Guest Post by Julie M.
Hello Grateful Life readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Swim Bike Running on Empty. Trish and I have known each other since our Penn State days and I’m so glad she’s asked me to share a story with you all today.
Life as we know it is unpredictable. I am a Type A to a T and no matter how much I try and plan my future something always seems to come along and…change things up. This past year, I committed to being more present. To live in the moment. And it’s a good thing I did, because life really threw me a curve ball when my husband was offered an amazing job in Edmonton (that’s right: Canada) that was far too good to pass up.
So in July 2012, I resigned from my job. The job that I’d had for almost seven years, straight out of college. The job I loved and looked forward to everyday. The job that I felt practically defined me as a person.
We sold our house in less than a day, moved in with my parents for a few weeks and then in late August, I hoped in the car with my mom and two dogs and we had the road trip of our lives as we drove from Pittsburgh to Edmonton. We stopped along the way to visit family and friends, and with the exception of Starbucks, existed entirely on food we had made and packed with us, i.e. no fast food. We drove through the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. We hung out with elk in Jackson Hole. And we managed to only spend 2.5 hours at customs when crossing the border. But that’s another story for another time.
Following a series of sanity-testing events, we slowly settled into life in Edmonton and I started to wonder what my future held. For months, I had been focused on the logistics of our move without thinking too far into the future. I was yearning for friends to call family in Edmonton and a routine.Something that doesn’t just happen overnight.
As luck would have it, our road bikes were damaged in our move. (Thanks, movers, for literally tossing them from storage into the back of a moving truck with zero regard to their cost and care.) Thanks to Google, this led us to a bike shop down the street and around the corner that only leaves me to believe that someone up above has a plan, because before I knew it, we were at the shop a few times a week for spin classes, runs, coffee, pastries and great chats with people that would slowly start to become our Edmonton family.
Fast forward a few months, and I have started a new marketing job in downtown Edmonton. I am regaining structure in my life but still lacking my sense of purpose. Until one day when it all seemed to just click. Now is the time to go after one of my life goals, I thought. Now is the time to become an Ironman.
For those that aren’t familiar with the Ironman, it’s a triathlon consisting of the following: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Some say it’s the most grueling – both physically and mentally – athletic event in the world, and I can’t WAIT to see what it brings for me.
Finishing an Ironman is a goal that I’ve had since 2007 when I had the opportunity to be on the Ironman World Championship race course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for work. Something inside me that day just felt alive. And when I saw athletes in their 80’s competing that day, I vowed (maybe out of spite?) that I, too, would compete in – and FINISH – an Ironman.
So on August 25, 2013, I will line up at the start of Ironman Canada in Whistler, British Columbia, to race my heart out and fulfill one of my biggest goals in life. The road to the race won’t be easy. I’m averaging 20-25 hours per week training (which you can follow on my blog) and when I’m not swimming, running, biking, lifting, or doing yoga, I’m focusing on eating healthy, recovering correctly and sleeping. Ahhhh, sleep. But you know what? It will be worth it.
Life works in mysterious ways. Just when I thought I may never find my niche, especially in a new country, everything came together and fell into place. While my job no longer defines me as an individual, I am able to pursue a passion of mine and make a new name for myself. And boy, am I glad for the opportunity to do so.
My challenge for you all is to seize the moment and trust that everything happens for a reason. You never know what new adventure awaits you if you open up and put trust in yourself to pursue your dreams…