Good morning son.  The new year will soon be here and I am so thankful I have been able to have had a visit with all my children to end this old year.  I have been so blessed this whole year way beyond my expectations!  Last night we went to Lulu’s Bistro and all enjoyed a very high class dining experience.  Came home and played Mexican Train Dominos with Collette, Maddie, Tori and Tammy while Paul, Jack and James watched a fight they rented on pay per view. Praying you will have a blessed day today and are feeling good.  Love you Mom ❤️

 

Sent from my iPhone

 

New Year’s Eve – great time to reflect.  Easy to get caught up with an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ attitude.  Easy to provide excuses:   I would have, had xxx not happened.  No judgment zone here – I reflect because I want to remember.  We all have a limited time span, a   life journey, a finite # of days.  How did I spend MY days?  Did I dream?  Did I live with regret?  Did I inspire?

 

Family

  • Ash & Tom · road travelled to Yellowstone & Grand Teton Nat’l Park(s).  geyser toured, Old Faithful watched, horseback   trod.  Colorado ⇨Wyoming ⇨Idaho ⇨Montana   HUGE memories.  Thanks Ash, thanks Tom.
  • Michaela & David · shared space in the one place on Earth they love most – DisneyWorld.  Many thanks Jill.
  • St Louis Reunion · ping pong, fireworks, Grant’s Farm, Fitz’, Purina.  siblings, spouses, [grown] children & Mom – EVERYONE travelled to St Louis.  Sharing laughs & creating new memories with Family, nothing better.  Thanks Sis.
  • Stephen · whale watched, kayaked, beached oceanside, caught 4 shows (including Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald), feasted on tea-smoked duck birthday nite…Cape Cod on my 50th.  Biggest thanks Stephen.

 

Travel

  • Hawaii · Snorkeled Molokini Crater, drove the road to Hāna & experienced the waves of Pāʻia, attended a traditional Polynesian luau & hiked Haleakalā Nat’l Park.
  • Canada · Marathon’d 42.2K twice (2 different provinces: Alberta & New Brunswick), then brought Canada home to Colorado. After tea-house hiking in Banff Nat’l Park with my friend Sarah (bucket list destination), ballooned high over ‘our’ Rockies 3 months later with the same great gal.
  • Russia · Single biggest life-altering change in my adult life – living in Moscow, May ‘96/Sept ‘99.  Never really said ‘goodbye’ when I completed my expat assignment.  Red Square, the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Gum Department Store, multiple Orthodox cathedrals, the Metro ‘Circle Line’ – AND reconnected with former workmate Dima (& wife Natasha).  Fast forward 17 years: literally ran down the streets of Moscow, completing a ‘dream come true’ marathon adventure.
  • Death Valley Nat’l Park · Trekked the salt flats of Badwater Basin (another bucket list destination), watched a sand dune sunset, hiked Dante’s View, then missed my flight home touring Hoover Dam.

 

50 States Finish

 

Marathoning

Completed my 50 State journey on May 1st in Fort Collins, Colorado – finished a full marathon in all 50 States plus DC.  Four months later, was recognized by my 50 State running peers in Santa Rosa CA.  BUT my 2016 tally didn’t end there.  Completed 29 marathons this year (including 3 ultras) – upping my FULL stats from 49 to 78 finishes.  Haven’t missed a month marathoning since December 2013.  37 consecutive months marathoning, 1900 miles+ logged in 2016.  Thanks Sis for the initial inspiration.  Thanks Carolyn (my Indiana-based running pal) for your daily texts & holding me accountable all year.  I owe you.

After travelling (& marathoning) all 50 States…my proud take-away?  We’re all the same.  Alaska to Maine, Texas to California, Alabama to New York City.  Divisive election, yes.  But when it matters, when it really matters – when our country is attacked (9/11), in time of natural disaster (Hurricane Sandy) – we Americans come together like no nation on Earth.  Super proud to be an American.

 

Other

Oh…and I got cancer.  While a significant life event, I was not defined by illness.  I continued to work.  I continued to run full marathons.  I got up every day & continued to LIVE.

 

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

 

So while I’m super eager, anticipating what lies ahead in 2017 – I am grateful for a life well lived.

I am grateful for the past 366 days.  I left nothing undone 🙂

 

 

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2 Responses to 2016: grateful for a life well lived

  • Sarah says:

    …what a great year! You inspire me to live each day to its fullest… It was fun to meet you in person and there’s no one else I’d want to hike a mountain to visit a tea house with—thanks for sharing your Colorado with me!!! So many sweet memories from 2016…can’t wait to read about your new adventures in 2017!

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