The Best ... Ever





"Today was the BEST day ever!" that little voice, I hear every single night. A few years ago my best friend from Ohio and her family came down to visit. For the first time, we took her girls to the beach. It was such a chilly cloudy day but we made sunshine. Despite any negative aspect of that day, the most genuine excited words bursted from her mouth, "Today was the BEST day ever!" That has resonated in my heart ever since.

I try to live with that childlike excitement finding all of the new and good and fun in each day, thinking this is going to be the BEST day ever or, today was the best day ever. Even if it's not entirely true, it's a way for me to appreciate the greatness of the day despite any shortcomings. 

With this same approach for 2015 and each adventure of 2015, I had the BEST year ever! The year was all about letting go and discovery... (this post might get long...)

Phil returned from Germany in January and despite the heartaches of our estranged marriage/separation/divorce, the strength of our friendship held a piece of us together. He continues to be my rock, my best friend. 

I made Amanda run a marathon in January after only having ran 13.1 miles. Ever. And although it kicked her ass, she loved me for it. You loved me for it, right!? In February, we trained a lot preparing for Puerto Rico 70.3 (and training athletes for New Orleans 70.3). SO many great times to reminisce ~I still can't believe Page and Peggy got in that lake KNOWING the alligator was lurking near. Hell to the NO! 

Amanda and I shot down to Puerto Rico in March. Honestly, (and for personal reasons), it was a rough few days and literally, SHOTS were fired. But we made the most of it and got our race done.
I continued to train hard through March...
April was the best! We got Tradition's Tri knocked out and finished getting ready for New Orleans 70.3. I've never been so proud in my life. Watching athletes cross the finish line; seeing their hard work pay off ~ I LOVE MY JOB! We celebrated with an unforgettable crawfish boil (thanks again Jason and Page!! We need to do that again!!). 

May kicked off my BIG adventures list. First up was Ironman Texas. I spent a few days in Austin with Kim before checking into Woodlands. Kim and Anissa joined me, I couldn't have been more thankful! They were great sherpa's and Anissa captured some awesome photos. Kim, you're next girlfriend! A quick stop back in Mississippi and then Jake and I headed north. I had the BEST summer... I got to spend time with friends in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Troy. We biked. We ran. I met their families and just enjoyed the time with them. It was truly magical. And of course, GOBA ~ 350 miles biking from city to city across Ohio with my mom. Such a good time! Off to Kansas!

Now we're in July. I spent a few days in Kansas with Phil and dropped Jake off with his daddy to head out on a secret weekend trip. I'll never tell. A few days in Arizona and then we headed north (Bob, mom, and me). Mom's first 70.3 ~ Vineman in California. I fell in so much love with California!! It's the BEST! And mom did so great swim, bike, running. We picked up my niece at the airport and continued on down the coast making stops in San Francisco, Big Sur, and Los Angeles ~ to include Disneyland. I literally cried watching my childhood come to life in front of me. We made it back to Arizona and spent a few days exploring, swimming, and hanging with friends. 

Mom and I headed back up to Sedona at the end of July into August and hiked our booties off. I got SO MUCH out of my Sedona experience. It truly changed my life. Letting go finally made sense. The me I wanted, debuted. 
From Arizona, I flew to Punta Cana to meet up with Amanda and my stepsister, Brittany and her friend. We had a BLAST!! An ACTUAL vacation. Okay, I still swam and ran...but it was a for real, enjoy some wine and music, relax vacation. We took a few excursions and even learned to surf. Love love love Punta Cana!! Returned to Kansas, picked up my Jakey, and headed south for Cultivation Nation Tri (a true success!!). 

Now we're in September and I'm finalizing preparation for Ironman Barcelona. The year went so fast but it was filled with so much AMAZINGness. Spain, Ironman, food poisoning, France, cycling... the end of September and ALL of October just blew my mind!! I have plenty of blog posts and pictures capturing my trip... My favorite was the Bike n' Barge, meeting Chris, and exploring the Burgundy country side. Best trip ever!!

Returning to Mississippi at the end of October, I hit the ground running. Heather (at Run-N-Tri) had her baby so I worked and worked and worked. Trust me, I needed the money, the distraction, and the catch up with my community!! Also started up a run group for Rock n' Roll half and full (February 2016). Celebrated Halloween. And found my soul mate, Amber. #nolesbo

That pulled me right into November with a quick trip back to Arizona to witness one of my best friends, Tish, complete her first Ironman. What a tear filled finish!! More work. Thanksgiving with friends. How is it December already!? Work. Runs. Training. LIFE. We also had a bit of devastation in December, finding out my brother, Jamie, has cancer. Very scary but we're super hopeful for treatment results. Christmas with some of my best friends and boom, here I am.

2 Ironman for 2015 (Texas and Barcelona)
2 Half Ironman (Puerto Rico and New Orleans)
A few other Intermediate and Sprint tri's
2 bicycle trips (Ohio and France)
1 Marathon (RnR New Orleans)
A couple of half marathons and plenty of 10k's and 5k's
1 real vacation (Punta Cana)
SO much adventure!!

Today is New Year's Day. I brought in the new year by running in part of a relay race and with some of my best friends in Florida. Today I took a COLLLLD plunge into the Gulf washing away 2015 and welcoming 2016 with a clean soul. I cannot WAIT to adventure and share the next chapter of my BEST EVER book of life!!