Cheers to an incredible year. And, cheers to a new one right around the corner. I know everyone is reminiscing about the year, and projecting on the new one with those resolution’s and plans.
I’ve had a hard time collecting my thoughts this week. I’ve been writing and rewriting, and still wasn’t 100% satisfied with my words. It’s been a bit of an emotional week. I celebrated my one year anniversary of that second surgery, the expander/implant exchange surgery. I was a hot mess Monday night, and didn’t expect it at all. I cried more over this anniversary than my initial double mastectomy anniversary, and I have no clue why! Yes, I cried. I sobbed. I felt what I felt and let myself grieve. It’s all a process, and so extremely hard to explain.
Throughout those tears, I was reminded of many, many things!! I was frustrated, and went back through pictures from the year. When I’m frustrated, looking at previous blog posts and pictures helps me see and realize how far I’ve come…and how much farther I have to go.
A new year is right around the corner, and don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to dive right in and continue pushing my comfort zone even more; not just in races, but with life also.
Before I speak about goals and plans for next year, I want to reflect on this year. 2015 was full of many mountains and valleys as well as lessons learned (read prior posts!). I started navigating through my new normal, which has taken quite some time, but I’ve enjoyed learning what my body can take and endure. It hasn’t been easy by any means, but that’s what makes it worth it even more. Seeing the progression and fighting through bad days puts it into perspective. Having other women tell me, “Because of you, I got a mammogram done…genetic testing done…pulled the trigger on surgery…etc etc” makes things 100% worth it.
Celebrate every mile!
It was a year of many firsts: new normal, perspectives, outlooks, friends, races/goals, and the list goes on.
The journey still isn’t complete, but I’m on the other side. I’ve learned much about my mind, body and soul. I have what it takes to get through anything thrown my way. I gained a different perspective on things in general.
Honestly, I had a great year celebrating every mile!!!
The two words that keeps coming to mind are trust and patience. Trusting the journey and process. Patience with the journey and process. Not just the journey of navigating life after a double mastectomy, but life in general.
I was a little unsure about whether or not I’d race this year. Well, I completed 5 5k’s, 1 Quarter Marathon, 4 Half Marathons, 1 20K, 1 Marathon (my first EVER!), 1 Ragnar Relay Ultra, 7 Sprint Triathlons (with bike ranging between 12.4-18 miles), and 1 Aquathon.
Race Miles Logged:
- Running: 138 miles
- Triathlon: 4850 swim yards, 105.2 bike miles, 21.7 run miles
I wish I tracked all of my training miles this year (2016 goal!). Those miles were full of blood, blisters, sweat, laughs, and tears. Yes, I cried after big accomplishments!!
The first three months of the year, my life was boring and uneventful. Fat grafting complications and nerve damage hindered me from doing anything for 8 weeks. Once I was finally cleared to do things, I slowly got back into things.
Some of my highlights this year…
- Celebrating life with a trip to Florida in March. It was Sarah’s one year anniversary of her diagnosis, and my 6 month anniversary of PBM. One of the silver linings in all of this!!
- Celebrating my 3 month anniversary of the second surgery with my first 5k post-exchange surgery! Ran the whole thing, which was impressive considering circumstances! It’s on my list of races to do every year now. It raises money for breast cancer awareness and research.
- Completing my first sprint triathlon 9 months post double mastectomy. I signed up for the race prior to even doing the surgeries – so, there was no turning back. I had so many fears going into it, and even second-guessed whether I should do it. It was a very slow swim, fun bike and exciting run!
- Running Ragnar Relay in June as an Ultra. It’s probably on my Top 10 of hardest things I’ve done, especially with a post-surgery body and new normal.
- Completing my first push-up at the end of July. It was an incredibly happy, happy day, and still makes me smile when thinking about it.
- Finishing a few more triathlons in August, and even placing in my age group 🙂
- Doing some more races and getting new PR’s in the 5k and half marathon distance…2:09 for the half and 25:11 for 5k.
- Getting my mastectomy tattoo. I cannot say enough things about what it’s given me and how much it means to me. If you’d like to know, go read my blog about it.
- Training and completing my first marathon. I said I’ll never do one again…Can’t wait for registration to open tomorrow so I can sign up for my second marathon!!! Ha!
- Having Sarah home for Thanksgiving. We were going to do a Turkey Trot together, but she passed. I still did it, and it meant the world having her there and seeing me race.
- Becoming a 2016 ambassador for two of my favorite things, Honey Stinger products and Nuun. Ahhh!!!!
There’s a lot more to this year, and some I just don’t have words for. Thank you to all of my friends (old and new) that have been there and helped me climb the mountains and pulled me up through the valleys. I wouldn’t be here without you. I’m thankful for the lessons learned, trials and fires, and beauty in every day. I’m incredibly blessed with so much, especially this year. Thankful for the process. Thankful for the journey. Thankful for grace and hope. Thankful for another year. Thankful for a new year. I am super excited for 2016 and the opportunities. I have 365 days in a year. Every day is a brand new opportunity. What am I going to do with my 366 opportunities in 2016?! What’s on the agenda? Guess you’ll find out tomorrow 😉
Peace, love and happiness! Cheers 2015!!!