2016 was a great year for me personally. I faced a lot of challenges and pushed myself to my limits and then went beyond.
Most of you know that I don’t really set New Year’s Resolutions, I work really hard all year-long to accomplish my goals, and then I set new ones as I move forward. I talked a bit last time about choosing a word or phrase that I focus on each year, and I thought I knew what it was going to be: Seek Feedback. However, life showed my that another word was needed to encapsulate the growth I desired for 2017. So I’m going into 2017 with the word “Adapt” as my focus.
If you had asked me when I was 10 what I wanted to be, I would have said “a writer and an Olympian.” Being the inactive child I was, I told myself (and listened to others tell me) that I wasn’t athletic. I settled for being a bookworm, but I craved that fire and drive that great athletes seemed to posses.
As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered a passion for movement and sport, which has led me to trying various activities and not really settling on any one thing. Mid 2016, I decided to fully commit to Medieval Armored Combat and tryout for the USA Broadswords Women’s team. I gave myself to training 100% and it’s changed the way I look at myself and my goals.
I’m still in the middle of tryouts, and my goals didn’t “reset” on 2017, rather I’ve been pushing since last year and there’s no end in sight. I don’t get that clean slate, I get more work. I get stricter schedules, cleaner eating, and more discipline. And I love it. I’m living my dreams. Finally.
Yes, I’m a late bloomer as an athlete, but I’m also a dreamer. My dreams scare me every day. Every time I go to train I need just an ounce more courage than I did the day before, because I’m asking just that much more of myself each time. Of course I have bad days. I certainly get into funks and don’t perform well, but I’m retraining myself to snap out of the slumps faster. I’m learning to love my failure for all that it teaches me just as much, if not more, than my successes. I’m learning to become the athlete I always knew I could be.
One of my big personal accomplishments for 2016 was to seek professional help for an Eating Disorder that I’d struggled with off and on for 10 years. I was able to successfully cut weight for my performance without compromising my safety or mental health. If you’d like to talk more about that particular journey, I’m happy to do so, but I’ll leave it at that for now. 🙂
As I go into 2017, I would like to remind everyone that big goals take time. You need time to grow into the person who can achieve those big goals. Let that change happen.
It will cost you.
You will have to dig deep and stir the fire in your gut. You will have to rely on consistency rather than your feelings. You will need faith that change is happening; sometimes on such a small level that you won’t see for months, even years. You will have to stick with it when tears come more readily than sweat.
You will have to be brave. If you are brave and give enough of yourself, you will eventually carve out room for the person you desire to be. I’m learning this day in and day out. Some days I’m on top of the world. Other days I can barely get out of bed. Conquering the self is going to be a life-long journey, but that tipping point will come. Where the hard work gives back and you’re filled with enough strength and pride to continue.
Keep going. Take pictures, find your tribe, be silent, be loud, do whatever you need, but keep going. No matter what your goals are for 2017, remember that you are enough for that first step. Trust that you will grow into the person who can achieve all they start. Keep going.