So Long 2015, you were a GREAT year!

As I sit at my desk, having just finished my last workout of 2015, topping off my miles to 336 for the year and feeling both my IT Band tear and my wrist surgery with every beat of my heart, I still can’t help but feel like 2015 was an amazing year.

I got to travel to Poland and Prague to compete in TWO World Championships against some of the best fighters in the world and I came home with 4th Place in Pole Axe.  I also got to Montreal for the first time and fought Officially as part of a Men’s 5 vs. 5 team and we won the Gold.  I found a love for traveling that I never knew existed and it will hopefully continue the rest of my days on this big blue marble =)

I trained my ass off, pushed myself hard and did everything I wanted to.  I ran my first Half Marathon, and while I was injured in mile 4, I finished it in 3 hours and 4 minutes.  Not a great time but again, I did it and I am proud of myself.

Got to compete in various tournaments across the United States, and got to be a guest panelist at Dragon*Con for the first time this year.  Finding myself at a new level in Fandom was an eye opener.  From becoming closer to people I had only idolized in the past to having my very own ‘fan boy’ fan club were some of the most priceless memories of 2015.

I went through a lot of things mentally that I wasn’t really prepared for.  Broke up with a long time lover, dealt with losing faith in people I trusted, and lost my furbaby Macho after 17 years.  But through all the worst parts of this year, there were upsides too.

That break up led to me finding new lovers I have enjoyed very much, losing faith & trust, has helped me find strength within myself I didn’t know I had.  And while losing Macho was by far the hardest thing I had to endure this year, it led me to Heimdall and while he is not a replacement for our old man, he certainly has the curmudgeon part down pat.

All in all there will always be things we endure throughout our lives, but how you look at them, how you deal with them and how you remember them play a big part in your own happiness.  I am happier than I have ever been and I love my world: every up, every down, every setback and every stride gained.  I love it, truly.

The biggest lesson I will take from 2015 is that I realized I am not invincible.  I have limits and my body can only do so much at 49.  I pushed myself very hard this past year and right now, at this very moment, on this last day of 2015, I am paying that price.  I have 2 major injuries because of my lack of knowledge in my own limits.  Granted my tendon release has been preemptive to make sure I can continue fighting but the IT Band tear was preventable.  Limits…is a lesson I have learned the hard way.

Going into 2016 I have plans to help me train, to help me work my body smarter, not harder.  I have so much more knowledge about what my body CAN do, and should not do than ever before.

So for the New Year, it’s time to learn that patience, persistence and perfect form are much better for me than going ‘Balls to the Wall’ at 90 miles an hour.   My body does not bounce back from youthful exuberance as it once did.  There is a HUGE difference in my training recovery now than even 3 years ago when I started this crazy adventure.

I made a huge leap and actually told my husband that while I know I am fighting at Worlds this year, I honestly have no idea about 2017.  3 years ago I would have told you that I was going to fight til I died…now, we will see.

This sport is much harder on your body than one would think, and at 49, I am currently the oldest out there actively competing on an International level, and I want it to stay that way for as long as I have.  But when its time to stop, its time to stop.  That time is NOT today, or this coming year, but after that…we will take it one competition at a time and see how well I hold up.

So far in 2016 I have a few things planned that I am excited about!

I have CES in Las Vegas and the Ukolov Training Seminar in California in January.  Along with seeing Kevin Smith Live with my husband & friends.  I want to head back to Montreal in February, but I have to wait and see how my tendon release has healed.

I have ACL Spring Nationals & BoTN Nationals the first two weeks in March, again in California.  Then FanX the last weekend in March, where I hope to try out my She-Hulk cosplay for the first time.

I have the Cotopaxi Questival, which is a 24 Hour Adventure Scavenger Hunt and the Salt Lake City Half Marathon both in April.

Then in May I travel back to Prague for the Battle of the Nations World Championship where I will compete in Women’s Pole Axe and Women’s 3 vs. 3 Melee.

In June I hope to travel to Indiana for SCA 50 Year Celebration and in September, over Labor Day Weekend I will be fighting, training and participating as a Guest Panelist once again at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA. A few new cosplays will be in the works for the ‘big’ show I promise you =)

So there you have about as much as I have planned for the new year.  I know there will be a few 5k’s and hopefully my first 10k at the very least intermixed with possibly my first Adventure Race, but I haven’t been able to find one that works with my schedule…yet!  I will keep looking though.

All in all, I am very excited about 2016 and the opportunities it presents, as well as the new training programs I have planned.  I think its going to be a great year and while I am sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful 2015, I am happy to reset, and start with a clean slate for the New Year.  I will be hopefully be doing my first outdoor run of the year tomorrow, just to get the ball rolling but will have to see how the weather looks.  But whatever the weather, I will be focused and ready to start 2016 with renewed energy, and a bright outlook.  I hope you start yours the same way!

Thank you for following my adventure this year and I hope you all have a glorious New Year!!!


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