Merry Christmas y’all! It’s finally here, the final week of the shitshow that has been 2016. I don’t know about y’all, but mine wasn’t great. For lots of reasons. Mainly the first half of it was what sucked, but there were some real bummers in the second half too.

I can say, though, that around April or May I was in my lowest of lows. My self-esteem was nowhere to be found. I was all but a zombie, working a temp job that would have bored me to tears had I not been so profoundly low that I was totally numb. I had no social life because of no money, no time, and no self-esteem. I was isolated and felt completely hopeless. It’s almost surreal to think back on.

What is cool, though, is how far I’ve climbed back out of that. I scraped my way out, and gained some crucial perspective along the way, lessons I”knew” but had never had to experience firsthand.

  1. Humans need other humans
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    I’ve always considered myself a bit of a loner, but this year hammered home the fact that we literally die without social interaction. Because my temp job was so isolating, my commute so long in both directions, the only communication I had with people my age was through Gchat, and that was not all that helpful. I remember not being able to actually summon the energy to move my mouth into a smiling position just to thank a cashier for ringing up my items.
  2. Sometimes money and reputation is SO unimportant
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    In April, though, I got a weekend gig at Fleet Feet Sports to add a little extra cash to my income. I ended up rediscovering my sense of humor. My customers found me engaging and helpful. My coworkers made me laugh and became my friends. I learned the ins and outs of a very specific industry and added to my tool belt of “random things I know something about.” It didn’t pay much, but it broke the solidifying of the statue I had risked becoming. While I did need to find a way to earn more money, I was also consciously grateful for having a place to go where I was happy.
  3. Routines give you structure in a world full of chaos
    tumblr_nvhs334oil1ugq8joo1_500Because I never knew what the next week would bring in 2016, and in 2015 for that matter, my fitness level plummeted. I’ve gained weight, lost strength and speed, and suffer from fluctuating energy and motivation levels. It took til November of this year for things to even out so much that I can actually book things for 2017 without worrying something will come up that I’ll have to cancel. I have a steady job with awesome coworkers where I make good money and where I can see myself for the next major stage of my life. So I finally felt ready to get a new 2017 planner and get serious. And because of the comfort of knowing I can actually commit to a routine, I’m finally excited again.

In my last post I talked about my 2017 resolutions – stick to a fitness routine, tone up, pick my pace back up, break a few PR’s. I’ve settled on a few ways to get there:

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  1. I started my 11-week training plan for Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon yesterday. It’ll be my third time running this race, but it’s a great race and I still want to save some money by staying mostly local.
  2. I’m considering following it up with the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It’s driving distance and I may be able to get a free night’s stay at one of the Marriott’s. This will keep me training through and up to summer.
  3. Tomorrow I begin my plan to go to weekly Body Pump classes on Wednesday evenings. None of my various committees or clubs meet on Wednesday evenings  (aside from a monthly conference call that starts after BP is done Wed. nights).
  4. Weekly yoga classes on Sunday mornings. Namaste.
  5. A new skincare regimen. This isn’t fitness-related but it is self-esteem related, and for me a fitness routine contributes to my self-esteem. I’m going on three days strong of the new regimen and feeling good!
  6. I’m signed up for the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve, the First Down 5K on Superbowl Sunday, and am eyeing the Reston 10 Miler, which I’ve also run before, as a final long run before RNRDC in March.

I know I’ll stumble here and there. I’ll have a bad training week, or oversleep yoga. But setting my expectations high means even if I don’t meet them, I’ll go higher than if I set the bar super low or didn’t set one at all.

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So that’s 2016 for me. I’ll see you in 2017, to recap my first official week of RNRDC training.

But one last thing.

Here’s to things always, always, eventually, getting better, no matter how low they seem.

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