I am, nearly two years later….and I can say, without hesitation, the journey is EVERYTHING.

I’ve learned through trial and error that you can’t get wrapped up in THE race. You can’t focus on time goals. You can’t get fixated on trying to finish in a certain place, and you can’t dump all your energy into the unknowns and things beyond your control.

You can only control your mindset and what’s directly in front of you.

So, instead of focusing on the race — or qualifying for another race, or getting a PR — focus on whatever effort you can put forth on that specific day and whatever you need to do to get stronger for tomorrow.

If you do that, you’ve done all you can do. And whenever you show up to race, the rest will sort itself out.

And no matter how you place, you should be proud because it’s all the work that’s worth celebrating, not the end result.

Watching // Netflix! I’m literally probably the last person on Earth to get a Netflix account, but here I am. Finally….. and I AM IN LOVE! Every weekend, I’m consumed with documentary after documentary. I seemingly cannot get enough!

Reading // Lots of prayer & meditation books!

Focusing On // Self care. In the past, I’ve always had the tendency to put myself on the back burner. But, I decided to make it a primary goal in 2018 to focus on taking better care of myself. Now, I take baths several times a week. I watch, as mentioned above, shows on TV. I finally take the time to relax and decompress, and do it devoid of any guilt. It’s been a challenge, I’m not going to lie. I’m type A to the core, and it’s nearly impossible for me to sit anywhere, for any length of time, and relax. But, I’ve tried to do it more often and for longer stretches of time – bit by bit, piece by piece. I’ve realized that the more I fill into my “bucket” and focus on my well-being, the more I’m able to give others. (Can’t serve from an empty vessel, right?) I feel much happier and way more refreshed when I make myself a priority.

Celebrating // I just celebrated my one-year anniversary at work! I can honestly say that I’ve felt fulfilled personally and professionally every single day of the past twelve months that I’ve walked through the door at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The work feels meaningful and deeply impactful. I’m able to write stories about the incredible work we’re doing regarding patient safety and quality in Michigan hospitals, while be surrounded by people who are smarter and more advanced than me. That combination has allowed me to stretch and grow in unfathomable ways, and I am so grateful.

Listening to // The Greatest Showman Soundtrack is my JAM whenever I’m on the treadmill — or in my car — or in my shower. Errrr…okay. I literally listen to it on repeat, everywhere I go. It’s SO good!

 

I wish you all warm thoughts (C’mon, Spring! Get here already!) and happiness.

xoxo

 

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2018 goals.

Life has been utterly chaotic the last 6-8 months – so my little corner of cyberspace (aka this blog!) has been put on the back burner and severely neglected.

I’ve wanted to write. In fact, I’ve wanted to do nothing BUT write and just let all the things I’ve been thinking and feeling pour endlessly out of me onto the screen in front of me. Alas, I’ve just had to do my best to process all of life’s twists and turns without this method of cathartic release.

I thought a good way to jump back into writing would be to write down all of my goals for the upcoming year.

I’m approaching this new year with a completely different mentality than I have in the past. None of my goals are performance based or result oriented. They’re not focused on achieving a certain time or place in a race.

My only goal is to be happy.

For starters, I’m going to get rid of the idea or notion that I have to constantly be on-the-go in order to be successful. 

Day after day, I’m always working out, working, running errands, cleaning my apartment, etc., because I find myself feeling guilty for simply sitting on my couch and relaxing.

In the upcoming year, I’m going to embrace that rest and relaxation are essential parts of progress in all areas of my life. And, taking 10, 15, or even 60 minutes on any given day to unwind and give myself some self care (i.e. hot bath, watch guilty pleasure on TV, etc.) will ultimately give me a happier, more fulfilled life.

Secondly, I’m going to do my best to live in the here and now, and not dwell on the past or future.

A huge bulk of my life has been a struggle. But, I have to trust that struggle because without it, there would be no growth or leveling up. The struggle has made me who I am today — a much stronger and resilient person.

The most important lesson I learned in 2017 is that we all trip and fall in life. Showing your vulnerability is not embarrassing. It’s authentic, and it’s part of the human experience. It’s important to not to allow yourself to stay down for too long — and also let others help guide you on the way back up.

So — the goal for 2018 will be to own whatever scars I have from the past, remain steadfast in the present, and have ultimate faith in the future.

Lastly, I’m going to let myself win. 

I’m going to ignore the internal push back I’ve received in the past regarding my goals and I’m going to move forward for the next 365 days with pure and utter self-acceptance. I’m going to believe that I am capable of great things. I’m going to give myself permission to want all the things I want – whether they be desires, goals or needs – and I’m going to go for them all wholeheartedly.

Self-acceptance will ultimately be the win that leads to bigger wins this year.

Here we go!

Happy New Year!

xo

     32

I’m turning 32 tomorrow.

Whoa. 32.

Most days, I feel 10, sometimes 20 years, older than that — mainly because I feel like I’ve lived a million lifetimes within the span of those 32 years.

I’ve overcome obstacles and challenges, both physical and emotional, I never thought I’d make it through, and endured pain most people should never have to experience.

Yes, there’s been an abundance of pain and heartbreak. (This IS life, after all. No one is exempt from it.)

But, I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel the world, see and experience spectacular beauty, do work that I’m incredibly passionate about, and find my forever soulmate within my daughter, Lauren.

Over the past six years, she’s challenged and pushed me and forced me to mold myself into the best person I can possibly become. Every day that I wake up, I just want to be better…for her.  

Through it all, I’ve always done my best to love myself through the ups and downs of life and run into the future and new possibilities and let everything that hurt me seemingly burn behind me.

In the past, I would never really allow myself to focus on the bad for too long because I felt like it distracted from the good…. and here and now.

31 felt like a sucker-punch though. Just one giant blow. It was not easy in so many unfathomable and unconscionable ways. It was heavy.  

Without giving too much away, 31 brought a big life change. A separation and a new chapter.

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t bursting at the seams with my glass half-full demeanor.  I wasn’t on autopilot, either. I didn’t skip over the emotions and fast-forward to a happy ending.

I let myself feel. I let myself grieve. I let myself experience every emotion I was feeling, and do whatever I possibly needed to process all of life’s changes and challenges. I fell apart, so I could take the necessary steps to put myself back together again.

Over the past six months, I’ve found out so much about the people in my life. I’ve been able to see what and who is real and what wasn’t.

In the darkest moments, I was able to find my light. My home team. My no-matter-what people who were willing to walk through fire with me. The ones who willingly showed up whenever and wherever needed, no questions asked.

I always joke that people should go through life-altering events every couple of years to reevaluate who is currently in their life and who is worthy of remaining there. It’s essentially like panning for gold. You have to sift through the fakes to find the real ones.

I’ve not only been able to find my true friends throughout this new chapter of my life, but myself too.

For starters, I‘ve found that I’m emotionally resilient.

I have not allowed myself to become bitter, despite what has happened. Instead, I’ve let it transform me into a stronger, more forgiving and loving person.

Overall, I feel like all the grief has softened me, the heartache has made me wiser, and all the suffering has strengthened me beyond comprehension.

Tomorrow, I get to finally put 31 to bed.

I’ll be 32, and I already feel so much lighter — as if I’ve finally come home to myself.

I already know the next year will be chock-full of goodness: new experiences, growth, peace…. but most importantly, and above else, happiness.