When I started looking back on the last year, all of the incredible adventures, challenges, faces and places made me smile a huge, beaming toothy grin. It’s been an incredible year. There have been lows, of course, but as in life, I choose not to dwell on those, and instead find my focus on all the glorious strides.
I started 2012 back in my hometown city, after living away a few years, especially after having to leave a place I never wanted to say goodbye to, which was Halifax. I wasn’t sure if Ottawa would ever feel like “home” to me again, or if I’d find happiness or peace here. I decided to embrace the city and to make it feel “new” to me again, instead of just going back to the status quo. You know what Ottawa? Turns out you’re alright.
I joined Booty Camp Fitness with my sister, and the ball started rolling that would carry me through the entirety. In Booty Camp, I felt alive again, like a piece of me that had long been dormant was pushed, prodded, shoved into rubbing its’ eyes to the coming light. Each week I moaned and groaned about the class and how tough it was, but I’d also leave feeling tougher myself! I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and capability-things I had long forgotten how to feel.
In that class, I also met my friend Jay, who would be an instrumental partner in my entire journey this year. She opened my circle to an incredibly supportive and wonderful group of women, each embarking or continuing on their own empowering journeys, and each with a gift to bestow on me at various points along my own path.
Booty Camp led to stand up paddling, and to running group, and to my first 5k. It led to a silly 5k with my kids where you had coloured powder thrown at you, and then my first 10k. It led me to workouts in the rain and thunder, to runs in downpours, to even longer runs in snow and ice and wind. It opened my eyes to Yin Yoga where I met the Zen Cowboy. It’s led me to try Soldiers of Fitness and to sign up for a Swordplay course. It’s made me feel confident enough to start going to classes at the gym, trying my hand at Pump and Zumba, weights, and more Yoga. It’s had me running 15k and setting my sights on a half marathon. Shockingly, each and every one of those endeavours has been positive and has opened my eyes to even more supportive and motivating individuals.
It also led me to the “Losing It In Ottawa” blog, and nervously throwing my name in the hat to be considered a writer for its’ content. This blog is where I met the inspirational Katie, who is the whisper in my ear saying “YES YOU CAN” even when she’s nowhere near.
They say Karma is a bitch and what you put out in the world will come back to you, well, somehow I must have been extra nice along the way somewhere, because this year? I’ve been truly blessed.
If you want to count stats and numbers, in total I lost 35 lbs this year. I also lost 6 inches off of my chest, 6 inches off of my waist, and 7 off of my hips. I went down 2 sizes in clothing-sometimes more. (thank you stretchy skinny jeans!)
In all honesty though, while I am starting to change my thinking about myself when looking in the mirror, it’s the least significant remembrance from this year that I’ll take away. Instead, I focus on all of the people who have written or approached me and said that “I” inspire THEM. Whaaat? ME?
I focus on the friends who have truly supported me the whole distance, so far. They’ve encouraged me to keep going, they’ve offered to come on runs with me, they’ve challenged me to try new things, they’ve tweeted or texted shout-outs. It’s all of my “old” friends who are happy and proud of me and who have said, “We always knew you had it in you! We were waiting for YOU to know it!” It’s all of my new friends, like-minded in their pursuits and who aren’t interested in competing or “one upping” but in truly supporting each other week in and week out, drama free. It’s all of the friends on Facebook who don’t roll their eyes at “one more status” about another milestone I’m shouting from the rooftop, but instead know that their words are what keep me going for the next time.
I focus on my family, who give me the time I need to go and do “crazy stuff.” It’s my husband saying “Go, do it!” and my girls saying that I’m their hero and that they use me for inspiration to do “whatever you set your mind to do.” It’s their excitement when I come in from trying something new-an activity or distance-greeting me at the door with big smiles. It’s my husband taking up running so we can go together.
I focus on the person I’ve become, or who I’ve always known was there but who has been buried down deep for far too long. It’s the me that says “HECK YEAH!” and the one that brushes off her falls and gets back up again. This rediscovery has me wondering what’s next, and where else I can take this thing.
It’s been a year like I’ve never, ever experienced before. Like, ever. The word that comes to mind is transformative-physically, personally, spiritually. I don’t know that we get many years like this in our lifetimes, but I’m going to keep on pushing into 2013 and see how long this Karma train travels for this new me.
2012-I thank you for opening my eyes to possibility. I think 2013 will be about more of the same, along with more leaping, and some new paths in completely different directions.