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32 and better than ever.

I think it’s important for me to take a minute to reflect on my life in the last year. On October 19, I turned 32 (or as I prefer to look at it, my double sweet sixteen) and ran the fastest 10K of my life, finishing in 1:01:41.

Just a year ago, as I dreaded turning 31, my life was so much different. I was training with Brandon, and had finally JUST decided to listen to him and make some serious changes to my diet and lifestyle. The month of October, I dropped over 20 pounds and earned client of the month.

I still wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be, but I had finally put in place the giant missing piece to my healthy living puzzle. I felt a renewed sense of confidence that I could get back into decent enough shape to start doing short triathlons and races again. I never even dared to dream that included running a sub-10:00/mile pace for anything longer than a sprint here or there. I never thought it would even feel feasible to discuss the possibility of running a full marathon or completing an Ironman 70.3. Becoming a spin instructor was a shiny, shimmering dream that seemed a million miles away.

Then November came. As I’ve written before, my uncle was in the hospital with cancer and my grandpa had been staying nearby to be with him as he recovered. In the process, Grandpa got sick, seemed to get better and then was rushed to an emergency room the day after Thanksgiving. As I sat in the waiting room, I discovered Brandon had been killed overnight. The next day, as I got ready for B’s wake, Grandpa passed. Normally, all of this sadness would have been enough to ruin everything I’d worked for. I would have let myself fall into depression, but this time, I was stronger than that. The sadness kept me out of the gym for a while, but once I met my new trainer, Josh, I knew it was okay to go back and pick up where B & I had left off. He and Grandpa would have wanted me to continue, and I did just that.

And I should be proud of myself for that. I AM proud of myself for that. I don’t allow myself that pride very often, because A) my brain is a total dicksauce and B) I don’t ever want to seem braggadocios or superior. But it’s really important that I give myself a bit of credit for not letting depression swallow me up yet again, as it had so many times before. This was the first time that I felt I had any level of control over the depression that has plagued me pretty much my whole life.

Because I kept working and kept getting help from Josh, and from the amazing Teresa, and seeking out nutrition information from resources like Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites/21DSD, Juli of PaleOMG, George of Civilized Caveman and Steph of Stupid Easy Paleo, and others, AND getting amazing support from my hubby, this last year has been filled with PRs, new races, achieving goals, setting new ones and making progress beyond my wildest imagination. I have had and continue to have amazing help along the way, but the bottom line is, none of this would have happened if I hadn’t done the work. I don’t say that to myself ever. I don’t acknowledge that I’ve really done some awesome things. I tend to attribute my success to outside sources, and while I want to give credit where it’s due, I also recognize that I owe it to myself.

This is probably one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written. I battle negative self-talk every single day. My brain is constantly ready and waiting with a million reasons why I’m not good enough. But screw you, brain. I’m pretty f*cking awesome. And at the fresh, young age of 32, I’m poised and ready to get even more awesome from here on out. I’m a Spin instructor. I’ll be group exercise certified in a few months. I’m a runner. I’m a triathlete. I’m an athlete. I’m nowhere near perfect, and you know what? That’s A-OK with me. Life’s a journey and I’m going to enjoy it!

So GO ME! And GO YOU! Because holy crapbucket, if I can do this, I promise you can, too.

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