On April 12, 2019 I hit my 12-year post op anniversary. On April 13th, I ran a 10k and beat my last PR by 2 minutes. When you run, you have a lot of time to just be alone in your head and while this year the anniversary date didn’t sneak up on me, I honestly didn’t know how I wanted to handle it. Did I want to talk about it again? Did I have anything different to say that I didn’t say last year? What has changed for me? Since I didn’t go to the World Championships last year, were there even any real accomplishments for this year?
That’s when I literally almost stopped dead in my tracks…during my race!
The loud logical voice in my head (who sounds a lot like my best friend Kelli) was screaming out “WTF!!! look at everything you have been able to accomplish – You are literally running a 10k right this very minute and you don’t think you’ve done anything?!?”
And instantly all the milestones flooded my memory like a screen saver programmed with hundreds of photos. I started to think back about all the things I have been able to do and KEEP being able to do as I move forward in my life.
It’s ironic that it’s quite often your own brain that robs you of the joy you ALWAYS deserve…and I am definitely living proof of that, but I am also proof you can overcome that negative-nancy too!
The biggest thing I have realized in these past 12 years is that life comes in seasons and seasons change, which is exactly what they are supposed to do! I know I have talked a lot about my world and what it has been like for the past 12 years, but I am 52 years old and I did a LOT of living prior to 04.12.2007 and every single one of those 52 years has helped mold who I am right now, this very minute, and I can say wholeheartedly that I love who I am, who I was and who I might become in the future because all I can do is celebrate the Me that exists in the now, every single day I have left on this planet.
As I contemplated how I wanted this blog post to go, I thought ok, let’s write down all the accomplishments I’ve had in those twelve years, and as I began to make that list, I realized it would take forever. That’s the beauty of adopting James Altucher’s “Write down 10 ideas a Day” as a habit, it gets ingrained in you to keep thinking and writing as long as you can. Which led me to realize that those accomplishments were of seasons past. Don’t get me wrong, they were amazing seasons filled with fighting, training, winning gold medals and representing my country and those seasons fundamentally changed me in ways I still find fascinating. But those seasons were complete.
Then I thought about all the things I want to do in my future. How Greg and I are planning to move out of the country after we retire, how I want my coffee & tea shop to look, what I want to do and where we want to travel to and things we want to see, but that season is yet to come. It’s awesome to plan it and do things that move that goal forward but again, those accomplishments are for the future.
So as I sit here writing this, I realize what I have the most to celebrate is who I am right now. The 52-year-old extreme athlete who is still trying to conquer her fear of water to swim her next triathlon in a month. The Athena athlete who almost let her inner monologue screw up her 10k race last weekend. The runner who will do a 5k tomorrow in the park, regardless of the weather, in hopes of helping get other runners ready for their next race. The DC Wonder Woman Run Ambassador who is volunteering at their booth on Friday at FanX to help promote their race to her tribe of fandom geeks who want to run. The Mistress of the Pelican that will help bring another member into their fold on Saturday. The wife who adores her husband so much, she makes sure he would get on the ship and jump to the future with her if he had the choice.
12 years ago, hell 40 years ago, I would have never believed you would have a photo of me running a race, holding a medal and continuing on with her day after that race. I would have never thought I could be an athlete, much less a triathlete. But I also would have never thought I would be the girl that was so completely happy with who she is, that she would open up her life and talk about all the crazy shit that goes through her head about planners, running, the SCA, medieval armor, love & relationships, and being so accepting of who she is that whatever you think of her, is your own business, and she’s ok with that.
Its taken me 52 years to get to this point.
To be so happy with my life that I can look at ways to make it even better. It’s funny, so many folks misunderstand it when I talk about wanting to make more out of my life. “I thought you were happy…” is usually their first statement, and I just laugh. Its BECAUSE I am so happy, that I can look at wanting to do more.
I do not simply endure what life gives me.
I am the artist of my own life, I create what I want it to be. I am free to use every color imaginable and that excites me beyond belief. I am only 52 years old and I have lived the first half of my life becoming who I am, and I will never stop learning, enjoying and appreciating what I have been given, but I am always ALWAYS going to want more.
No matter what.
I always want to know what’s around the next corner. What the Fates have in store for me. What the Nornir have woven for me. Curiosity and contentment coincide within me and I do not foresee that ever changing. So just know, even when I want more, I am also completely happy!
I usually sign off my YouTube videos hoping that everyone ‘spends the rest of your life celebrating’ but in truth, I hope that you are celebrating at that very moment, and enjoying what your world is right now because regardless of your season, it’s never too late to be happy with who you are and celebrating life the way YOU decide it should be.
Celebrate. You’re worth it!