Like everyone else at this time of the year, I look back over the past twelve months and reflect on my accomplishments and, more importantly, the things I have learned (or am in the process of learning).
As an athlete, I had a full year of training and racing. Countless hours in the water, on the bike or in my runners translated into a great year for me in my IM journey:
Chilly Half Marathon - February
Around the Bay (target race) - March (and a PB)
Rivertown Half Marathon - May
Guelph Lake Olympic Triathlon - June
Musselman Half Iron (target race) - July
Detroit Marathon - October
Boxing Day 10 Miler - December
I am part of a special group of people who are like my second family. We love and support each other when we train, when we race, and all the times in between. For that, I am truly blessed. These are the people who will get me to Florida and the finish chute.
In my professional life, our organization was in a year of transition. I said goodbye to my boss who I worked with for 13 years and welcomed a new one, with all the change that goes with it. I played a key role in a fall charity fundraiser that made over $140,000 (very stressful time). With 29 years experience, many were looking to me as an anchor when things were unsure. I have and will always be loyal to our organization and I did what I could to make sure that at the end of the day, we were all okay.
On a personal level, this was sometimes a difficult year for me. As I have said before, I am surrounded by amazing people who love and support me - I know that. What is hard for me is allowing those same people to see me when I'm not "perfect". My background is very much steeped in British military tradition - stiff upper lip and all that - so for me, letting people in when I am vulnerable is not easy. But thanks to a few special people (you know who you are), I am learning that while I strive to be the best I can be, I don't have to be perfect. I am learning that you can be strong while letting others help you along the way.
I have never really been one for New Year's resolutions, but going forward into 2013 and my road to Ironman, I think that I need to continue to learn the lessons I started this year:
Be more patient and forgiving with myself
Allow others to love and support me when I need them the most
To all my family and friends, 2013 is going to be one tough, amazing year in my road to IM Florida. I love you all and am so grateful that you will be walking this path with me.