On April 21, 2014 I ran the Boston Marathon. It was my 6th marathon, and the last time I put on a pair of running shoes to hit the road. A lot has changed in my life since then. And with each stressor that came along, so did a few extra pounds.
A pound for losing my glamourous job (no, not really) as a radio personality.
A pound for having to take money out of my IRA to pay rent.
A pound for switching careers to accept a job at a non-profit organization.
A pound for the 7 excruciating months I spent in that position.
A pound for meeting the love of my life.
A pound for quitting the job at the non-profit.
A pound for eloping in Vegas!
A pound for months of fruitless job searching. (Make that about 10 pounds.)
A pound for taking MORE money out of my IRA.
A pound for coming out of retirement and returning to radio.
A pound for getting divorced 2 years post Vegas.
A pound for quitting yet another job that was not a good fit.
A pound for each friend I lost along the way (because I tend to retreat when my life’s a mess).
A pound for the anxiety medication I had to take to cope with all of the above.
And a few extra pounds just because I love pastries.
That’s a lot of pounds! And a lot of stress. So why did I ever stop running? After all, running had always been my buoy in the past. After draining my savings, short-selling my house, losing my cat, and multiple break-ups, it was running that kept me sane. But it’s so easy to want to hide when life gets messy. At least for me it is. I certainly don’t enjoy being watched as I consistently stumble and fumble my way through this chaotic maze.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a good friend and mentor. With tears pouring down my face, I said to him, “I had such a good life. I was running. I had a great job. I was traveling. I had it all figured out!” To which he responded, “Maybe you didn’t, and this is your opportunity to rebuild your life and come out even stronger than before.”
It was the most powerful perspective anyone had ever offered me. (Thanks man!) Of course, that was only possible because I was finally ready to hear it. But it reminded me of something I’ve known all along. Life is a choice. Simple as that. I get to choose how all this will define me. So either I lace up to join the race, and choose to turn all of this into something meaningful. Or I stay behind the barricades and just watch from the sidelines as the runners go by, in which case my life will have been irrelevant.
So, my new journey starts here, headed to reclaiming my title as the Crazy Sexy Tiger I’ve always known myself to be…but much more fierce than before. 😉 As I continue searching for a new job, kick start my running again, and follow my curiosity, I’ll be sharing it here with you, in hopes that it will inspire you as well to reclaim (or claim for the first time) whatever your chosen title in life is.