Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 in Retrospect

So, friends, I tend to write one of these every year (Well, at least starting last year). It’s fun to look back at all the things I’ve done and been through, and pick lessons out of all the things I haven’t been able to see so far.

January: Glad to be back in school with my friends. Didn’t miss the work, but definitely missed the people. Joined the marathon clinic with the intention of doing the marathon. Remembered how much work school and having a job at the same time was.

February: Found out that ‘Reading Week’ is actually supposed to be used for reading, and catching up. Wrote some papers, did some reading, and decided on the Half-Marathon instead of the full marathon. Met one of the best Running Buddies in the world!

March: The month before finals. Busy. No blogging. Running only to keep me sane. Started to realize that the job I was doing wasn’t making me happy—for the first time in 5 years. E-mailed a friend who raved about her job and she got me an interview. Started the process of revamping my diet. Had to give up the habit of Mr. Noodles, Macaroni and Cheese and 6 pack a day Red Bulls. I was a pretty grumpy person for awhile...

April: First set of University finals. It was intense. Noticed that you can walk into a room with 1500 other people, and there can be absolute silence.

May: Agreed to coach my first half-marathon clinic at the Square One running room. Got excited about it, and started to plan routes, find speakers, and get allies for helping me coach, and giving me feedback. Mom went into the hospital for a ‘routine procedure’, and ended up there for over a month. Ran a half marathon with Jeanette and broke 2hrs. No med tent this time. Watched my brother do his first race and get hooked as well.

June: Mom comes home, doped up on every kind of drug possible for every possible kind of pain. Realized that I don’t like doctors, and that I don’t like medication. Started having some pretty cool conversations with my Running buddy. It’s amazing the kind of things you can discuss on a 3hr run. Decided that it was a marathon I would be training for and basically told every single person that came in contact with me—This way I couldn’t get out of it! Started coaching the clinic at the Running Room with the most exciting, dedicated people I’ve met.

July: Turned 2 decades old. Bought my first road bike and fell off of it into the middle of Queensway into Oncoming traffic. Injured my knee and pretty much wasn’t able to cope with life for the month. Reconfirmed my dislike for doctors and medication. Got my first taste of ‘goal setting’, and went in with 3 pages of goals that I had written at 4am...things written that I never wanted anyone to see. Realized someone had looked at them and left work that day crying. ( as soon as I walked out the door of course—I don’t cry in front of people).

August: Accepted an invitation to go to landmark. Worried about it constantly. Just ask my best friend. Was getting tired of training for a marathon, running 5-6 days a week. Possibly burnout. Remembered why I love to run by putting away the Garmin and speaking with people who were no longer able to do so. Tried and failed at planning an event.

September: Year 2 of University. Hard, but fun. Learned that you can make as many lists as you want, but if you don’t have enough time, the list is worthless. Fed everyone around me Vitamin C, in hopes that I wouldn’t get sick and still ended up getting sick the week before my marathon. Met bloggers Marci, Marlene and Laurel. Ran a marathon. I’ll say that again... Ran a marathon! What I can describe as the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. Only got through it thinking about the fantastic people that helped get me through the previous four months. The idea of pacing no longer eludes me. (We’ll test this one at Around the Bay in March)

October: Attended landmark. I thought the marathon was hard. Cried for the first 2.8 days, but what I got out of it was invaluable. Started to not feel well and have trouble breathing. Experienced the post race blues. Had an asthma attack on the bathroom floor at work when nobody was home (classy, I know). Learned that you have to treat your body well, in order for it to be responsive and do what you ask. Had my first (forced?) DNS (did not start) at the Toronto marathon due to pneumonia. Still got up to support my clinic at the race. They all finished, so I guess that makes me a good coach.

November: Indoor allergies got exponentially worse. Couldn’t breathe on a frequent basis. School went on strike. Experienced disconnect from life. Hated doctors even more when mom said she would go to the seminar, but they should she couldn’t go, and just gave her more drugs. Realized how much words can actually hurt, even though than don’t mean anything. Got very excited when a bunch of people I knew did Ironman.

December: Bought a bike trainer. Decided that I was going to do Ironman. Pretty uneventful, actually.

Things I’ve learned:

I learned that Life isn’t actually that hard.
I learned that things only mean what you make them mean.
I learned that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped
I learned that you can’t make someone want to love life
I learned that you can’t always be happy
I learned that anything is possible
I learned that it's better to wonder than to worry
I learned that tears aren’t a sign of weakness
I learned that it’s okay to need people
I learned that I have the best friends in the world
I learned that sometimes I bend, but I am UNBREAKABLE


At 8:24 PM , Blogger Marlene said...

I commented on your FB note, but would like to add my $0.02 here as well.

You amaze me! What a year you have had - the good, the bad. Seems you have taken great things away from all of it. You're unstoppable!

At 9:21 PM , Blogger aron said...

you are so awesome... congrats on an amazing 2008! cant wait to see what your 2009 looks like :)

At 5:57 AM , Blogger Missy said...

...and on to 2009! With all you've learned and gained in 08, looks to be one helluva year!

At 6:59 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Sounds like you had a great year! Hope 2009 has great things in store for you as well!

At 7:35 AM , Blogger BeachRunner said...

Great recap to a really eventful year. I love your mindset and lessons learned. All the best for 2009, it will be a great year for you.

At 7:41 AM , Blogger Marci said...

You've had an awesome year!! I forget that you are so young! So exciting all that lies ahead for you. It was great meeting you this year, hopefully we will meet up again at ATB or another event. All the best for 2009 Emily!! I can wait to read all about your IronMan training!

At 8:23 AM , Blogger Wes said...

Don't you love learning new things? Here's to a fab 2009 for you Tiger!!

At 11:09 AM , Blogger teacherwoman said...

You are most definitely UNBREAKABLE! you have had quite the year! Cheers to a wonderful new year ahead of us all!

At 11:09 AM , Blogger teacherwoman said...

You are most definitely UNBREAKABLE! you have had quite the year! Cheers to a wonderful new year ahead of us all!

At 8:08 AM , Blogger yumke said...

Love how life and running intersect.. Happy new year

At 1:15 PM , Blogger Reluctant Runner said...

Really cool summary, Tiger. I wish you a wonderful year to come.

At 8:08 PM , Blogger chia said...

Great year in retrospect :). 2008 sure gave you a lot of lifesperience!

At 4:40 PM , Blogger Mama Squirrel said...

Watch your email--I have something to show you. Best for 2009, Tiger.

At 10:11 PM , Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, those are some wise words for someone so young. I'm sure I didn't learn half of those things until I was well into my 30's. Congrats on all you accomplished and learned in 2008!


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