It's amazing how fast this year has gone. Most people are welcoming the start of the new year as an opportunity to start over, start fresh, and toss the old out to the curb. As the year was winding down I couldn't help but think to myself all of the new year's resolutions that will be made and not kept. I guess the new year gives people hope and hope is a good thing to have, but from what I've learned this past year hope is only a small piece of the puzzle. Change only comes from a desire to be a better, stronger and more caring person. This is a decision we all have the ability to make each and every day when we open our eyes.
I welcomed 2010 just like everyone else wanting and hoping for a better year. I guess I thought fate would play a large part in how the year unraveled and to some degree this is true. Somewhere around February I realized that my choices were going to have a larger impact on how good or bad my year turned out. I made the decision to break through my glass ceiling and turn my love of running into my lifestyle.
I registered for my first half marathon and ran it in May. The results were not what I expected or desired. I crossed that finish line my emotions seemed to take over the "Joe" that was weak and beat up from a failed marriage and that constant feeling of failure seemed to leave my heart. I began to believe that I could conquer anything.
The months rolled and the running mile began to pile up. Before I knew it I was back in Columbus, Ohio for my second half marathon. I was feeling strong and confident. A new "Joe" was emerging. At the end of that race I had a noticeable improvement in speed and endurance. Later that afternoon at a running expo promoting the Columbus Marathon I decided this was going to be my next accomplishment. I left Columbus to head home and didn't quite realize the road I was on. My year was unraveling in a way I never expected and it was all because of my daily choice to get stronger not only as a runner but as a person.
October 17, 2010 the Columbus Marathon. Wow was I nervous! I'm in Columbus flying solo and it was like everything that I had experienced over the past few years was challenging me all over again. The gun sounded and I was off and running. The range of emotions that I battled over those 26.2 miles transformed me into a stronger man a transformation that I didn't expect. All of the heartache, weakness, confusion and anger was left behind me littering the streets of Columbus.
So last night when I was out celebrating the New Year all of this started to cross my mind. The "Joe" that started the year was definitely not the same that was finishing it. I smiled throughout the night as I listened to people state their new resolutions, but somewhere knowing most of those new beginnings will fall to the wayside as 2011 passes through. I've let go of some toxic thoughts and feelings that have been polluting my heart and mind for the past several years and I'm stronger for it. 2010 I learned to be comfortable in my own skin. There is a common misconception that people don't change. After 2010 I can firmly say that they do and they can. It's a choice we all have the ability to make, but it's a choice we have to make every day until it becomes the new "you". I have a long way to go but I'm ok with that. This is my road and it will only make me stronger. This is the road I choose to run.