2016: The Forge Awakens

Hi friends! And welcome to the New Year! I hope your 2015 was a memorable one filled with new milestones, growing happiness, and a lot of love. I do feel that mine was one for the personal record books. And what’s interesting about that is that I don’t usually set goals or resolutions much in advance. I’m certainly OCD about planning in general, but I somehow have always avoided the New Years resolutions list. I don’t think there’s a fear in not fulfilling it…I just enjoy taking life one day at a time and picking up new adventures along the way. If you are all about that resolution list, more power to you. I just don't think it's my thing. Last week I turned 30, and though I spent too much time crying over it (much to my own surprise), I think I’ve accomplished quite a lot by this age. Sure, there are many things I still wish to do, but I’ll get there. **happy thoughts**

I started this blog exactly a year ago, inviting you all into my world as I signed up for my first Ironman and trained for eight months to swim, bike, and run the 140.6 miles. Sharing my excitement, love, and struggles with training became a true highlight of 2015. So many of you reached out from all over the world and shared your stories, tips, and enthusiasm, and my heart grew tremendously knowing we’re all part of the same community. Basically, you freakin’ rock, so THANK YOU! I’m sorry I haven't written; I took these last few off-season months off to recuperate. My life got really hectic there for a while, mostly at work, and so I needed to scale back, even on the things I love so much. But as the title tells, I - the Forge (that's me!) - has awoken. I’m glad we’re all back and ready for this new year together!

Before I get into 2016, I do want to get real about some struggles I faced these last few months. I see it often online and I hear chatter in all athletic communities…it’s that awful, low-point we sometimes hit in the off-season when our bodies change, our diets slip, our focus is off, and our priorities shift. Well, that all hit me pretty hard. About two weeks after my August Ironman (Ironman Mont Tremblant), my body completely changed. I looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised to see that the strong, tight physique I built up was quickly slipping away. All those months of training and then boom it was gone. It wasn’t in my head…I actually did gain weight very fast despite eating healthy and exercising a few times a week. My stress skyrocketed from not having time to exercise as much and being swamped at work (fall is a busy premiere time in the entertainment industry), and my usually positive speak took a nose dive. I also ended up in the hospital because I had stomach issues and my breathing was abnormal...all due to stress. Plus, because of my fractured ankle, I couldn’t run the entire fall, nor do anything with impact, leaving me with less forms of exercise to rely on. Then my husband and I went to Italy for two incredible weeks and I didn’t workout and ate everything (as you should when you’re in Italy!) When I returned, there were several items of clothing that wouldn’t fit me. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that there was no reason to freak out. Rest is ok. Gaining weight is normal in the off-season. This was my time to give in and indulge a bit. Before you know it, the season starts up again and then we’re back at it. I’ll look back at these moments and I’ll shake it off. We’ve got bigger fish to fry. Let’s all just learn to ride the rollercoaster and enjoy it’s ups and downs. Self-love, baby!

So what’s next? Well, I did sign up for Ironman Lake Placid, which is set for July 24, 2016. I start training this Tuesday, January 5th, and I am honestly so excited about it. I’m stoked to get back in action with my team (go Terrier Tri!) Outside of that (and some other races), I don’t have too much set up for this year. I just want to be a supportive wife, sister, daughter, friend, and colleague. I want to inspire and be inspired. I want to conquer my races (without worrying about PRs) and help others conquer their goals. I want to spend more time with family and friends (something training usually takes me away from). I want to take better care of my health by seeing doctors more regularly and getting those much needed massages I usually cheap out on. What would I LOVE to do? I would love to find some time to volunteer and teach kids. Teach what? Fitness would be fantastic, but really just to spend some time with them would make my year. For those of you that train for Ironmans, you know that mixing that with a very full time job doesn’t leave much time for anything else. But I’ll do my best to find a way. I can't consider these things resolutions for some reason. Basically, I just want to be better. I always do. Don't we all? It's not something I want to start in 2016...it's something I weave into my everyday life. If I fail, it's ok. We're human. If I succeed, then I just feel I'm doing what I'm supposed to. 

Below are some photos from the last few months. They don’t all involve training, because I was a semi-normal human being in the fall of 2015. I’m so thrilled for this next season and though it will be cold, we will surely be sweating big time

Got big plans for 2016? I’d love to hear about them! Email me at fitwithforge@gmail.com

Cheers to 2016,