Monday, April 1, 2013

Starting 2013 With A Bang

Just before 2012 came to a close, I predicted that 2013 would be a "mighty fine" year. A quarter into the year, I can confidently say it totally is.

And then some.

Although I've been working hard on being more focused on my running and riding goals (more on that later), it's really my "real life" that's come out of the gate with some gusto.

Most notably, the focus of the year took a turn on Jan. 13 when, at the summit of my first winter 4,000-footer, I turned around to see Jeff, smiling, holding a tiny box. Inside, was the most beautiful, unique engagement ring. 

In case there was any doubt, I said yes. (Actually, I'm pretty sure I said, "Of course.")  

The details of the hike and the day are a post for another time, a post I've had on my mental to-do list for a while. It's sufficient to say that that moment changed the focus for the year.

Suddenly, in an instant, I turned into a girl. Like, an honest-to-goodness girly-girl - the kind that joined Pinterest and planned out wedding colors and invitation designs and hair-styles. 

If wedding planning didn't solidify my girly-ness, two weeks ago I became an auntie for the first time. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed the most precious, sweet girl into their lives (and ours) - and I'm completely hooked on her. So tiny and peaceful and unbelievably cute.  I just can't get enough.

Yes, there's been so much "life" going on this year, that it seems like it can't possibly only be three months in to 2013. On the other hand, I can hardly believe that it's already time for my "quarterly" check-in on my goals (per my New Year's post). 

But here it goes...

HEALTH AND FITNESS. The turn of the calendar to the new year also lit a fire under me to get my butt back in gear. I've been meeting weekly with a personal trainer, whose helped me focus on strength training and kept me accountable. The training sessions, combined with laser-focus on meeting my monthly mileage goals, is paying off. I've dropped about 7 pounds and am noticing my pants are fitting a little looser. Yes, a far cry from checking the box on my 26.2 challenge, but with much-improved endurance and strength, I'm chalking this up in the positive column. And I'm not done yet. Each month brings higher and higher mileage. And, to my delight, I've found the desire to do more - to keep pushing, to keep reaching. I'm not quite ready to declare that I'm back to my "old self," but I'm getting there. For the second quarter goal, I'll continue to lay out concrete monthly mileage goals, clearly broken down into running and riding miles, and tracked along the way. I'm thinking 200 miles for April, 300 for May and, yikes, 400 for June? Get ready, bike.

BE IN THE MOMENT. Oh, I really liked this goal. And I really needed this goal. I did pretty well ... for a while. I left the cell phone at home during dinner-dates. I chose between watching television and surfing the web. On conference calls, I actually just listened and participated in the call. But then I fell back into my multi-tasking habits. (Case in point, I'm typing this on the couch while half-watching The Voice in the background.) For the second quarter, I'm leaving this one on the list. Clearly I need some work here.

DOLLARS AND CENTS. I'm *thisclose* to being debt-free. In fact, I thought I might get there before the end of first quarter of the year. By the end of the second quarter, I'll be totally debt-free. Just in time to plan - and pay for - a wedding. 

LOVE LIFE. If there's one thing that this first quarter of the year has taught me, it's to just embrace all of the good things - no, great things - that life has to offer. It's okay to be a girly-girl and spend pointless time browsing ideas for the wedding. It's okay to just totally love my little niece sleeping on my chest. It's time well-spent to just hang at my parents house watching The Biggest Loser. For the second quarter, I will do whole lot more of those "life" things.