So where am I going with all this? I like to think that the past decade has been a time that I've learned so much about me. I finally had time to do things MY way and understand what I want. It's a tricky avenue to follow and I feel pretty darn lucky to have the avenues given to me to figure it all out. I've learned mentally I'm capable of way more than I thought. If you would have told me 10 years ago I'd be a marathon runner, I'd have given you a look of death. Pretty funny how things turn out. Ultimately, I feel like mentally I'm as tough as they come. Once there is something in my mind, consider it done. I do not know the word "quit." It just doesn't exist in my world.
Running has been such an amazing stabilizer in my life. It's helped me identify with so much in the world. I've met so many amazing people, not to mention being fortunate enough to run with my dad in a few races! Like the real world, you meet people that you hope are a part of your life forever and those, well that fade away. You have your great days, good days and the days that make you want to go after it all the more. I stand behind that last part. If it were easy, anyone would do it. I run because I want it. What is it? Changes daily. Ask me while we're running:)
I'm a happier person now. In so many ways that I can't just write the words to do it justice.
I've learned I'm a very black and white person (mmm black and white cookies). But seriously, it helps to know that's who I am. I like that I know where I stand on issues. I hate wishy washy. Guess that's why I'm an engineer!
I've learned that sometimes it isn't your day. Learn from it and move on. It's not worth dwelling over something you can't control. It's fine to analyze but not fine to replay it over like a movie.
I've learned to smile more. It goes a long way.
Don't focus on numbers all the time. Yes, I just told you I'm a black and white person. And I still stand by that. However, sometimes just enjoy the moment. Happiness can come in so many boxes.
Find your passion. Oh, this one is A BIG ONE. I can't believe how many people I've met that don't have something that burns in them. Whether it's running, work, or some other hobby. Life is about finding things to make you happy and work for you. What is YOUR passion?
I've learned that having various types of people in your life helps you develop who you are. At work, I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing mentor for the first 5 years. He taught me not just the technical aspects, but how to make it in this world. It's almost as though he saw me walk in the door and saw something I didn't. I can only hope that I can give back half of what he gave me. I still talk to him all the time. Running wise, I've met some pretty awesome people. Just your down to earth people. You see them at their best and worst. What more can you ask?
Over the next month I think I'm going to reflect a bit back on the past but also focus on the road ahead. It's an exciting one. 2010 proves to be a stepping stone for me as an athlete but hopefully in the other avenues of my life. I'm pretty excited about it and who am I to turn down a new journey:)