Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feeling a little nostalgic.

The clock is ticking down to the last few hours of my 20's and I feel like I lived about four different lives.  I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane shall we?

Age: 20 - I entered into my 20's having come out of a bad relationship.  The situation was a "this will either make you or break you" scenario.  Luckily I chose to let it become the very thing that has now given me the "No BS" attitude I have today.  It has served me well.

(Disclaimer: trying to find pictures from pre-Facebook days is tough!  How in the world did we keep them organized and accessible before FB?? I did my best...)

Short blonde hair, size 10 I think, and before I had braces.
Age: 21 -  I was finally "legal" to drink, whew, glad that's settled  ;)  Three months after turning 21 I graduated from college.  My Dad had gone overseas to work as a contractor on base which meant he missed my graduation.  A couple of weeks after graduation I had gone to a friends party about an hour from my house and when I left the party one of my tires had a complete blow out.  I called my friend who came to fix it and then I proceeded to sit on the side of the road and cry to him about "What am I doing with my life" until about 4am.  Very dramatic Lifetime TV moment, but it's the moment that got my butt in gear!   

Landed my first "real job" at the place that would eventually change my life in the best way, Hot On! Homes.

Age: 22  -  After settling into my new job, I started to develop a new routine.  A new routine that didn't involve partying into the wee hours of the night, stopping at Whataburger for a late night snack, all of this happening any day of the week.  My new routine involved waking up at 4am and driving over an hour to get to my gym by 5, work out for two hours, and then shower and go to work.  My "friends" at the time just didn't understand my new lifestyle and over time, those friendships faded.  In preparation for the tri, I completed my first "distance" run, a 10K in Austin!

All of this time at the gym culminated into me completing my first Olympic Distance Triathlon.  Life started over again.

That was exhausting.
 Age 23-24: I lump these two together because I think I've successfully suppressed most of this time from my memory.  It involved my first marriage which failed quickly.  All I remember thinking at the end of it was "this isn't supposed to happen to me, this is not how my life was supposed to go....".  Reality smacked me in the face with the assurance that it is all in His timing, not mine.  Definitely one of the lowest points in life and it resulted in a poor diet, no running, and alas life started over again.

Age 25:  Brandon and I re-connected and started dating and life started to finally make sense again.  Everything that I had been through all finally made sense and had lead me to this point.  The early part of 25 started off unhealthy but happy:

Then I finally got my itch for fitness back and boy it came out full force!  I got back into a training schedule, started making smarter decisions with my food and in November that year I ran my first half marathon!  I finally felt like I had my life back. 

If you've thought about running your first half, read this post, we ALL started somewhere!

Age 26:  Two of the greatest days of my life happened at 26.  1)  I married the one that was supposed to be "the one" all along.
Size 2 dress that I worked my butt off (literally) to fit into!

2) Later that year I got the amazing opportunity to run my first full marathon on one of the biggest stages in the world, the NYC Marathon!  There's the saying that goes something to the effect of "I dare you to train for a marathon and not have it change your life", there could be no truer words.  Forever changed.
Every inch of my body hurt, but I couldn't stop smiling.
Age 27 - 28:  My husband, friends, and family started to join in on the running fun!  This lead to running becoming not just about me, but learning that even more fun than running your own race is watching others cross their first finish line.

 Age 29:  This past year has been incredible and full of adventure!  It was the year of running which involved 8 half marathons, and 1 full marathon which you can read about all those here if you'd like.  I think this year solidified us as a "running couple" and we are perfectly ok with that.  I decided to branch out into the other side of running and become an RRCA running coach!  Running has taken us on so many adventures together!  
Start line of The San Francisco Marathon

2nd Full Marathon Complete!

Oh the happiness that running brings me!

95% humidity this race, that was oodles of fun.

Putting together this post was an eye-opener for me because it feels like the 20-year old me was a lifetime ago.  If you would have asked 20 year old me if I ever thought I'd run a marathon you would have gotten a big "hell no".   These years have been a wild ride but I am constantly being reminded that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, and there really is no greater feeling that that.

I've learned....
  • That friends will come and go, because true friends are considered family....and family will never leave.
  • It really is the small things that mean the most.
  • There is no substitute for hard work.
  • Once you let go of what you're "supposed to be" is when you can really find out what you're meant to be.  
  • The number on the scale doesn't mean squat.
  • That learning the real meaning of helping others and giving back will fill you with more joy than any paycheck could ever buy.  
  • Nothing is more freeing than letting go of what others think of you.
  • Running has taught me more about life than any other life experience.  It has taught me that it only gives back what you put into it, it has taught me patience, that you can do any damn thing you want to if you work for it, and that the only way to see improvement is to work harder.  Nobody can do it for you. 
This photo captures all that I'm excited for in this next chapter!  Happy, healthy, focused and not taking a single second for granted.  So 30, come at me bro'.

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