My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Goodbye 2014 – a year in review

on December 31, 2014

Another year is coming to a close.

2014 was a year of ups and downs; struggles and triumphs; good times and some not so good.

I started the year still struggling a bit with working out on my own, but determined to keep going.

It was much harder than I anticipated working out on my own.  I did the best I could, though, with the list of exercises Tyler gave me before he left.  It was made even more difficult with my gym being nearly empty every time I went.  Without having someone around to spot me, I couldn’t go very heavy with the weights.  And being by myself, it was hard to know sometimes if my form was correct.  I started almost dreading going to the gym, which is not a good thing.  Sometimes instead of going to the gym, I would just shovel snow for my workout.  And let me tell you, shovelling snow is an awesome workout – cardio and strength training in one!  I really missed the social aspect of the gym.  It was nice having people to chat with while working out.

I’d been at my gym for over a year, and I really liked it when I first joined.  But the last few months of 2013 things changed.  And they only got worse at the beginning of 2014.  It wasn’t kept as clean as it should have been, there were issues with some of the cardio equipment, membership declined, and as I said before, there was almost no one there when I was there, including staff.  All these things started me thinking that I needed to find somewhere else to work out.

The thought of changing gyms was scary, but I knew deep down that it was the right choice.  But it still took me a few weeks to realize that.  Eventually I started checking out the other gyms in town, and in the meantime, I was using the indoor track at the wellness centre for cardio. running as much as I could.  And it felt like I was getting better at it too.  The first time I ran around that track for 5k without having to stop or walk, I was over the moon with excitement!  And I was still shovelling snow too.  And walking outside if the weather was decent.

One of my goals this year was I wanted to get better at running.  Sounds like an easy thing, but not for me.  I don’t think I was born a runner.  I hated running as a kid.  I think that was partly due to my asthma and partly because I was overweight.  I still find it funny that I somehow became a runner.  Anyway, I wanted to really improve this year.  Because I was now doing races, I wanted to be able to run for longer periods, and not take as many walking breaks.

I did my first race of the year near the end of April.  It was one I’d done the previous year called the Pitter Patter.  I only did it was a 5k this year, but I ran the whole thing start to finish.  I was pretty proud of that!

A few days later, I was set to go visit my friend Jeff in Arizona.  On the way to the airport, my husband and I were involved in a car accident.  We got lucky and only had minor injuries, but the car was a write-off and I never made my trip.

The accident forced me to take a break from pretty much any kind of workout.  I took the brunt of the impact in the accident so the right side of my body was pretty sore.  I had several cuts from breaking glass, and a few bruises.  After some tests, it was discovered I had a tear in my rotator cuff too.  A few days after the accident, I went for a walk, but I didn’t get very far.  I tried again a few days later and was able to go farther.  I was pretty proud of that, even if it hurt a bit.

I had planned on joining a new gym when I got back from my trip, but the accident changed my mind.  I decided to hold off until winter and instead, I would spend the next several months enjoying the outdoors as much as I could.  I also figured it would be just what I needed to improve my running.  Or at least I hoped it would.  And I would still use the indoor track when I couldn’t be outside.  I was really happy with that plan.

After taking about 6 weeks off after the accident, I decided to try running again.  I didn’t really know how long I would need to recover, but 6 weeks seemed a good amount of time.  I decided to try a short run to begin with, just to see how it felt.  Let me tell you, that first run hurt!  But I didn’t give up, I kept going.  I ended doing 5k that first time out again.  While I was pretty sore afterwards, I was really happy.  I decided to run every other day (or at least try to) and see how it went.  It went well.

On July 1st, I did my second race of the year.  And it was one I hadn’t done before.  It was a very hot and humid day, but I crossed that finish line feeling pretty damn proud of myself.  A couple of weeks later, I did my third race, the Run for Reece.  This was the first race I had ever done in 2012.  This time I ran it start to finish.  It felt awesome!  And in between races, I was trying my best to run every other day.  Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t.  Because it would get pretty hot and humid, I often got up and out early in the day.  I’m not a morning person, but I am a coffee person, and that definitely helps (haha).

I still missed being in a gym for strength training, but I did what I could with little to no equipment.  There are actually quite a few things that I could do.  I know it’s not exactly the same, but at least it was something.  I was concentrating more on my cardio.

August brought more running, but no new races.  I didn’t have another one planned until September.  My goal was to do 5 races and I had already done 3.  There are a lot of races in the area where I live, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have a problem doing 2 more.

August also brought Tyler home after graduating from University.  I’m incredibly proud of him for making the commitment to get his degree.  And he brought home his new fiancee.  I somehow knew he’d meet someone out there.  I met them for coffee not long after their return.  Her name is Angela and she’s wonderful.  They are perfect together.  I’m so happy for them both.

He and I began working together again.  It felt good to have someone to workout with again.  And he had me up my cardio.  I had been trying to run every other day, and I was running at least 5km each time.  But now he wanted me to do 8km, 5 days a week.  I’m pretty sure I called him bat-shit crazy, but I did it anyway LOL.  When I first started doing it, I had to walk quite a bit, but eventually I got to the point where I could run the whole 8km.  Another proud moment for me.  A few times, I even went a little farther just to see if I could.

September was pretty busy.  First came my birthday, which is always a good time.  Then Dan and I went to Muskoka for his work trip.  I had never been there before, so I was super excited.  I even got a few workouts in while I was there.  I also did 2 more races in September, both were ones I had never done before.   There were both in neighbouring towns, which was also new to me.  Up until then, all the races I had done had been in my little town.  Now I was expanding to other areas.  Another proud moment.

No races in October, just more running and workouts with Tyler.  I could have done a race or two, but decided against it.  I had met my goal and wasn’t sure if I wanted to push it further.  The weather was still nice, so I was still running outside as much as I could.  And to be honest, I was started to feel a little bored running around the track.

November included another new race for me.  This one was also in a neighbouring town, put on by the local running store.  It was called the Egg Nog Jog.  A couple of things drew me to this race.  First, it was a free entry — hard to pass that up; second, it was for charity, the local Coats for Kids program.  I was nervous about it, but hard a great time doing it.  And I made some new friends too.

Near the end of November/early December brought an end to working out with Tyler again.  And while I miss working with him, I understand.  He’s building a new life for himself and his family.  We remain good friends though, which is important to me.

It started getting cold in November, but I still ran outside as much as I could.  I’m determined to run outside as much as I can this winter.  Of course, I need some warmer clothes, but I’m working on that.

I did another new race in December.  This one in the same neighbouring town as the one in November.  This one was called the Run for Food.  Another free entry, this time taking donations for the local food bank, another worthy cause.  It was very cold, and there was a bit of snow and ice on the ground, which made it a bit tough for me, but I crossed the finish line, and that’s what’s important.

My goal was 5 races this year and I did 7 … super proud of that!  I know it may not seem like a lot to most people, but it’s huge to me.  I never thought I’d be this person, but I quite like it.  And I never thought I’d be a runner, but I am and proud to say I actually really enjoy it!  I don’t have to run — I get to run.  Hopefully, I will be able to do most, if not all, of these races next year too.

I really wanted to up my running game this year, and I think I accomplished that.  Between running and walking, I logged over 835 kms, and most of those were from running.  Actually, those are only the kms that I logged on my running app.  There were a few runs and walks that didn’t get logged, so the total is probably closer to 900 kms.  I’m extremely proud of that!

I also wanted to volunteer more of my time this year.  And I did.  I continued working with Celebrate the Hero.  I so love working there.  It’s an amazing organization and everyone there is so great.  Being there makes my heart and soul happy.  And I feel like I’m making a difference, which is important.

This year, I was hoping to have part of the skin removal surgery I need.  I had consultations with 2 plastic surgeons, but surgery didn’t happen.  And looking back, I honestly don’t think I was ready this year.  It will happen when it’s meant to happen.

I wanted to do more reading this year.  And while I did read quite a bit, I didn’t read as much as I really wanted to.  I love to read, I have ever since I was very young.  It’s something I really should do more often.

One of the most fun things about this year was discovering chats on twitter.  I started going on twitter more and more this year, and by accident I came across chats.  I participate in several of them now.  Most have to do with running/racing or fitness/wellness, but my favourite is actually about coffee.  I actually get up early on Sunday mornings to chat about coffee on twitter.  I’ve “met” some really nice people through these various chats.  They’ve really helped me stay motivated and together.

Well that’s it, my year in review.  While I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to this year, I’m extremely proud of what I did do.  I’m looking forward to the new year and a new set of goals.

*~*~*~*~*~*

I’ve been working on this post on and off for several days, and I’ve been struggling with what to say and how to say it.  I mentioned it on facebook, and my friend Jess had this to say:

“Quite honestly, I feel like this year was a learning experience about our inner selves. Our capabilities, our strength, our perseverance, our will power”

And I think that really sums up this year quite nicely, thank you Jess.

 

 

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