I don’t typically talk politics here, and in many ways, I’m going to continue to not talk politics in this post. Why? While I certainly have the right – this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want – I also don’t necessarily want this to be a political space. Regardless of what I believe, I have friends on both sides of just about every issue (I even have a friend who is a staunch “Flat Earth” proponent), and we all have the right to our beliefs.
But this blog isn’t about politics, and I assume you’re not coming here to find out what I think about a certain political issue. No, this is a blog mostly about running and triathlon (and sometimes cats and pop culture and other fun things). However, I think it’s pretty hard to ignore what’s been going on in the US over the past weeks and months. And regardless of which side you’re on, you likely have strong feelings and have been pulled into pretty emotional arguments.
Arguments solve nothing.
Fighting on Facebook solves nothing.
Don’t get me wrong – there is incredible value in having a debate between reasonable people. Even if I don’t agree with you following the debate, I will have a better understanding of what you believe and why. But right now, we’ve just been seeing a lot of heated words flung back and forth with none of those words doing any good. All we are doing is creating a divide.
So what can we do? You can contact your elected representatives to voice your thoughts and encourage them to vote for or against certain bills. You can volunteer or donate to causes you can believe in. You can volunteer with groups that are totally unrelated to the current political climate, because it’s always a positive thing to bring a little good to the world, wherever you can.
You can be a positive force. You can spread your words and thoughts with confidence and civility, not anger and frustration. But you should also make a point to hear those thoughts and listen and try to understand. I’m not saying you should change your mind. Just try to get a teensy, tiny glimpse into the other side. People who voted differently than you did (or would have, if you are a non-American) aren’t stupid. They have their beliefs and reasons. Listen to those and find out what is important to someone else.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get so sucked in to the negativity that you forget about all of the good that is still happening in the world. And do your best to be part of that good, in whatever way you can.
Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me! I’m a whopping 36 years old, which seems kind of old and also kind of super young. After all, my cousin shared a quote from my grandma this weekend. “I’m 92. That’s pretty damn old.” So 36 is super young.
Also, as I like to tell my friends with kids, good job to my parents for keeping me alive for 36 years. Though I suppose at some point, that became my responsibility. This adulting thing is really no fun.
This is the first year in many that I’m not at Walt Disney World for marathon weekend for my birthday. That said, given the weather, maybe I made the right choice by skipping. I was sad to miss all the fun though, and am halfheartedly considering going next year just to cheer for friends. I just wish race weekend weren’t so close to New Year’s. That makes it so much harder to take time off. Plus crowds.
On their birthdays, a lot of bloggers like to post lists of things they’ve accomplished in the past year of their lives. I sort of already did that with my 2016 recap. One of the joys of being born on the tenth day of the year. (Another advantage – my triathlon race age is always my actual age – until I find a tri on Jan 1-9.)
Others like to post about things they want to do before their next banner birthday. I guess that next one is 40, which I choose to not think about. If I pretend it doesn’t exist, it won’t happen, right? But mostly, when I’ve created those lists, I’ve found that as time goes on, the things that I thought were important goals in my life became totally different goals. At 30, I had no idea that I would end up racing a 70.3, and that was a huge goal for me last year. So I have no clue what the next years will bring, what my interests will be, and what I will hold as important. Maybe I’ll take up cliff diving or something (likely not).
As to great plans for my birthday, well, note the earlier mentioned adulting. I’m going to work and then going to swim practice in the evening. Big fun, I tell you. But I’m sure there will be cake at some point. All birthdays need cake.
As the year draws to a close, I thought I would go through my blog stats and find out what my most popular posts were this year. And there were definitely some surprises. Interestingly enough, these weren’t necessarily the posts that got the most traffic through the year – I’ve got some older posts that remain popular thanks to the Googles. Maybe I do occasionally write some interesting stuff.
This was my most popular post this year and it’s definitely no surprise. I think I talked about the fact that I was racing a 70.3 to everyone who would listen. If I put it out there in the world, it would happen, right? Right. (Well, and I had to do all that training.) This was definitely my biggest personal accomplishment this year and something I will forever be proud of.
This was actually a pretty short post, but people love runDisney drama. A better read along the same lines is Why I’m Not at Princess Half. I will forever love runDisney races, and it was the Princess Half that got me into distance running in the first place, so this race will always have a special place in my heart. That said, PEOPLE! Get over yourselves.
(Okay, so I wrote this post last December, but it was late in the year, so I’m counting it.) After years and years of trying to find a “diet” that worked for me, and years of watching my weight creep up, I tried the Swim Bike Fuel plan and finally, I found something that worked. There’s no magic here. In fact, I’m not sure that there was a ton of stuff in the plan that I didn’t already know. It works because of how the plan is setup, the support you get from the other participants, and the knowledge that this isn’t a diet. It’s a general way of looking at food and deciding what you should be using to fuel your body.
While I wasn’t the one getting bullied, there’s a real problem with internet bullying. You would think that this is something that teenagers do to each other. And it is, but a lot of adults are no better. I don’t understand the need to cut down a stranger. You can think whatever you want about another person, but keep that opinion to yourself. And if you spend your time putting someone else down in order to build yourself up, well, maybe you need to take a closer look at yourself.
This one was kind of a surprise. But in many ways, it goes along with the internet bullying post. People saw something happen, made assumptions, and decided to publicly shame without knowing the facts. Interesting that this made the popular posts. I guess we all love a bit of drama in our lives.
There has been a lot of talk about 2016 being an absolutely terrible year. And to be honest, a lot of not so great things have happened. And it never helps when the year is capped off by the deaths of beloved celebrities. But there have also been many awesome things that happened this year. So I thought I would go through my list of accomplishments.
I completed my second year on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team and was welcomed back for a third year. I absolutely love being on this team. Obviously I love the products that Coeur makes (if I could live in the joggers, I probably would) and I would be racing in their gear regardless of my affiliation with the team, but I truly love the beliefs behind this company. Their kits are made in the US. They support athletes of all shapes and sizes and are working to increase their size range. They aren’t just about the elite triathlete or the age grouper who ends up on the podium time and time again. And the team is made up of incredible women. At first, I was intimidated because I’m not a fast racer, but it quickly became clear that it didn’t matter. It’s about what you bring to the team. Sure, it’s great to see Coeur up on the podium, but it’s even better to see ladies in Coeur cheering each other on and being a positive force. Being part of this team has made me a better athlete and a better person.
Of course, the big accomplishment of the year – Augusta 70.3! I completed my first half ironman and it was everything that I had hoped and more. I spent the summer training like it was my job (well, not really, since I had an actual job to do so I could pay for my racing habit) and the work paid off. I beat every single one of my time goals, and know that in better conditions, I could race even faster. It certainly wasn’t a perfect day but I have no regrets about how I raced and I’m proud of what I accomplished. More importantly, I had family and friends come down to cheer me on, and that made those last miles even more incredible.
I also raced a few great half marathons and pushed through some less great triathlons. Now that I think about it, my triathlons this year were all in not-so-great weather. Let’s hope for a change in 2017.
My niece was born this year. So really, that trumps everything. And I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family. I think I saw more of them this year than in many previous years, something rare since I moved 700 miles away. Not sure if I can make that work again in 2017, but it’s always fun to try.