2016: Year of growth

My medals and patch from 2016.

So, now is a good time to do a year in review. I had trouble keeping promises and missed the mark a lot in regards to this blog and its mission. While it would be a good thing to just delete all the posts that shy away from my goal and promise to my readers, I won’t do it.

Those flaws, those misses, helped build this, and me. The disjointed mess of happiness, sadness and everything in between make up who I am and give a basis as to where I’m headed.

The photos above shows all the medals and my GORUCK patch from 2016. Four medals … big whoop, right?

The 2016 Mountain Family medal collection, minus some trophies.

This is my family’s medal hanger for 2016. I went to almost all of those races, cheering my family, Team Red, White and Blue members and total strangers on. While the morning drives sucked, the races, people and new towns made unforgettable memories.

This year was a year of growth and rebounding for me. I have spent a lot of my life sad, lost and lacking purpose. I found it this year and worked everyday to own it outright. I dealt with a lot of self-doubt, and still am in some regards, but I feel more sure of myself than ever before.

Physically, I pushed the envelope with GORUCK. I joined a group, Hoorah 2 Heroes. The workouts were unlike anything I’ve done before and gave me the courage to push myself a bit farther than running did on its own.

GORUCK Light class 1346 activities in Pittsburgh.

The GORUCK event itself was eye opening. It pushed things into action. I have said that I want to get into shape, become a better leader, etc., over and over again. But there was little action. I exercised, but didn’t work to improve other things that affect my fitness, like my diet, stress levels, etc.

Enduring six hours and one minute of rucking, along with a mental check-up by the cadres, made me believe that I could make the changes needed to achieve my goals. I had heard people say that I can do it, but unless you truly believe in yourself, it seems like a fantasy.

After GORUCK, I developed a major sinus infection and slacked off physically for a while. I did work a lot more on mental things, listening to leadership-related podcasts to improve my skills. I also took an online course in suicide prevention as part of being a member of the Team RWB leadership in my area.

In regards to Team RWB, I probably messed up a lot, and probably still will. But the memories and accomplishments of myself and other members make it all OK. I put myself into a leadership role because no one else was there to step up to the plate. It was/is scary, especially for an introvert like myself. But the position helped me push the envelope and see what I can do when I step outside my comfort zone. And what I can do looks pretty awesome. 

So, I’m in the midst of two challenges during the holiday season. While this is a busy time of year, this is the best time to do these. If I can do this now, during the craziest time of the year, the rest of the year will look like a cakewalk.

The first challenge is a sit up challenge that started in October. I am on my way to reaching 20,000 sit ups by the end of the challenge, Dec. 31. The group putting on the challenge is having a 1,000 miles challenge in 2017, and I plan to sign up soon.

The other challenge is a 12-day challenge. Each day builds on the next day. Today is day seven, so I have to take a 90-second cold shower, do some quality push ups, 90-second superman, 40 squats, hip stretches, track my nutrition and write a gratitude journal entry today.

It’s not a lot to do really, maybe a half hour of work. But I can see the benefits already. I passed up Christmas treats at the office because I don’t want to have to write it in my nutrition journal. The shower helps me confront my new fear is cold water (thanks GORUCK) and also wakes me up. The exercises just feel good.

For 2017, I hope to keep up the habits in the 12-day challenge once it’s officially over. I also plan on putting this blog back where it should be.

I also plan on working on my leadership skills by doing some reading and getting involved in more real training. We’ll see how it goes.

In regards to this blog, the average West Virginia household makes about $34,500. We lead the nation in having treatable illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. 

When I started this blog, my goal was to help low- to moderate-income families, especially mothers, find resources to live healthier and happier lives. I lost my way a few times, focusing on my own needs or what others were doing.

And for those who have hung on since the beginning, I’m sorry. I hope to get back on task here and in other aspects in my life.

I’ll keep you posted. I have some challenge exercises to do while I get Our house clean.

So for now, keep cool, be kind and DFQ (don’t f*****g quit). See you again soon.

From Calm, a meditation app I was referred to by a local yogi.
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