One year ago today I changed my life on May 1, 2013, I left Phoenix for a world filled with the unknown what I nervously called The Launch. I was scared, excited, and nervous as to what I might see and experience out on the open road. This was not only a big deal for me, but for my friends and family. I think those closest to me knew I was about to embark on an adventure that would change me, let me evolve, and become the woman I was destined to be. This journey has done all of that and more.
I will be reposting all the blogs from those early days and am so close to having the book complete on this adventure of a lifetime, I hope you will read it.
Last year during #GirlOnTheRun I was on the road for a total of 202 days, traveled through 38 states to all four corners of our great country, and ran 10 half marathons. I tore my Achilles tendon on Day 19 in the Portland Half Marathon. It is important for me to remember the prognosis that I might never walk again and that I for sure would never run again. After months of intensive therapy I came back to run four half marathons in September. I’m not a quitter and have a hard time when someone tells me I can’t do something. I had to prove the doctor wrong. I had to prove that scared woman inside me wrong too. Some say I am strong willed. In this case, I am glad that my inner strength made me fight to come out of a severe depression and push through the pain to run again. What I find interesting is that when people talk about what I did last year most didn’t think I was that injured because I kept going. Yes I did, I didn’t let it take me down, but it wasn’t easy.
Today I am still injured and every day walk in pain. But you know what? I’m walking and when my body is up for it – I’m running. I’m not focused on running so much this year but more focused on getting my body healthy and strong. I am running on my way to Alaska as well as interviewing breweries on my way up. How cool is that!
Rock n Roll Half Marathon Virginia Beach was my comeback race on 9/1/13.
Over this last year I have met some of the most amazing souls I could have ever have hoped for. I was blessed to see that the good in people, their humanity, is alive and well all throughout the US. I was afraid of what people would think of a solo female traveler running half marathons across the US. A few people raised their eyebrows at me, but for the most part, people were supportive and gave me encouragement and hugs along the way. What I didn’t realize would happen is that I would inspire others to make traumatic changes in their own lives. I received many examples of those that I inspired and whom changed their lives after we met. Almost all of them said that if I could live on the road testing my strength every day they could find theirs too. Some of the stories that people told me brought me to tears.
My friends and family deserve a lot of credit for keeping me sane this last year. My online community, especially Facebook and Instagram made me feel so not alone when I was out camping in the middle of nowhere. Oh yeah, I camped over a 100 days last year!
I also learned the ugly side of people. Never underestimate when someone is jealous of you or begrudges good things happening to you. I was stunned when some of my friends over this last year have said that good things shouldn’t happen to me. A few even have tried to sabotage me. I have heard hateful terrible rumors about my character and stories that if were true, would be completely horrible and awesome at the same time.
I learned how to love again out on the road. I had to first reconcile that I have some bad qualities and that they do not define me. I am better than my mistakes, but mistakes I will make throughout my time on this earth. The secret is learning to forgive yourself – that is a hard one though. The old saying you can’t expect someone to love you if you don’t love yourself is so true. I love that I am adventurous, inquisitive, empathetic, and a lover of life. When you can identify what you need in a partner on all the levels of love you are more apt to attract that. I had my fair share of less than stellar guys hit on me during this trip. But when I say I learned to love again, I really meant it. I loved, I was rejected, I survived. Right now though, I am allowing my heart to open again to a new man that is everything I have ever wanted in a partner. Maybe he was the one I have been waiting for. And maybe he isn’t. Maybe he is another lesson I am supposed to learn. Maybe he is the love of my life, only time will tell.
I just turned 40 and I am filled with dreams of being a full-time writer, world traveler, and a healthy happy person. I want to share positivity, optimism, and show others how to get back up once you’ve been knocked down. Honoring my intuitive spirit and listening to my soul are part of my path.
At the end of last year’s trip I spent six weeks home in Phoenix before I went on the road again on 1/2/14. This year I have been in San Francisco twice, Las Vegas, and Austin. I left Phoenix on 4/10/14 for my epic trip to Alaska, not knowing what to expect of this next trip on the road. I’m about to leave San Francisco and spend one more week in California before I continue on my way to Alaska. I will be back in San Francisco in July and there is a good chance I might park my car for a bit. I won’t stop traveling but maybe start flying places and have a place to call home again in between trips. Who knows… that is 10 weeks away… a lifetime away for a full-time traveler.