SOOOOO it has been quite some while since I have blogged anything...life has gotten in the way for a lack of better reasoning. So many people have reached out to support and motivate me I figured I should tell you all what was going on. I am not on spark quite as often and I apologize if I've not replied to a message or comment yet but know that all your words and motivation keep me going. It will be awhile before I'm able to be on here regularly again but spark is always a part of my life I'm so grateful for the tools and lessons I've learned to keep me going in the rough times.
Since the marathon - the biggest achievement in my life -I have had a downward spiral of life's challenges. A long time relationship ended, my 2 sets of best friends that I've know about the entire time (10yrs) I've been in AZ moved away, my job became extremely stressful. There were so many little things that just kept going on I didn't feel like I could handle it all. I was getting panic attacks, crying all the time, emotionally unable to handle the daily challenges. I felt scared, alone, and lost. I did what I thought I needed to to keep going. I kept my training schedule, I signed up for another marathon (Philly Nov 22 here I come!), I found an herbal supplement to help w/mood, I worked on rebuilding a network of friends, I repaired broken friendships, I got involved in new hiking and biking groups and joined a running group.
It was hard, I had to put myself out there and try new activities and reach out to people, most days it just felt like going through the motions, but I did! One day I looked up and realized I was ACTUALLY having fun - I've got a bigger network of support than I think I ever had before. Just in time because as soon as I was feeling that things were back in place my job asked me to go back to running a restaurant bc of financial troubles. This increased my hours to 50+ a week and put me in front of food and on my feet all day long. I gained 7lbs in the FIRST WEEK - not from eating (not that it was perfect) but from stress and not enough water and changing my schedule. Then I was finally getting that under control when after 14 years w/the same company they laid me off. I should have spazzed - I should have freaked - and granted the day that it happened I was in shock...but since then I've felt ok. A little lost and overwhelmed but emotionally I am here and feel in control!
The day I lost my job I got calls and hugs and support from so many people. I felt like I had this net that came out of nowhere that was there to catch me! It's amazing that when you need a little help and you are able to ask for it people are there! I don't feel alone and I'm not scared. It's been 1 week now and I'm even down 4 of the 7lbs I gained already! Just in time too bc this job hunting thing is a little overwhelming. I never thought I would leave my company. I have worked for them since before I graduated but I know this is just life's way of making me branch out and get out of my box.
Speaking of branching out:
This last weekend I had an opportunity to hike Mt. Humphrey's - AZ's tallest mtn at over 12000 feet high. It was hard - ~10 miles, 3300 ft elevation gain, 6 hours...and all the day after I did a 17.5 mile training run! I started out ok but as the elevation increased I had trouble breathing, my legs were on fire, I had never carried a heavy pack before, I couldn't keep up w/my friends so I was dragging behind. I questioned more than a few times if it was even worth the effort to go to the top. I started to feel out of shape...and then I gave myself a kick in the butt...would I have even attempted this 2 years ago? of course not! I realized I wasn't irritated by the difficult climb - I was irritated I couldn't keep up w/the fast group! Being at the back of the pack just doing an activity is no longer good enough for me -I want to be at the front - I want to be faster, stronger, leaner!
I was almost at the top- exhausted, tired, and spent but I looked up and the friend I came with came back down the summit and was yelling "you got it - woohoo danielle" then she came halfway down and grabbed my hand and led me the rest of the way up the mtn! It was so symbolic of all the support around me. She physically reached out here hand but there are so many people that have done so symbolically and many of them are here on spark...thank you all! This experience just cemented that I still have so many goals -I can't get lazy about the working out, the eating right, there are so many new challenges just around the corner that I must stay focused so that I have the energy and strength to tackle them...just like I tackled this mtn. I wasn't the fastest but next time I'll be faster and the time after that even faster b/c if you can do it once you can do it again!
This picture is me at the very top and there was a very profound moment that as I stood up on that rock I was the TALLEST thing in AZ at that moment...nothing was above me but the entire world was below me! You only grow during life's challenges and this is me growing(uh growing inward NOT OUTWARD!! LOL)! A new job is an opportunity for me to move on and do something completely different...and while that is a little daunting I know that even if I fall a couple times on the way I am loved and supported by so many people I will succeed!