I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. As I look back on 2009, I can’t imagine life getting more satisfying, challenging and fulfilling. Yet, I’ve said that the last few years and it seems that we manage to top it every year. Every year is full of ups and downs and 2009 was no exception. This year was particularly special for me and Shawn as we both completed an Ironman TOGETHER in June. There were lots of highs this year, but that one stands out as the pinnacle for me. Along the way in 2009, we swam in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, raced in Galveston, biked 100 miles in Napa, ran 20 miles in San Francisco, tasted wines in Paso Robles and beyond, completed the infamous Wildflower Triathlon, stayed in a castle on the Rhine region of Germany, swam with dolphins in Honduras, visited friends and family in California and Ohio and celebrated with friends as they completed the California International Marathon.
Personally, I set PRs in the Half-Marathon, Half-Ironman and Ironman Distances in 2009. I was also selected to be a proud member of Erin Baker’s National Triathlon Team! Believe me, it’s been nothing short of an honor to be among these folks who are stellar at this triathlon thing.
2009 was also a year of good-byes. In March, I bid farewell to meat and began adopting a vegan lifestyle for my overall health and cholesterol thanks to the guidance of Rip Esselstyn and “The Engine 2 Diet.” The results have been impressive and my taste buds have thanked me (although a lot of restaurants haven’t). Oh sushi and lobster, how I miss thee!! I said goodbye to some of my best friends when I resigned from my full-time job at the end of August to travel and look ahead to my next career of becoming a USAT certified triathlon coach and writer. So many amazing things are on the horizon for 2010. I also said goodbye to a body I take for granted. As most know, I’ve been battling some nagging leg/hip/back issues since the summer and I plan to spend 2010 recovering, slowing down, rehabbing and giving my body the break that it is so desperately craving.
With that being said, in no particular order, here are some lessons I learned in 2009 that I plan to carry with me to this next decade and beyond!
-Tofu comes in all shapes, sizes and textures. I’ve tried them all and have eaten tofu ice cream, turkey, and even tofu hot dogs (pretty much as gross as the real thing).
-Volunteering and working at races is truly an amazing and rewarding experience. We all should do it more often.
-A f*cked up hip and back can really screw you up mentally and physically.
-Doing events in costume (beer wench and red dress costumes specifically) make any event so much more fun and worthwhile.
-Say what you will about Facebook, but it has been instrumental in connecting me with new and old friends alike. For that, I’m grateful and fulfilled.
-Erin Bakers (www.bbcookies.com) really does have some kick ass granola and cookies (ok–my one shameless sponsor plug)
-Completing an Ironman is a life-altering event. Completing an Ironman with your husband and 60 of your teammates is truly priceless.
-It’s ok to take time to rest, reflect, smell the roses (and put on a few extra pounds).
-Vegans are people too.
-One can never have enough vacations.
-One can never have enough tri-bikes.
-Be a light in the world. People are watching and looking for that light.
-Wine can fix damn near anything (except for a torn hip).
-Facebook can either motivate you or completely make you feel lazy and useless.
-Triathlon and running take you to places never imagined: Galveston, Central California, Idaho, Sacramento and beyond just this year!
-A massage isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.
-You don’t always get what you want…and sometimes that’s a good thing.
-You have to leave behind the good to get to the great.
–Sometimes you have to do some crazy shit in order to get your workout completed—indoor spin at the Bastrop Lost Pines Resort when MS 150 Day 1 was cancelled, running hotel stairs in Salzburg, Austria, running in the snow in Germany, swimming in Lake Havasou, doing a century bike ride in Napa, 20 mile run through San Fran!
– Austin, Texas is still one of the most amazing and wonderful cities on the face of the earth.
-Most things are out of your control. Accept this and go with the flow. Don’t try to paddle your boat against the current of life.
-I actually can sit down long enough to read books. In fact, I got over 25 books completed this year! (a record for me!)
-Exercise, in whatever form, is good for the soul (and ego)
-Never give up on your goals. Since you change, your goals also change. Always set new ones.
-You truly can manifest what you think about (for good and for bad)
-Becoming a vegan really is adventurous and fun (except at a steak restaurant). They don’t like it when you bring your own veggie burgers and hummus.
-Friends and training partners are invaluable and priceless. My friends have helped me through so much this year.
-Sometimes it’s better to be the cheerleader than the player.
-Sometimes you just gotta find that gazebo from “The Sound of Music” and dance!
Here’s to an amazing and inspiring 2010 filled with challenges, adventures, good health and success beyond imagination!