What. A. Year.
As I sit here thinking back on the year there are so many things that are quite literally mind blowing. Like did all of that actually happen in real life or are we all going to wake up from this crazy dream when midnight strikes tonight?
Unlikely but I will not, totally, count it out 😉
I honestly do not know what to say. A good place to start is to look where I started at the beginning of the year. I had just finished my best marathon to date (Dec 2019) and was riding quite the high heading in to 2020. My sights were set on chasing another PB, which of course has not happened yet.
The first line in my blog reflecting on 2019 is ‘2019 the year I did it all; 2020 the year I need to be smart about it’. I was not succcessful. I ran (literally) in to my old habits and ended up sidelined due to poor choices and coping mechanisms. i.e. running too much because that’s what I lean on when I have underlying stress (you know, the pandemic and all). And I hope this time around I have truly learned from that. Only time will tell.
I had recognized that I needed to find ways to slow down in areas of my life and the pandemic certainly forced that upon me. Which in hindsight may have been the only way I would actually do it. I am grateful to have had more time and to take a step back and appreciate the simple things. That the older I get, the faster it seems to go by (what the heck?!).
One thing COVID allowed me to do was re-ignite my blogging. I had forgotten how much fun it was to write down my thoughts! I aim to keep it going, however it definitely is the first thing I let slide when it gets busy. Which is probably when have the most to reflect on.
But on to reflecting on 2020. Here are the goals/intentions I had set out for 2020; with the overarching theme of working toward fulfillment.
- More consistent sleep- aiming for 8hrs/night
- Have definitely been able to achieve this with the schedule changes resulting from the pandemic.
- Strength- work on gaining strength rather than just maintaining
- Not having access to the gym I am still likely closer to maintaining but have been VERY consistent.
- Mobility- need to work on getting more range through the hips
- May not have nailed this–> a couple muscle tears through the year slowed this one down.
- Career – find a more sustainable schedule
- Yes, definitely and thankfully achieved this.
- Community- continue to build through StrideWise.
- Super proud of the community we were able to maintain through SW in the lockdown and beyond.
- We pivoted to online strength classes instead of live workouts and did our best to keep athletes engaged.
- We truly appreciated and embraced every in person workout, time trial and relay we had.
- Organization- be better at staying on top of business admin work.
- Yep, finally making use out of the spreadsheet Mike built me!
So, all things considered, I am happy with what I have achieved this year! Despite not being in the clinic for 2.5 months, which of course was not ideal I feel I used the extra time well.
In regard to running, I embraced cross training, again. I biked more than ever and really came to enjoyed it although my pelvis disagrees. And also got in a lot of swimming. Obviously, I would have rather been running but am always happy to see my mindset shift when needed.
We also got a kitty! Peggy. She’s my first ever pet and it’s been an exciting adventure that continues to be a rollercoaster.
It became obvious early in the pandemic that I stuggle with not having ‘things to do’. Fortunately, I was able to embrace the newfound freedom I had, and I am proud of myself for that. I was able to pivot, and find other things to keep busy. I saw a tweet the other day that read “I think I spent my time being so busy so I did not have time to question why I was so busy”, and I certainly feel that. The problem is, I LOVE doing all the things that keep me busy. And truly feel so lucky for that.
Another reality of the world that was opened up to me was the Black Lives Matter movement. I am ashamed to say, it was not something I had thought much about in the past. I certainly was a misinformed believer that ‘all lives matter’ before having done more reading and listening. My education is not nearly complete but I am happy to have at least taken a step in the right direction and help make a positive impact however I can.
In the last couple of months I have also tried to be thoughtful about spending money. I have done my best to support small and local business’ in these challenging times. And I defintiely think it will change the way I shop going forward.
One last reflection that goes along with the busy point. Is relationships and friendships. This is an area where I need to invest more time and energy. This is something that I’ve routinely let slide in the past because ‘I was too busy’, and that is not okay. There is so much data on the importance of meaningful relationships and friendships. I was lucky to have LOTS of quality time with Mike, which was amazing. But I need to make more of effort with friendships. I have a job that incorporates a lot of intereaction with amazing people and I think that the fullfillment I get in that allows me (unjustifibaly) to let other friendships slide. But this is something I am very intent on correcting.
I realize this was a very challenging year for so many. The uncertainty of quite literally everything made things tough to say the least. Part of me feels guilty that I was fortunate to be able to pivot and find some positives out of it, but it is not lost on me that this was not everyone’s experience. My hope is that this blog can help inspire you to find some positives in a difficult year.
At the end of the day (Dec 31st), I am really proud of the year that has passed. It challenged me in different ways, that needed to happen. It also opened my eyes to so many other opportunities. It was certainly not all sunshine and rainbows but there are plenty of positives to come out of 2020, for me personally, and hopefully there are some things you can also come away feeling good about over the year that has (finally) passed. If nothing else I am sure there is lots we can all continue to reflect on and learn from.