This is more than likely my last post for 2013 so what better timing for me to reflect on my year. I've been reflecting on it so much over this past week. I'm all set for 2014 - I have all of my goals
and plans in place and high hopes and excitement about what's to come. But like I said in my last post, I realised first I needed to look through where I've come from this year, before I move on.
This year for me has been my Year of Recovery. Last year was like a Year of Survival and this year has been all about recovering. And I'm proud of it. So, so proud. I'm not leaving 2013 with any major life changing events but after last year that is just how I like it.
Instead, I'm leaving 2013 smiling. I'm leaving behind a year of growth. Looking through my photos this week, I'm leaving behind a year of events! I discovered somewhere in between shaking in public bathrooms and lying in muddy rocks under barbed wires that I'm not really into triathlons or obstacle racing. Instead I'm leaving behind a year where I found my own in running. Crazy runs - 3 half marathons, a (close to) 3/4 marathon, multiple 5km-16km runs, novelty runs and more. I found my limit at a couple of these events and it's nice to know where that limit is (and that I actually have one!)
I followed the 12WBT brigade around the country for finales in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney which brought with it crazy adventures; from jumping pool fences at 2am to bagpipes
and war paint, from Marilyn Monroe at the casino to Cinderella at the harbour, from electrical sparks after cancelled flights to cocktail parties, teary special song requests and green mankinis. Oh wait, sorry, that last one was Greg. ;)
It's been a year where I've worked myself out more - what I love, what I don't, what I'm good at and what I should leave for others. I've laughed, cried and sweat a lot. I've found stuff within myself that I didn't know was there. I've gritted my teeth and powered through when I didn't think I could. Two runs started out normal and ended with me running the last 5km not as a normal run but running for safety and help. Crazy stories follow me - some of them I don't create!
I've left the office on Fridays and spent my weekends in pitch black bushes, on top of mountains,
in ice baths, in the ocean, in mud pits, in lakes, on ropes, in coloured paint dance parties and running through finish lines and then go back to work on Monday mornings as if nothing strange has happened.
My crazy challenges I set myself got more crazy through the year and more crazily, I have actually done them. I went back and did my school cross country...I climbed a mountain with 40kg of chook feed strapped to me...I ate Skippy!...I fit into yellow dresses...and black ones...and everything in between, just to name a few.
I wore shorts for the first time as an adult!!!! In public!
Speaking of public, my story went from being comfortably incongnito to being shared online, overseas, in a book, on video, on iTunes, on YouTube and more full on, with my friends and family. I have never, ever been open like this before.
I've failed countless times, fallen over, stuffed up, made mistakes, lost belief in myself, didn't like myself, resorted to old behaviour and broken promises with myself all year.
But each time I got up again.
I learnt stuff I didn't particularly want to learn. And stuff that was hard to learn. I gave further adage to the chorus in Kelly Clarkson's song, "Stronger".
Every moment made my year into what it was. The good, the bad and the ugly. There was some of each - isn't there always? My infamous shoe in the air photo with Commando was definitely part of the good though ;)
I realised I really needed to think through the year and reflect properly - so I decided to make a video of various photos and video footage from my year to help me do so. I've spent the past week sifting through these and it's been the best thing I could have done. I remembered things and smiled a lot. I put it all together and realised it was
10-11min. long. That's 3 songs worth - way too long! But I had culled (literally) thousands of photos already; I didn't want to take any more out! I was downhearted but then realised that I was making this video for myself. So I kept it that length. I'll still share it but don't expect many people to want to sit through it. If I was making it for others the length would be a lot more viewer friendly! If you are interested, then the video is below. It was the best exercise for me to work out my year.
Thank you so much to everyone - my family and friends, my readers of this blog, my followers on Instagram and Twitter, my 12WBT community, 12WBT, members of the Facebook groups I'm in. Every comment and PM that I get spurs me on. I am the most hopeless person with replying
- I apologise so much for this - but I appreciate each message I get. I get overwhelmed easily and allow messages to pile up and go unanswered but your support never goes unnoticed. The friendship and support I have had this year is indescribable. I can't express here how much of it I have had and how every single part of it is appreciated.
I've had friends (and strangers!) do everything from run alongside me in events where I was about to crumble...give me their warm clothes as I lay on their bed shivering after a triathlon that didn't go to plan...send me quiet messages of support...make beautiful crazy pink signs and hold them up during my first half marathon...stick up for me online and in person...pick me up and drop me off at airports...pick me up and drop me
off at hospitals...send me surprise, unbelievably thoughtful presents in the mail...hold me at my dining room table when I was at one of the lowest points in my life and I didn't know if I could do it...write a list of 101 reasons why I am awesome on Facebook just to remind me...come over to my house to help encourage me to do a cook up when I wasn't feeling motivated...turn up and sit quietly beside me in hospital and radiology waiting rooms...want to do crazy adventures with me...send me text and voice messages cheering me on that I can read and listen to in difficult events...the list could go on. Basically I have just had countless moments that make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I thank you.
Next year I have massive dreams and goals. What did I post here the other day? :) 41 life goals...31 challenges...23 events which includes 2 full marathons and 7 half marathons...3 interstate running events. I plan to take more selfies and set even crazier challenges. I'm
probably the only one to ever say this but I plan to spend more time on Facebook and more time watching TV - things that I have this year neglected. I plan to learn more about myself and throw myself into even more adventures. I plan to spend more time with the people I love and more time doing the things I love. I plan to relax - because I think I finally learnt how to do that this year.
Two days ago I hopped in my car to go out and there was a present lying on my windscreen! It
was wrapped in beautiful butterfly wrapping paper and had no card attached. Inside was the most thoughtful gift - a butterfly frame and this piece of paper. It took some detective sleuthing to work out who left it for me but I worked out that it was my amazing friend Courtney. She had parked around the corner from my place and snuck into my garage after finding out what time I would be home. This is the kind of support I have been blessed with all year.
And she made me realise that it's true. 2014 is when I finally get to be that butterfly :) "Year of the Butterfly!"
Thank you everyone for helping me create my 2013. Wishing you all the happiest of new years, and wishing you a 2014 beyond your wildest dreams. It's a brand new year with fresh hope...we can truly do anything.
That's what 2013 taught me. Thank you, 2013 :)
This was my year: