Since this is the time for “best of 2013” lists, I’ve decided to come up with my own list. 🙂
Some of the things on the list are fitness related, while others-not so much. However, all of them relate to achieving goals that were set anywhere between 1-3 years ago and I’m extremely happy to have been able to achieve.
Three years ago, if I told someone I was going to run a marathon, I’m sure they would just laugh at me because honestly, I couldn’t run one block (about 400m) without feeling like I just ran 100km.
The marathon has always been a distant goal of mine (no pun intended), even when I was younger, but I never thought that 1.I could finish one 2. that I could finish in the top 10% of all finishers and 3. that I would qualify for Boston on my first try.
I feel that 2013 has truly been amazing! Honestly, I could not have predicted or asked for a better year (apart from winning the lottery, which would have allowed me to afford all the race entries and travel to all the marathons on my bucket list…haha).
Seriously though, I have to do a ton of work in 2014 to match what happened in 2013. I’m ready for that challenge.
Overall, I feel extremely thankful and fortunate for the opportunities that I’ve had in 2013 and for the people that came into my life. I’m so happy to have experienced these top 10 moments this past year.
1. Run For Their Lives Vancouver Island 2013. Starting in Port Hardy and finishing in Victoria, it was 500km of running for great local charities, including the Mustard Seed Food Bank, Recreation Integration Victoria and BC SPCA. We met a lot of awesome people along the way and it was fun.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported this endeavor: sponsors, media and event co-ordinator/good friend Ian Simpson. I enjoyed every kilometer of the run from start to finish and would gladly do something like this again if the opportunity arose.
2. Receiving my Bachelor of Commerce Degree. Having been in school for more than half my life, the fact that I finished it was a huge relief. School work is a lot like marathon training because you get out exactly what you put in.
Also, just because I’m finished school, does not mean that I’m finished learning. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and now it’s time to go out there, learn more, embrace new challenges, do more, make a difference in other people’s lives, set bigger goals and reach the full potential.
3. Getting fully certified as a personal trainer. I’ve always had the passion for fitness and there is nothing more rewarding than helping clients achieve their fitness goals. I’m thrilled to be working in this industry.
I believe in my clients and I know that with the right guidance they are destined to achieve their goals, no matter how big those goals may be.
4. Breaking 20 minutes in the 5k (19:25). The 5k is a unique distance in a sense that demands more from you as a runner than just logging in hundreds of miles or sprinting like crazy. I find it to be a very tough race, just like the 8k because it’s neither long distance nor short distance. In order to run a perfect 5k, a perfect 5k specific training plan has to be completed.
It’s just as challenging to design the perfect 5k plan as it is to run one, especially for someone like me, who is a long distance runner. Previously to breaking 20 minutes in a 5k, I would always finish the race in around 21-22 minutes, which I admit is not that fast. That day though, it went extremely well and I’m hoping to improve even more in my next 5k that I do.
5. Paying off my student loan. I had to take out about a $4,500 student loan when I was in my 3rd year of university because of the order in which I decided to do my academic terms. It just so happened that instead of doing a co-op work term and making some money, I decided to do an academic term, which meant that I had to borrow money.
I’m fortunate enough to have been able to pay it back within 6 months after graduation so that I could focus my efforts on building my business rather than worrying about my loan. For that, I’m thankful!
6. Competing in my first fitness competition. I believe that training for a fitness competition is as challenging as training for a marathon both mentally and physically. Both marathons and fitness competitions require a lot of commitment and dedication.
I had a lot of fun at the competition and met some great people who share my passion for fitness. Also, a photo of me alongside the other fitness competitors made it into Inside Fitness Magazine.
7. Running a personal best and finishing 2nd in my age group in the TC 10k. The TC 10k is a big race with thousands of runners. Whenever I do a race, I’m always looking to beat my previous time in that distance. Whether or not I place is not as important to me as continuous self-improvement. With that being said, I like to finish closer the front and will always do my best.
8. Personal best in the Victoria Marathon. Given that I was sick the weekend of the race, I honestly didn’t have a lot of expectations and I certainly didn’t expect to run a personal best. At one point, I was even concerned that I wasn’t going to start the race, but I did anyways.
When I reached the 36km mark and still felt good, I knew that I was going to finish and do well. I crossed the line in 3:25:45, which is a 2+ minute improvement from my previous personal best. My average pace was 4:53 per km. I placed 2nd in my age group and 217th/1726.
9. Being around awesome people. I love to be around positive people who support each other. Having people around you who support each other and who support your goals is very important. I’m glad I found that.
10. Studio 4 Athletics became my main place of business as a personal trainer. The owners of Studio 4 and I share the same values with regards to helping people, which is why I believe it’s a good fit for me.
Also, the Studio 4 team genuinely cares about helping the customers improve their lives as opposed to just making sales. After all, the well-being of my clients is my priority and I’m happy to have found a place where we all share that same priority.
I have set some new goals for 2014 and I look forward to achieving them. 🙂