In a world where it seems like a lot of things suck, I’ve decided to end one year and start another by focusing on a handful of things from the past 12 months that don’t suck.
I tried some new things in 2018. Actually, when I look back at 2018 – and my deep, deep affinity for routine – I’m a little surprised by the number of out-of-my-comfort-zone things I did, including:
- being with the Another Mother Runner women at the Eau Claire Half Marathon. I had the opportunity in May to take on this course for the first time and be part of the Another Mother Runner contingency at the expo and on Instagram, where I took over for the day. I got to reconnect with the folks at AMR, who I worked with as part of the group who contributed to “Tales from Another Mother Runner” book a few years ago.
- driving a really long way. Instead of me relying on my I-really-like-driving husband, I got behind the wheel this summer and drove myself – and my son – from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. While this might not seem like biggest deal in the world, it was quite an accomplishment for me.
- going away, by myself, to running camp in the summer in Pennsylvania with a bunch of women I knew only through social media via #OiselleVolee. And I lived to tell about it. And I even made some friends IRL.
- earning a PR (well, two actually.) Now that I’m in my 40s, I’m not sure how many personal records I’ve got left in my legs so I’m going to celebrate them when they happen. I ran my fastest 10K in June at the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and my fastest 5 mile time in November at the Festival Foods Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, also in Green Bay.
- showing up to workout after workout (hat tip to Des Linden for the best mantra ever) so that I could end the year with 1,338 running miles and … new to this year’s mileage collection: biked miles! I’ve used my new Peloton bike since I got it at the end of November (follow me on the Leaderboard at #Amy__Bae), making it a big reason I ended 2018 with 671 miles biked.
- taking my own advice and caring less about the number on the scale. Up until a few months ago, I stepped on the scale every single morning. Every. Single. One. And most mornings, it made me feel bad (even after a 40-50 minute workout). It took some time, but I stopped. I haven’t been on the scale for weeks and I couldn’t tell you what I weigh right now, but I can tell you – probably for the first time since middle school – that I don’t care about that number.
- listening to the advice of wise mother runner Lauren Fleshman who told the group at Big Bird Camp: “It’s a privilege to follow someone’s life story.” Turns out that blocking trolls is good for the soul. Weird.
At the end of 2017, I wrote about setting goals while being flexible, which was especially important at the time because we had just added a dog to our house. At the end of this year, I can honestly say that I worked hard on the flexible part. And yes, I say “work” because it takes effort to give yourself some space and a little grace.
And at the end this year, of course, I’m thinking about the year ahead. I recently heard about the idea of assigning a word to the year ahead. It can be a goal, a project, an effort.
My word for 2019? “Purpose.” I want the things I do, the motion of my body, the words I say, I want them all to mean something. Sometimes that means speaking up and other times it means being quiet.
So, here’s to an open road ahead and year full of purpose.