So, it’s that time of the year again. Though I guess I can’t really say that, because this is my first holiday season in the wonderful world of blogging.
Anyway, the last year has been, well, incredibly challenging to say the least. But I’m not gonna lie; in a lot of ways, the results have been rewarding. And that’s all we can ever hope for in life — that the juice is well-worth the squeeze.
(Grapefruits are always worth the squeeze. Just go with it. It seemed appropriate. I love grapefruit. And lamp.)
It’s funny, because I am an inherently ambitious person in a lot of ways — professionally, personally, as a girlfriend, as a friend, as part of an ever-growing family. When it comes to those things that matter most to me in life, I put my whole heart into it; I can only hope to get a small portion of that in return.
I suppose what I’ve learned over the last year — of running, of blogging, of life — is that, in the words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.” Creepily enough, I have my mother’s voice in my head as I type those words onto the screen; to drive home the difference between “want” and “need,” this classic rock-inspired axiom is one she worked hard to instill in me.
…But if you try sometimes, well you mind find, you get what you need.
Maybe it worked.
At any rate, it’s this saying that has enabled me to keep a calm and level head throughout many, many tough circumstances this year. To be honest, there’s no reason to hash them out; it’d just sound as though I were complaining if I did. And honestly, I can’t complain. At the end of the day, I have everything I need to get by.
That said, I’d love to take this moment as we head into December and the New Year to highlight 12 of the accomplishments for which I am most proud. It’s kind of like the 12 days of Christmas. But not, because I’m Jewish.
1. Four Half Marathons. Technically, this one dates back to August of last year, so since January 2012, I’ve only run three. But as my dad likes to say, who’s counting?
Not long ago, I didn’t think I could run more than five miles. As you can imagine, having run not one, but four half marathons — one with my cousin and one in the snow — in just over a year has felt like a huge achievement to me.
2. Learning to listen. While perhaps not all that surprising, the increased running has been slightly hard on my body. Whereas I’d never incurred a running injury besides piriformis syndrome before these halves, I now find myself constantly dealing with aches, twinges and pain.
Learning to listen to my body — to not run even when I want to — has been a huge challenge. With time and patience — and the discovery of some great YouTube videos and a new pair of sneakers (still loving the Saucony Triumph 10’s!) — I’ve been able to stay off the pavement when needed, ultimately increasing (fingers crossed) how long I’ll be able to run in the future.
3. Be with family. There was a point during the last year when I had taken on so many projects in addition to my full-time job that I compromised the time that I would have spent hanging out with my family — mainly my amazing nephews and nieces, each of who get cuter and smarter by the day.
I’ve since dropped several obligations, and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to spend more time with Becker, Remy and Dustin. More pictures to come after this weekend’s Hannukah festivities.
4. Yoga headstand. I swear, this one happened overnight. Literally. I spent seven years being unable to even fathom the idea of standing on my head, and then one night I had a dream that I did. Then bam, I woke up, and I replicated what I had dreamt. Weird, but I swear, that’s how it happened.
5. Strength train on the reg. I can’t take all the credit for this one. I’ve been strength training more because I’ve had to run less. On that same note, I’ve genuinely enjoyed working out from my living room floor much more than I ever have before — probably because I’ve developed an equally big love for Matt Lauer and The Today Show.
6. Run a sub 8-minute mile. Ok, so it was only one time. But in all fairness, I really only tried it — with a timer and all, since I hate watches — once. That’s not to say I woke up one morning and decided to just try it (as with my headstand); rather, I worked on shorter distances at faster speeds for many months. Eventually, I built up the nerve to test out my legs on the treadmill. The result? Much more pleasant than I ever imagined.
(This is where the magic happened.)
Then naturally, I stopped timing myself altogether again. Screw speed. I run for glitter.
7. Travel in the U.S. If you recall (or if you don’t recall, I’ll fill you in), last Christmas, Noah and I traveled to Jamaica and had a freaking great time. (I still can’t believe that it’s almost been a year.)
This past summer, Noah and I went to California, where I traveled around San Francisco and Sonoma for the first time. It was lovely. My only regret is not being less stressed. Perhaps that will go on the “to-do” list for 2013 — to actually enjoy so-called “free time.”
8. Start — and maintain — a blog. Confession: This isn’t my first blog, but it will certainly be the last of ’em. Before this glittery space on the web, I wrote about many other subject matters, none of which were as dear to me as running. Once I removed the “professional ambition” from what I was doing and began to explore what I was most passionate about — running and feeling generally good — I naturally became more passionate about my blog. And it shows! I heart glitter!
As of January, I’ll have been “running” Will Run For Glitter for an entire year, and have met so many amazing and inspiring people along the way. I can only wonder what the next year — and the next — will bring.
9. Embrace nutritional yeast. I wasn’t thrilled when my doctor told me that I was deficient in vitamin b12, but I was definitely determined to eliminate the shooting pains in my body that resulted from the drought. Not long ago, I began experimenting with nutritional yeast — putting it into tomato sauces, on top of popcorn, you get the idea. So far, it hasn’t killed me, and it doesn’t taste so bad either.
10. Run while traveling. This year, I brought my sneakers with me on practically every trip I took and was incredibly grateful I did each time. My favorite: the nine-miler with Noah in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Thinking about bringing your sneakers on vacation? Don’t think; just do it.11. Get a grownup bed. No explanation needed. All I’m saying is that it was really time to throw out our bedding from college.12. Find my inner calm. I can’t say that I’ve actually accomplished this yet, but I truly believe that being aware of one’s own crazy streak is the first step to finding balance once again. The last few weeks have been, to put it lightly, bat$h*! insane. I’ve been running around the city speaking to different prospective employers while beginning a temporary freelance position and — wait for it — battling a four-day fever.
Ohm. There are far worse things in the world. I know that.I have a home. I have food. I have an incredible family, incredible friends, and an incredible man friend in my life. And when any of those go wrong, whether for a moment or some unforeseen extended period of time, I always have my morning runs — I have Central Park and the streets of Manhattan — to ground me once again.
2012 was exciting, scary, stressful, productive and more. I can’t wait to grow from what I’ve learned to make 2013 truly sparkle.
- What did you accomplish in 2012?