This past year has been a crazy one to say the least. I started off the year living in Europe married to ending it divorced and living back in St Louis. This year has tested me more than any other year I have yet encountered. I moved 5 different times into different living situations and one of those moves was international. I moved back to the states with no car, no job and a very temporary place to stay.  I started a new job two different times meanwhile going through the divorce process and also buying a new home. I also found an amazing therapist whom I saw weekly to talk and work out shit. This helped me tremendously.  In another attempt to reconnect with myself, I signed up to do probably one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I could think of- an Ironman.

I needed to put myself in a situation where I had to work towards something with little deviation but wanted to give myself time to prepare. In doing this, it has consumed my life. Every day isn’t just about getting up, taking care of my dogs and going to work. It’s a constant evaluation of where I can get my workout in. How to fit it into my life without completely sacrificing my personal life, work like and relationships. This has proven difficult and I’m afraid it will only get more challenging as I get deeper into my training. The amount of financial commitment outside of the registration was also something I wasn’t ready for. A lot of my extra money is no longer going to eating out, happy hours, or going to shows and concerts. It is now going towards new training equipment, gym memberships, races and my grocery budget.  I do not regret this though because through this process so far, I have learned a lot.

A. The support and understanding of friends and family is huge and unfortunately not all friends or even family will fit this category. Which brings me to B.

B. Consider those you hold close to you because not everyone is worthy of being in that category. With long swims, bike rides and runs, I have been given a lot of time to really dig deep and evaluate who I hold in my circle. I’m not cutting people out of my life (unless it is really warranted), I’m just re categorizing them. This can apply to friends and family alike.

C. Never say you can’t and when you do, call one of those close friends to kick your ass back in gear. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You are stronger and more resilient than you actually think. You just have to trust yourself.

D. Take the time to reflect and do it often. It is much easier to reflect in small doses and make changes on a smaller scale then blowing up everything all at once.

E. Give yourself a goal that IS hard to achieve because once you do achieve it, it makes the process such an awesome journey and a rewarding one.

F. Don’t be afraid….don’t be afraid to say no, to say goodbye, to let go and to push yourself beyond what you think you can handle. Changes and challenges are not always a bad thing.

Now I realize that these seem simple and to some people probably common sense but it took me this year to actually have to face myself. Here’s to a new and better year!

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