How can one year change your life? It can happen in all sorts of ways. Do you think this is at least part of the reason we celebrate birthday, anniversaries and maybe even holidays in general? We all get the same amount of days, weeks, months, hours and minutes. But a mixture of the choices we make and what fate brings our way can sure make that 365 days maintain more or less status quo or completely turn our worlds upside down (for the good or the bad or, sometimes, just different).
On July 18, 2011, I first started blogging. It didn't really take long to decide to put my voice out there. I've always been a bit of an oversharer - believing that there might be someone who would benefit from knowing my story. I had been surfing blogs for only about a week after my first triathlon (which totally hooked me). I enjoyed commenting on other blogs and decided it would be a great way to track my own progress on my fitness journey regardless if someone else read it or not.
Took me a bit to think of a blog name and I still wish I had a better header than the generic blue. I keep thinking I'll take some pictures and come up with something better, but so far it just hasn't been a priority. But having only recently conquered the nasty hill by my house on a bike (literally getting up it just a few weeks before my first tri), I felt like it was a fitting metaphor for the things I was overcoming physically and mentally. "Climbing Those Hills" continues to be a way for me to track my own progress at overcoming obstacles.
What I didn't really envision was how much I would be thrilled with the friends I would make that would take their precious time to encourage me and cheer me on as I worked toward bigger goals. Keith from Canada was my first commenter ever. His comments were thoughtful and helpful and encouraging. He reminded me not to worry about what others thought when they saw me out there doing my workouts. He said it was so much more important that I was simply out there. Period. After a year, I have 44 followers. I don't know how many of those actually read all the drivel I put out there. I'm not offended either way. I will tell you that I still get a tad giddy for comments. Know that each are read and appreciated - usually within minutes of them being posted because they drop to my phone via email.
I go back and read old posts from time to time to reflect on how this year has changed me. When I started this blog I had lost about 23 lbs from my high in Jan 2011. A year later, I'm down about another 27-30 lbs (depending on the day lately). I still have some weight to lose, but I try not to necessarily focus on this as a goal, but as a byproduct of the other work I put in. A year ago, fifteen miles on my heavy old mountain bike was about the absolute limit that I could go. Now, I have finished 34 gravel miles on that bike and some 25-30 mile rides on the road bike I bought the beginning of spring. A year ago, I didn't run at all. Over the winter I built up to running some. Probably dropped my "run" pace from 15-17 min/mile to 11-12 min/mile. A year ago, I had just built up to being able to finish a half mile open water swim. Hmm....not sure I've improved here much. Let's see how Sunday goes.
I continue to be inspired by the runners, cyclists and triathletes I've "met" via the internet and look forward to someday meeting more of you in real life. I look forward to another year to see where this journey will take me and the special roles each of you will play along the way. Thank you for joining me.