Every year around this time we all discuss the things we are thankful for. In 2013 I am thankful for so very many things, so very many people, and the vast majority of those things that I am thankful for have come into my life because of this incredible journey I have been on. I want to take some time here today to talk about the people and things in my life that make me feel like the luckiest person on the planet. And along the way, I’ll share how they’ve made this year of health and fitness possible.
Let me start with my parents. I like to say that my family and I are “The Exception and Not the Rule.” I feel like I have a unique relationship with my parents because they have always been two of my best friends. When it comes to my health, my parents have been the most constant support in my life. My mom will jump at the chance to do my long runs with me (how many people can say that??) and my Dad will listen to my endless rants about my latest fitness obsession. They are truly two of the most wonderful people I know, and I am so thankful for their undying love and support.
The next thing I am so very thankful for is the place I work. These are tumultuous times in every work environment, everywhere, but the people I work with at Fab are some of the best people I know. Every single one of them gives me a reason to want to come to work every day. And I know many of them will continue to be close friends long after we work there. While everyone at Fab holds a special place in my heart I have to give a special shout out to Erin, Amanda, Jess, Rick, Susan and Lini who have made my transition from corporate life to start up life everything I thought it would be. I am thankful that they are willing to get an earful about my love for health and fitness at the office every day… and I am equally thankful that they’ll make fun of me for it.
Next, I want to talk about the people at the two fitness places that changed my life this year. I am thankful both for the dynamic organizations that these people work for, and the individuals who have made these places my home away from home.
I Love Kickboxing changed my life. Period. I was walking down the street to work one morning in February and I LITERALLY saw a sign… $20 for three classes and free gloves, and taking a chance on this changed my life. This workout sparked my love of fitness, and the people there held me together during one of the most difficult times in my life. I lost the first 45 pounds purely because of this workout and these people. I am so incredibly thankful that Carmen, Jany, Kelly, Emily, Sarah, and of course Lindsey came into my life when they did. They gave me a place where I felt safe to grow into the person I am today, and gave me the confidence to follow my fitness dreams. I believe that each of them have had a hand in pushing me down the path to the new, healthier me.
Flywheel is the workout that seemed insurmountable. The first time I went, I almost quit multiple times. But because it is such an undeniably incredible place, I got addicted anyway. There are instructors there that have truly helped me reach my fitness dreams, and friends I have made there that make riding along side them not only challenging but fun! Kara, Jesse, Danielle, and Ryan’s passion for fitness and love and caring for all of their riders has made me grow in more ways then one. Their undying support of my fitness goals makes me want to push myself to continue to improve.
So very many riders at Fly have pushed me. Sometimes its as simple as seeing their scores on the torque board, other times its as big as riding next to them and physically feeling their energy. Riding next to Serg, Emily, Kara V., Heidi, Kacey, and Jared has made me a stronger rider and therefore a stronger person. These people have become more than just those I see in class, they have turned into some of my biggest supporters. I am so very thankful that each and every one of them is in my life. Whether or not they know it, their impact is undeniable.
There are some people that have come into my life this year, and some that have been around for a long time that I truly cannot live without. They are the people that are now family. They have made me thankful for them in too many ways to count… but I’ll try to cut it down to share it with you here.
Mel and Shawn are two of my oldest friends. I am thankful for them for one simple reason, they have ALWAYS been there for me. Mel has been one of my closest friends for ten years, and she is one of the most real, down to earth and level headed people I know. She keeps me grounded, and I am so thankful to have had her to go to for advice since I was 16. To say that she has been my supporter through this weight loss journey would be an understatement. I am most thankful for Mel and Shawn this year because I have no doubt that they will always be in my life, and not many people have a friend they can really say that about.
I’m not sure that there is too much I can say about my incredible friend Kara that anyone who reads my blog doesn’t already know. She is a light in a world where many many things can appear dark and dreary. I am thankful for her faith in me, that she’ll get up at any hour to make sure I get a long run in, that she will answer my MILLIONS of questions about running, and that I know I could call her any time day or night and she’d be there. Her confidence in my abilities as a runner is what has made me continue to push myself past what I thought my limits were.
Michelle is part of my Fit Journey family. When I think about the fact that we’ve ever really only seen each other in person a handful of times it is very strange to me. Michelle is kind of like my modern day pen pal. Even though she is all the way in Arizona, I am thankful to have her to bounce things off of when it comes to fitness, or anything really. She is patient, understanding, and one of the least judgmental people I know.
There are no words to describe the ways that Lindsey has changed my life, but I’ll try. I am endlessly thankful for Lindsey. Almost every good thing in my life can be traced back to her. When I started at I Love Kickboxing she took me under her wing, she made me her project, and eventually she became one of my best friends. There were nights earlier this year that made me worried I would fall off of my health and fitness regimen, and Lindsey both metaphorically and literally put me back on a healthy path. She was my first contact in a world that I had never been a part of before. She ran my first race with me. Took my first Flywheel class with me. She helped make me the person I am today. I am so very thankful for everything she has been for me this year, and everything I know she will continue to be in the future.
I think you know when someone is supposed to be in your life when it is hard to remember what it was like before they were there. Mindy came into my life in a moment when I literally thought it could not be any more perfect, and she showed me there was a way. She is my favorite part of every day. She has taught me that in a great relationship, you challenge and push each other toward your goals. I am thankful that she will run 11 miles with me for fun, force me to sit it out when its time, and understand when I need to go home early because I have to get a workout in the next day. I admire her drive and determination to be the best version of herself…. And I am thankful that in turn that drive and determination makes me want to be a better version of me. [And I cannot forget- I am so very thankful that Mindy has brought Alyssa into my life. Her passion for life and the people around her is incredible. I am so thankful for all of the happy moments and laughs we’ve already had together and I know there will be so many more.]
Julia. Where to start with how she has changed my life? If you watch Grey’s anatomy, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Julia is my person. I think I could have used the space of this entire post to write reasons why I am thankful to know her. Somehow, she always seems to know what I’m thinking before I say it. She is understanding of my insanity when it comes to food, health, and fitness, but our relationship is so much bigger than that. Julia is the person who made me realize that I should be proud of every aspect of who I am. She has given me confidence, and strength in ways that I cannot explain. She helped me learn to love every part of me, she made me see all of the good I was missing. She taught me that family is not always blood, but rather those who want you in their life just as much as you want them. She is my 3AM phone call, my training partner, my shoulder to cry on, my sanity check, and above all else she is my best friend. I am not really sure where I would be without her. Her faith in me has made me have faith in myself. I am also thankful for her family, who has made me feel so much love this year. Ben and Lillie are just as much family to me as Julia is. I do not want to even think about what life would be like without Julia in it. I am thankful each and every day for her love, support, and friendship.
I hope everyone has the most wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for each and every one of your support.