Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in the books, speaking of books, and the path ahead!

Well that happened fast, 2016 already in the books.  It seems like everything I read is talking about how excited everyone is for the year to be over and how much they cannot wait for 2017.  2016 was actually very good to me (minus the last month #yuck) and I will forever have some GREAT memories!  In a year of Instagram for me, here are a few of my favorites....
This Spring coaching these girls was one of the highlights of my life for sure :)  I still think about them everyday.

In May I ran my first real race back - at Bolder Boulder - it was a pretty much perfect weekend.
My sister, and my 3 nieces/nephews came - and my coach :)
I have to include this one, because this sign is now framed in one of our rooms!
I married my  best friend, and this truly was "thee best day of my life"
My girls at rehearsal dinner... Missing is my sister (probably chasing one of her amazing kids around)  - but these girls are so special, absolutely salt of the earth.

The Chicago Training Cycle with W, one I will never ever forget, we literally ran stride for stride all summer long - at 4 in the morning, in ridiculous heat, through the ups, downs, through it all.

And CHICAGO!  No words can capture how hard I worked to get back here.  It was a very special day.  And hopefully a harbinger of what's to come.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon foot incident put a bit of a damper on the end of the year, and most of my vacation time has been consumed with PT and rehab; but it doesn't seem like work to me because it's my dream, it's my passion, it's my breath.  New Years' Day marks 5 weeks, and I am getting very close to being able to hit the roads again; I can taste it.   Injury for an athlete can almost take your voice away; so I have been reading a lot.  Here is "CB's Book Review" - if you are interested ;)

From Left to right:
1)  Dandelions Growing Wild:  This is a running read - BUT I think anyone would love it.  Talk about overcoming adversity - dang.   To me it seems that some people get A LOT to overcome, and knock them down one by one, and some just get small little pebbles.  Either way it doesn't matter, what you get is YOUR journey and you walk it as only you WOULD and you COULD.

2)  GRIT:  Awesome read about what drives some people to no end, why some people are so GRITTY, why they are GRITTY, and what GRIT means.   Now first a disclaimer, I don't necessarily think GRIT is 100% a good thing.  I think GRIT can be overwhelming and all consuming.  But I do think it is important to understand if you have it, so you can understand why you are* (as insane as you are).    It was funny as I read this I related to every single story - never the smartest or fastest, but always the grittiest.  I think it helped me actually in the last few weeks understand why I do what I do - why I am so driven, so focused, so disciplined - to a fault at times.  There is a quote in the book that just totally resonated with me:
"It sometimes feels like we have nothing left to give, and yet, in those dark and desperate moments, we find that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, there is a way to accomplish what all reason seems to argue against."

3)  How Bad Do You Want It?  This is a strict sports Psychology book, that I wouldn't recommend unless you are competing in something.  It might be boring otherwise.  My favorite nugget from this one is EXPECTIONS are everything - if you expect and embrace the "pain cave" to come; you almost get a thrill from it.  Never get too cocky or too complacent - assume its coming, embrace it, and take it head on.  Makes me ready to take on my next race :)-

4)  You are a Bad Ass  Oh man, no matter what, read this!  I loved this book, totally a kick in the pants - and gets you riled up to create YOUR life.  We often are a results of our past experience and upbringing - which can be a great thing - but you also have to set your own mental paths for what you can and cannot do.  I have been told NO a lot, and believed it.  I think physically I can qualify for the O trials - it's been the mental piece that has stopped me in my tracks.  This put a few new tools in my toolbox to tackle that!

5)  When Breath Becomes Air:      Absolutely oustanding book about a Dr. whose goal is to integrate the patient's feelings and emotions (basically bedside manner) with the science.  My opinion only**  But there are very few doctors who have both, if you find one, you are blessed.  Ironically, during the course of the journey he himself is diagnosed with cancer - and everything he has spent his whole life working towards; now he never gets to use.  As he dies rather swiftly after diagnosis.  A book about not waiting until the perfect moment to do something - because you might not get tomorrow, a book about legacy, and the impact, the purpose, the meaning of YOUR life, a book about life - and the purpose of living.  A deep one, but a GREAT one.

6)   Man's Search for Meaning:    So this was REALLY deep, recommended to me from a list of books you must read.  It was intersting for sure.  The author was actually a prisoner in the Holocaust and he survives (obviously :) - - Essentially the whole book is that you can survive ANYTHING if you have a greater purpose - if you feel you are alive to do something, to achieve something, to be there for someone.  It can be your meaning in life is to be a phenomenal parent, leader, business owner, or it could be to qualify for O Trials, or a cancer saving doctor - it doesn't matter - what matters is that DRIVES you day in and day out to be the best you can be; and sometimes that means just surviving.  Deep - but good.

So, 2017 - the path ahead!  I am more focused and determined then ever to continue chasing my dream.  I feel like every year I gain more GRIT, more experience, more miles in the bank that will pay off.  In the short term, first things first is to get healthy and back to the roads; which is very close.  I have been running on the Alter G - and close to my full body weight.   Past that, my goal is still to run on 3/19 - - but I need to learn to be okay with not having a perfect training cycle; as obviously I am already behind.  I am going to take it one day at a time; and do whatever it takes to get to the line.   Then spend the Spring and Summer getting faster; focusing on a Fall 1/2 marathon PR - - all leading to my goal race in January 18.  
I also am excited to announce I will be coaching again this Spring! As for work - continuing  to be the best leader I can be - building our regional team to be as strong as possible.  And in every thing I do, my goal is to get out of my head - - focus on me, and what I am doing in the very moment; not worrying about everyone else, the next task,  the next day, but be present, be happy, be alive TODAY...because that is the only thing for certain.

All the best  - here's to an amazing 2017 for all!

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