29

Today, December 9th, is my 29th birthday. With each passing year, I’m honestly surprised that I survived another one and lived to blog tell about it. True story: when I was a kid, and especially a teenager, I could not imagine being older than 17. I did not have any type of life plans past that age because I really thought I would die in some tragic and yet ultimately moving and perhaps movie-appropriate way, like saving the life of a young child as I pulled them from a fire. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but it did leave me with the ongoing conundrum that I still face today: I get to the next year and I’m like “Well, now what?”

I’m still clueless about what the future holds, but I think I’ve decided that that’s the way I like it. Any time that I’ve tried to plan out my life, it has ultimately ended up initially disappointing me but then giving me something even better instead, so I think I’m just going to go with it from now on. After all, 28 was a pretty kickass year of my life:

1.  I visited 6 countries: Japan, Canada (a repeat, to be fair), Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Curacao. I experienced totally different and amazing cultures in each of them and confirmed my passion for travel, geography, and all food except cuy (fried guinea pig).

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Day 3 of the Inca Trail – the best view I’ve ever seen

2. I spent most of it traveling around the country doing research for Ramblen, a true dream job. And with this, I confirmed my passion for health and fitness and my lack of passion for all people in airports.

3. I started writing for Women’s Running magazine both in print and online. My monthly column and weekly blog post have been a huge, challenging departure from what I do here on the blog, but I think it has really grown my writing. I love working for a magazine that is passionate about running and fitness for all women!

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My very first column

4. I finally womaned up and got back surgery. Best decision I ever made. It has changed my life. I actually mailed my surgeon a thank you note and some pictures from the Prairie Fire Marathon today to thank him because I’m sentimental like that.

5. I spent the summer living in one of my favorite places (Tulsa, Oklahoma) with some of my favorite people. I wish I could have stayed forever, but that’s not how it worked out, and probably for a good reason that I have not discovered yet.

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Country roads, take me home

6. I got engaged. I like to say that AJ and I work well as a couple because he is one of very few people who never annoys me. That’s not true, because he does sometimes annoy me. But really, he’s just the best and even though I don’t talk about him much, I hope you guys all get to meet him and make him feel uncomfortable someday. It’s my favorite past time and I’m sure you’d find the same joy as me.

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#engagementselfie

7. I was able to go back to running marathons. That wasn’t a given, and I’m grateful that my body is giving me another chance. My new schedule looks nothing like my old one, but I’m ok with that.

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Couldn’t have done it without Patty

Yes, it’s been a very good year filled with wonderful friends. And I think this might have been the year that I finally figured out that I don’t have room in my life for things, people, or activities that cause me stress or make me feel bad about myself. Eliminating all of that can be a challenge, but it’s a worthwhile one.

So, here’s to 29. I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be at this age – thank God.

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