December 22 – Travel
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?
(Author: Tara Hunt)
~~ANSWER: I traveled for two races in Fort Worth and one big race in St. George, Utah. My favorite trip was to St. George, because of the nature of it (I was doing my first Ironman there) and the beauty of the surrounding area. The red rocks that I knew would get me excited to swim, bike, and run there on May 1, 2010. I also made a few very memorable road trips in 2010—to the beach to surf for the first time and to Big Bend National Park. I love road trips and enjoy the contemplative state that they leave me in. I love going a 2-3 hours away and feeling like you are in another world, because that is how Texas road trips go. I went back to Colorado several times to see my family and each trip was even more fulfilling than the last. It is hard though, because it seems that I use all my travel time going back and forth between Texas and Colorado, and it doesn’t allow me to go anywhere else. This next year I’d like to change that. Next year, I’d like to do some traveling beyond the continent. Overseas at least once and to an island of some sort for a writing retreat/yoga escape. These trips must be planned in advance.
December 23 – New Name
Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
(Author: Becca Wilcott)
~~ANSWER: I used pseudonyms when I was younger, to escape the fear of owning up to my writing. A lot of my names were variations of my real name, like Lizzie Bolden. I think I’ll stick with that one, Lizzie Bolden. I like the last name because it calls out to the word BOLD and Lizzie just sounds good. It’s short, unlike my true name. Lizzie is my alter ego, she does all the bad stuff even though she knows it is bad, she takes really intense risks and is aware of the consequences but doesn’t mind the consequences. She plays rugby and doesn’t worry about getting hurt.
December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
(Author: Kate Inglis)
~~ANSWER: I knew everything was going to be okay when my sister kissed my dad on the cheek this past Tuesday night after dinner and a family photo shoot. To some, a kiss on the cheek shouldn’t mean much and doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. But to me, it was a huge sign of the progress we have made in our family and the good work that I helped do to make that moment happen. Kissing your father on the cheek is a sign of not only love but respect. These two qualities of a family are something that I’m going to focus on for the year when I think of my family. They communicated to me that these are the things that they want and need out of our beautiful bond and I plan to cultivate and grow those as much as I can this year.
December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
(Author: Tracey Clark)
~~ANSWER: Photos are hard, because they are so personal. I feel like every photo of me shows a part of my deep innards and it is hard for me to let those out for the world to see. Add social networks into the mix and its just a zoo of showing those deep parts. I wish I could be less scared, but I am. I will try to attach a photo that embodies me and my highest self to this post, see it at the top.
Note about the photo: This was taken at one of my favorite restaurants after my first time surfing. I was starving, but happy. Spent and sore, but joyous and thrilled to be so wound down. I had that buzzing feeling that comes after working out. I had that humming feeling of achievement, of going out there and doing something that I had wanted to do for months. It was wonderful. That’s how I want every day of my life to be—that’s how I want my face to feel, as it looks in this photo. Tired but happy.
December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
(Author: Elise Marie Collins)
~~ANSWER: Three words: BROILED GULF SHRIMP.
December 27 – Ordinary Joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
(Author: Brené Brown)
~~ANSWER: Within every single day of 2010 I believe I was able to find a joyful moment or string of moments. I think I’ll go back to one of the most simple moments of 2010. I had just finished a super long (60 or 70 miles plus) ride the day before. I slept in with my darling, and we cuddled on the couch with our mini schnauzer and relaxed. The joy was apparent and vivid. Even the colors around me were vivid. My partner’s white bath robe, my dog’s beautiful, lively brown eyes. The warmth of the embrace between us three. Pure joy.
Gliding on the water on my first try on the surf board. Also pure joy.
Sliding down the slope in Wyoming with my brother behind me. I was going too fast but I wasn’t as scared as I thought I’d be. I felt like I was flying. Also pure joy.
December 28 – Achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)
~~ANSWER: That word itself, ACHIEVE is the feeling I want to feel. I did a lot of visualization this year before my last marathon, imagining the happiness and joy that would overcome me when I qualified for Boston. I saw myself at a restaurant having a pre-race meal in Boston with my partner, my mom, my best friend, and my dad. My brother might have been there, too. We were eating and I was leaning back on my chair into my partner’s arm and laughing. There was a cool, relaxed vibe about the scene that I visualized. My body was rested and ready, my legs strong and twitching, ready to run Boston. I started crying after that visualization session. I was ready for that one, then. I think the way for me to feel that ACHIEVE feeling again is to continue to excel in my athletic pursuits. I know for a fact that my growth there makes me happy. 10 things I can do today to make myself feel the great way that I will feel when I go pro: 1.) Hug and relax with my dog 2.) Feel the cold wind on my face when I ride my bike with friends this afternoon 3.) Hire a coach 4.) Sign up for masters swimming 5.) Research coaches 6.) Eat well 7.) Drink lots of tea 8.) Look at pictures from the Ironman, the 1/2 Ironman, and my 4 marathons 9.) Call my dad 10.) Meditate and watch myself crossing the finish line of my next Ironman in 10 hours.
December 29 – Defining Moment
Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.
(Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)
ANSWER: At the finish line of the 1/2 Ironman, I realized that I wasn’t so different from all the men and women that were coming in the top 20. I looked like them, I smelled like them, I saw myself in their eyes. I knew I had to get it.
December 30 – Gift
Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
(Author: Holly Root)
~~ANSWER: The gift of my entire family showing up. Simply SHOWING UP was big for them. And it was big for me. And I knew it was, and I was happy when they did.
December 31 – Core Story
What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)
(Author: Molly O’Neill)
~~ANSWER: To some degree I have hesitations with sharing my core to the world. I hinted at this in my answer to the photo prompt. I keep stuff short for fear of boring people. I cut myself off sometimes. But I know I need to share myself, I know I am powerful beyond measure and that my words are my gift to the world. And so this year I will try to share myself more through my words. Fearlessly, openly, and courageously. That is how I live.