Saturday, January 4, 2014

Past and Future

Ah, a new year!  We all have our memories, resolutions, goals, and renewed spirit. I wanted to take a minute slow down and look at the last year, how it was exactly NOT what I had in mind, but more importantly how I somehow managed to turn it all into something great.  Not because I'm just that awesome, but more so because sometimes you don't have too many other choices.

2013 started off ok, a new great job, a new beautiful apartment.  It was supposed to be the year of JVO.  Finally after, a long time of a lot of crappy things happening, it was going to be my turn for some good things. As the year progressed, those two things wound up being the highlight of my year.  I had signed up for my second Ironman and had some hefty goals for it. I had an urge in my body to better.  And I spent 9 months making sure that would be the outcome.  I only raced two other times that year, one olympic and one half.  Both turned out to be about the worst races I've ever had.  On the bike course of the half, I had felt for the first time that I seriously wanted to quit.  I wanted so badly to walk away from that race and forget it.  But I somehow came back to transition and found my way into my run shoes.  It was not a pretty race, and I'd still like to mostly forget about it, but as I made my way onto the run course and eventually to the finish line, I think I was creating a better version of myself.  And little did I know that I would need that experience to get me through a situation that would be 10x tougher just 12 weeks later.

As anyone that has seen this blog knows, that day was one of the toughest of my life.  I am STILL wondering what the hell happened! All I know is that I am no longer the same person as I was when woke up December 1, 2013.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

I spent the few weeks after that race decompressing and thinking.  About EVERYTHING. The big things like where I want to live, what kind of job would I really love to have, but also the day to day things like should I cut my hair.  And somewhere in between, I thought a lot about triathlon.  The one thing in my life that I have not gotten bored of or given up on.  What was my next year going to look like? I was seriously afraid to even plan anything as my last plan did not work out at all, and that's always a little depressing.  I wasn't sure if I could handle being so disappointed again.

As the new year approached, I'm not sure how many decision I had actually made. But I did decided to apply for the SOAS Racing Ambassador Team which was actually something I had been hoping to be part of for a long time.  I thought I might leave my 2014 triathlon season up to the universe and wait to see what the outcome of that application would be before I made any big decisions. Last night, I received the email.  I was selected for the team.  I say it calmly now, but I pretty much jumped off the couch, screamed and called 5 people to share the news. I guess the universe doesn't want me to take a step back from racing just yet. 

So with a changed perspective on not just racing, but my life, I'm finalizing a pretty full schedule for 2014.  In addition to racing more than I have ever raced, I will also continue to officiate for USAT, as it has become something very important to me and I look forward to moving up to a CAT 2 official this year (and maybe even have the opportunity to give some pros some penalties).  I will also be expanding my triathlon world even more by becoming involved in race set up, management, and timing.

I am a big believer in giving back in whatever way you can.  Sometimes it's volunteering at a race, sometimes it's cheering on the last one in, and lots of times that means going out into the real world and helping those that need it.  I truly believe that even if you can't/don't see some immediate "karma" in return for your good doing, it does really make you see the world differently, and changes you for the better.  I had the opportunity to deliver meals for Project Open Hand here in Atlanta ( on New Year's Day, and it was the perfect way to start this year.  It of course makes you appreciate all that you have, but it also helps you to see the human side of people.  And that is something you can take with you forever in every aspect of life.

So, for 2014, I will get over my fear and make some new goals.  I will spend each week doing things I hate like getting up at 5am, in order to make those goals realities.  But more importantly, I want to keep trying to be better in every way I can. A better athlete, a better member of society, a better dog mom (Kaydence might be getting a yard).  Of course, some things are yet to be decided because sometimes you need to just go with the flow. One more thing that all that crappy stuff has taught me I guess. I saw a great sign I need to get that is just what I've been thinking lately...

Barn Wood Signs

I still don't know who I am. Because I have yet to see everything I can do.  So here's to 2104.  May the year not bring you everything you want, but instead give you things you didn't know you needed.

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