I know it’s already 3 days into 2014, but 2013 was quite a year. I raced a LOT: relays, trail races, marathons, (including the now infamous Boston 2013); I moved into a new condo (hooray home ownership and mortgages, strata fees, etc..), new friendships were formed, and other friends moved FAR away.
2013 was a year that saw unexpected loss, but was also a year filled with joy, laughter and moments that simply took my breath away. I had the privilege of being part of an amazing community of runner and non runner friends – some of which are like a second family to me.
I was challenged, stretched, humbled and everything in between. I learned to unfurl my fists and to let go (a little), and to embrace change (or at least fear change less. Whether I liked it or not, change was coming.
I learned there was very little that a long run couldn’t fix (that and white wine). I learned I was capable of far more than I gave myself credit for, in running and in life. And I discovered that when I learned not to be ruled by fear (rational or not) and to move forward, I almost never regretted it.
Last fall, a friend and I alternately ran and hiked Panorama Ridge. When we were almost to the summit, I looked to the left, to the right, and down, and stopped in my tracks. I was convinced I was going to die on the mountain that day (and in case you were wondering, conditions were not particularly treacherous that day) but the voice of fear was screaming in my head. My friend, who was ahead of me on the climb, jokingly said he would get me on the way down – and in a teeny voice I told him I might take him up on that offer. Naturally, I got a lecture about how I would regret it, and how I would miss out on so much in life, if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone and move past my fears. I very briefly contemplated his words and with a gulp and a resigned sigh, I made myself climb. I reasoned that if I was going to die that day, dying in snow -capped mountains would be as good a way to go as any (hooray for momentary irrational fears which makes it no less real). Of course ,the views of Garibaldi Lake from the Ridge lookout were stunning and I thought of how some sudden paralyzing fear had almost caused me to miss out. And then I thought of how so many times in life, I had to fight my own inertia to move forward and when I did, the rewards made it so worth it.
And so as 2014 unfolds in front of me, it is largely a blank slate with as yet unknown opportunities, experiences and moments. Another year of learning to step outside of my comfort zone, overcoming inertia and embracing whatever comes my way. Bring it on.