2016 New Beginnings - Letting Go and Breathing Forward

Letting Go and Breathing Forward

Looking briefly back over 2015, I'm about 75% happy with what I see. I see a woman who took charge of who she wanted to be around and what she wanted to be doing. Attainable goals were set and met, with even a couple additional ones tacked on to the end.

New Year's Yoga and Kayaking in Costa Rica

Not realizing it until well after the trip was booked, I had known deep-down, for quite sometime that my path would lead me to Costa Rica again. This time, on a women's only yoga and whitewater kayaking trip with some of the most wonderful people, new and old friends.  It was with this group of women that I was able to fully embrace and rejoice in what it means to be a woman on the river.  Expressing raw emotions and owning your comfort level was not looked at as a weakness but as a strength, something that occurs in the moment and does not define us or our overall experience on the river. It was such a beautiful thing to see, women helping and embracing each other, where they were at... whether that be in a moment of frustration, a moment of fear, or a moment of pride. We were able to fully appreciate what each other were going through.

Though I love paddling with my male friends (and I do miss you guys), there was something that was just simply different about this experience.

On this trip, I learned a lot:

  • I really like the big pushy water

  • Technical stuff, I'm ok with... I just don't care to much for the boney nonsense!

  • Wall-Shots - I was not a huge fan. I did finally learn to read them better and know which ones I wanted to ride out and which ones I wanted to ride on the inside.

  • My water-reading skills are getting much better.

  • Don't always follow the leader. Take the line that you know you should take. It may lead you to a nasty whirlpool.

  • My body is capable of doing so much more than I imagined, if treated right.

  • Six days of paddling was awesome, tiresome -- thank goodness for morning yoga!

  • Listen to that inner voice and be ok with what it says.

  • Other people see beauty and strength inside us, when we mask it from ourselves with self-doubt.

  • Don't create a story where one does not need to exist. It becomes unnecessary baggage.

  • Hearing your friends' laughter from across the river, across the night, truly warms your heart.

There is probably much much more.

Coming back to the sport I love: Kayaking

This year I spent the majority of the year "coming back" to kayaking after being off the water for all of 2014.  I made some amazing friends, had some great experiences, learned a lot, and even reached a bit further for getting my kayak instructor cert. I took control of who I spent my time with, I relaxed into what I was doing and truly enjoyed a drama free year.

It was also a tiresome, exhausting 2nd half of a year. Between non-stop kayaking, kayak instructor training, traveling to NC for my Grandfather multiple times,  and crazy work stress, it was hard to find time to breathe.

Grieving for Loved Ones

I also spent a good deal of time grieving over the loss of a sister-friendship that vanished from my life. It's one thing when the person has died, as I am used to death in my life, however, when they are in sight, but out of reach... it's hard. I've had to come to terms with this person's choice, and interestingly enough, I've realized that she is not meant to be in my life right now. Over the years, our friendship had grown stronger, testing boundaries, pushing each other to be better people, supporting and lifting each other, and calling each other out when we could have been better.  However, perhaps we started to ask and expect too much from each other. Perhaps we became toxic to each other. I used to feel her absence more, but slowly over the last month or so, I have found peace in the absence of her friendship.  In this new year, though I am no longer willing and able to reach out to her for my own well-being, I wish her the very best and would welcome her efforts at renewing our friendship.

Also in terms of grieving, I lost my hero this year... Ezra Davis, my grandfather. From the people that came to the different funeral events, it showed me just what a wonderful man he was and that I barely knew him.  I wanted more and more stories and it seemed like everyone would just tease with a snippet and then lock down on the rest of the story as if it were a treasure only for them. Perhaps so, but it would have been wonderful see my grandpa through their eyes as well.

Reversing Out of an Old Lifestyle

For the past,  oh 10-12 years, I have lived on a restrictive diet and a roller coaster of training programs. Half of the year, I spent working with Precision Nutrition which really didn't do anything for me, other than suck about $1000 out of my pocket. After stalking Eat to Perform online for a few months, I decided to take the plunge in July and start their program. I spent July through October slowly working my Macros up from 1600-ish to 1900/2300.  No lie, its been a struggle... and I have gained strength and performance, but I have also gained about 10lbs. Having been at this higher range for a solid amount of time, I'm hoping to work with my coach and do a "cut" in mid-Jan. So hopefully, I'll be starting January on track. I will say, it does feel good to EAT.. Eating only 1200 cal a day is horrible! Now its time to get the balance back! And my waistline!

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