The first time I remember running and actually enjoying it was in fifth grade when I made the 4×100 relay event for the local elementary school. I had the time of my life being selected as one of the “fast kids.”
The next school year my parents got us involved in club track with USATF along with competing for our middle schools. Most of that is a blur but during that time I became one of the fastest kids in my city and broke all kinds of PR’s. I also got talked into running cross country by my parents. I had sworn up and down that I was a sprinter and occasionally did long jump. Cross country was out of the question completely. My parents promised my just one cross country race and that was it, that eventually turned into 8+ years of running cross country in club, high school, and in college.
I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t run cross country in high school, so thank you mom and dad for challenging me and knowing that I was capable of more than I thought I was. High school track and cross country gave me some of the best memories of my life. It taught me to have confidence in myself and that I can do hard things. I met so many great friends, ran at some amazing races, and became the district champion for my district in the 3000 meter my senior year. When I graduated, I was a two-time state track meet qualifier and a four-year cross-country state meet qualifier. I even got a scholarship to run for a private Christian university in Portland Oregon.
That first cross-country season was one of my best regarding times. I was being pushed by my coach to my limits and seeing great results. I also had some amazing friends and support from my sister and parents. After a cross country season where I finished as the fastest girl on my team and two spots away from qualifying for the NAIA cross country championships, we (my twin sister and the rest of the team) found out that our college was going to shut down in the spring due to low funding. My coach told us that he would update us over the winter break on his plans. One day over break my sister and I got a phone call from our coach, where he told us that we weren’t the type of people that he wanted on his team next year. He spent the next 15 minutes gaslighting my sister and I to believe that we were awful teammates, athletes and people.
You could say that was hard.
My sister and I went to campus after break to collect our things and move back home where we would attend community college and run attached that track season at any meet that would take us. I was running great times and still putting in the work, I wanted to continue running in college by next fall.
We reached out to Western Oregon University, a school that we had blown off during our college visits senior year, to see if they had room on their team. Coach Mike Johnson was very understanding and welcoming to both of us. Growing up I always felt like the extra side of fries that you get for a meal. My sister was the main dish, and I was the add on. Coach Johnson never made me feel that way. Those three years were challenging but three of the best years of my life. I ran my PR’s during those years, challenged myself, met my best friends, and fell more in love with running.
Then June of 2012 came, and so did the end of my collegiate career. After my last meet my dad and I stood outside of the track in silence. We both were looking at the track in awe when he said, “so this is it huh?” to which I responded with “yup.” That was the end. No more early morning practices and daily doubles, no more workouts and blisters, running was over.
I wish there was a course provided by the NCAA or colleges for athletes who graduate from college where they can get support and find out other opportunities post-graduation. That moment when your career ends is earth shattering. More support and guidance would have been wonderful, but since there was none, I was left to navigate it on my own.
After graduation I ran a few times here and there but wasn’t training for anything specific. It wasn’t until the day of the Boston Marathon in 2013 when I decided that I needed to do something more with myself and my running. My sister and I signed up the next day for the Portland Marathon in October with our longest long run under our belt being 13 miles.
The story of my first marathon is a long one, and one that I can save for another time. After that marathon I went through a five-year cycle of occasionally running for a month or two and racing directly after. It wasn’t until the spring of 2018 when I decided to train for a half marathon on the fourth of July. That half marathon ended the way Portland did, with me in the med tent.
Following that half marathon, I ran a 5k in 2018 and another one a year later. Both at around 7:25 mile pace and both first in my age group. Both races were so much fun, so why did I stop?
Comparison. It is an ugly thing and has been the biggest problem throughout the last twenty years of my running career. Comparison told me that I needed to stop running because I was not fast enough. Comparison told me that people were running 6 miles when I was only running 4. Comparison told me to just stop while I was behind. To be honest, I’m ready to be over the comparison and ready to run for me.
Here I am now. 32 years old and 20 years into my running career and feeling that itch again. Honestly, it has been going on for a few months now, just ask my friends who have helped me navigate my worries and fears around running…shoutout to Nicole and Amanda…there for me in college and there for me now.
I have a few goals in mind, one might be to run another marathon some day since my first did not go as planned. For now, there’s a 10k that I enjoy doing that will be ran in July that I am going to be training for. After that, I want to run a half marathon a year from now.
After that, I’m not sure, who knows where I will be.
But this is me, putting my goals out there and knowing that I am ready for this.
I know that I am not going to be going to the Olympics. I know that I may not be running 7:00 minute miles like I did when I was 22. I know that I am a different runner than when I was 22. I have had cancer, two babies, and have put my body through so much during these last 10 years.
And honestly, I am ok with that.
I am 32 and am so incredibly strong the way I am. I am so excited to get back to the sport that taught me everything I know about life. The sport that gave me my best friends. The sport that gave me my husband and my life. The sport that challenged me to do more than I ever thought possible.
I am excited to start this new relationship with an old friend next week.
This is me, putting my goals out there and knowing that it may be hard.
This is me being excited to push my body and to fall back in love with my favorite sport.
If you read that title as 20-22 to the tune of 22 by Taylor Swift, congrats, you win.
You don’t actually win something, sorry, I just love a good Taylor Swift pun.
Almost as much as I love setting resolutions in the new year.
Do I always stick to these resolutions, not always. There’s just something about a new start and new goals to get the year started on the right foot.
Setting goals does not have to be something done specifically in the new year, but if the new year is the thing you need to get started on something you’ve always wanted to do, then so be it.
Personally, I love the idea of having a clean start to something, and new years is the perfect time to start something new.
In the last couple of years I also started setting a word for the year.
In 2019 I set my word of the year as “pursue” which helped remind me to pursue my dream of writing a book. It reminded me in those moments of where I had no motivation to push on towards pursuing my dreams. Honestly, 2019 was my favorite year in recent memory.
This year I set my word as “present” to really focus on being present with my family as we grew closer to growing our family, and to really be present in the first six months of his life.
This year was hard, I go back and forth on how I actually feel about it.
If I had to be honest, the first six months sucked.
I spent more time during those six months crying than I did in any other year of my life.
My family spent the first few months working with our sweet dog Marlo to help her through her health struggles. We payed extra close attention to her and her needs. I spent many nights cuddled up next to her while she was sleeping whispering things to her. Begging her to stay until the new baby came, to telling her that we were ok, that I didn’t want her to struggle anymore and if she needed to go it was ok.
She told us it was time to go on March 1st.
A week later I was met with a pretty hard situation that took up the next three months.
This situation was met with anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, regret, and negativity.
I saw so many things in my life take a hit. I found myself shutting down because it was easier than facing any sort of emotion.
June became a month of hope.
June provided me with rest, sunshine, family time, and my sweet baby boy Maxwell.
Maxwell was exactly what my family needed, he was exactly what I needed.
It was hard at first.
One day after he was born we found out that he had some pretty bad Jaundice, which had him in a little tank for 24 hours.
We also found out that my kidney levels were pretty bad, I spent the day after he was born getting 30 different tubes of blood drawn, CT scan’s, ultrasounds, and every bit of worst case scenario you could imagine.
We ended up leaving the hospital after four days.
I told the hospital that I had to get back to my oldest son and that I would continue my tests at home.
Life with two kids was hard at first, but honestly it’s been the biggest blessing I could ever imagine.
Maxwell is sweet, strong, curious, talkative, and loving.
He is the best thing that came out of this year hands down.
The rest of the year went by so incredibly fast, maybe that’s what having a baby does.
I really found my confidence after having Max.
I began working out again and finding my strength.
I discovered a style that made me confident.
I worked through hard situations with grace and strength and came out better.
I think that’s the most important thing we can do at the end of every year.
Look back on the previous year, truly recognize what went wrong, what went right, and what we could have done better.
We also need to praise ourself when it’s due.
Recognize when we grew.
Recognize that what we went through might have been hard, but that we worked so hard to get through it.
Meet the end of the year praising ourselves.
Give thanks for the version of us that entered the year and the version that meets us in our reflection at the end of it.
Looking at the new year, I find myself hopeful.
I find myself clear on my goals and what I want from the new year.
And that is to just be.
Be present, be powerful, be kind, be patient, be aware, be confident.
Just to be the best version of myself.
It may seem weird, but it came to me in the shower the other night.
My word for this year is “be” with the idea that I have no desired path for this year other than to just be whatever it brings.
This word made me more mindful of my resolutions for this year as well.
Resolutions that were manageable and reasonable, so that I could still be whatever version of myself that this year required.
I want to read more, specifically one book every month.
The first seven of those books being the Harry Potter series.
I have always wished that I had read these books growing up and constantly find myself saying “this will be the year I start reading them.” I figured why not start it now. The other five months will consist of whatever books I decide to read.
I want to journal.
I have always hoped that I could be the person who journaled, but never made the time to do so. I will be adding it into my daily routine so that I can reflect back on my thoughts and feelings after they pass.
I want to keep blogging.
I have already stated this in my previous post, but stating it again will help remind me of the desire I have to continue to blog throughout the year. Blogging is therapeutic to me. It helps me process my thoughts. I have also met some awesome people through it and have had people reach out to me after reading a post relating to the words I’ve typed.
I want to continue to be healthy and fit.
While the specifics of this goal remain private, because this is my own personal journey, I want to continue to workout and meet that with better eating habits. I have fallen in love with my peloton strength classes, bike classes, and treadmill classes. These workouts give me confidence and strength while also being fun. Fun is the most important part honestly.
Those are it, those are the four goals I have set for this year.
While four may not seem like a lot, they are four goals that I can focus on.
Why overload myself with too many goals, when I can find four that I want to stick with.
I’m really looking forward to 2022.
I am looking forward to hopefully returning to more of a normal life.
To Maxwell turning 1 and Ian starting kindergarten.
To finishing off the school year at a job where I finally feel like I belong.
To new beginnings and adventures with Jason.
To making memories with my family.
I picked this title because I truly am feeling the new year.
It’s the first time in a while that I truly do feel hopeful and optomistic.
I hope this year brings you happiness.
I hope that if you find yourself in a tough situation, that you can come out stronger.
I hope that you meet your resolutions with stride, and that you find purpose in something.
And I hope Taylor Swift gives us Speak Now and 1989 Taylor’s version.
Yesterday I was 22 and had just graduated college?!
When did I turn 30?!
I’m only kidding, I’ve been working on processing the fact that I’m turning 30 since I turned 29.
I knew this year had to be the best one yet.
I knew I had to go out of my twenties with a bang.
And boy did I.
I wrote and published my firsts book ever all about the lessons I learned in my twenties, as I was leaving them.
It was a beautiful and amazing process, but what the heck do I do now?
Maybe you’re wondering too?
“Like, this girl just spent the last year of her twenties writing a book, what will she do next?”
I honestly had no idea.
Everything that I’ve done the last 10 years I did as a twenty something.
Met my best friend, graduated college, met my husband, got engaged, got married, had my son, got my first big kid job, landed my current job, started coaching, wrote a book, started a podcast, started this blog.
I’ve been living the last ten years to the best of my ability only to get to 30 and wonder, what do i do next?
I tend to want to go all out when I do things.
Like if I’m going to dedicate my time, energy, and heart into something I’m going to be as extra as I can and go as hard as I can to get it done.
It’s just how I roll.
I’ve been thinking of different things I could to this year to make it special.
To go into 30 my absolute best and happiest self.
I’m a part of this Facebook group for a podcast that I listen to, and someone told a story of a 50 year old woman they met in a yoga class.
They mentioned that the woman was killing it in class, and that they had to find out more about her.
This woman who had just turned 50 said she was doing 50 new things that year, and that yoga class was one of them!
To say that I was impressed would be an understatement.
This woman had just turned 50 and was going to start doing something new, and not just one thing, 50 new things.
I was so inspired.
If she could do it, so could I!
I grabbed my notes app on my phone and started writing things down.
Things that I’ve always wanted to do.
Things that would definitely push me out of my comfort zone.
And we all know how much I don’t like doing that..
I’m challenging myself to do 30 new things this year.
I’m excited to start this new decade of my life trying new things and potentially creating new habits.
It’s also going to inspire 30 different blog posts, all on the new things I’m trying.
So here it goes….
30 for 30.
Meditate every day for 30 days straight
Buy a plant and keep it alive
Bike 30 miles..stationary bike that is.
Listen to a new genre of music
Try a new cuisine
Watch a Woody Allen movie
Try a new restaurant
Go to a museum near me
Learn how to change a tire
Take a dance class
Watch a TV series I’ve never seen
Go wine tasting
Get a tarot card reading
Eat a BLT…don’t skip the tomatoes
Do Yoga every day for 30 days straight
Learn how to do a hand stand
Make a Tik Tok
Finally get my dream purple hair sorry Mom Cook something new Go a week without straightening my hair Grow my own vegetables Go a week without social media Start actually saving money Write in my journal every single day Learn how to swim….finally Travel some place new Go a month without buying coffee Attempt to crochet Build something Further my education
I’m posting my resolutions reflection post a little early this year.
You’ll find out why tomorrow.
For the last two years I’ve written New Years Resolutions and try my hardest to accomplish them.
I’ve found that writing them and putting them out into the universe holds me accountable.
It reminds me every day of the things I sat out to pursue for the upcoming year.
I made some tough ones last year, but worked so hard to try and make them happen.
2018 New Years Resolutions.
Run another half marathon– This one was hard. I trained my butt off. I worked hard all winter, spring, and summer. I really wanted to run this half marathon near Portland on the fourth of July. I started out so fast and was really pumped for the race. It wasn’t until mile 7 or so when I started getting dizzy. I really thought about quitting, and honestly, I probably should have. I finished along side some strangers who passed me along to my sister and husband to finish. I spent the next hour in a medical tent. It definitely wasn’t my favorite experience of the year, but it made me really appreciate how hard I worked. It made me realize that no matter how hard you try and prepare for something, it might not always work out. And that’s ok.
Take a road trip- I accomplished this one during March of this last year. My little family took a road trip to Seattle. We got a cute little house and spent the weekend exploring the city. It was so much fun and Ian did so well experiencing new things. It turned out that would be the first of three times I would visit Seattle this year, and I loved every single trip.
Watch 52 Movies- Ok…I suck at watching movies…we all know this now. It turns out that I don’t have as much time as I thought I did to watch 52 new movies. In fact, I think I might have only watched 20 or less. I definitely found some new favorites, but also found that there were others things I would rather be doing. Some of the ones I really enjoyed were; When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Top Gun, and Dead Poets Society. My favorite though, was Shawshank Redemption, if you haven’t seen it you need to!
Work on my patience- This one is hard. How do you track ones patience? I’ve found that when I’m aware of what’s going on, I’m better with my patience. But in the heat of the moment I definitely air on the side of impatient.
Learn something new- Here’s where we get a little out there. This resolution kept nagging me all year. “Megan….you better be learning something new!” Honestly I kept trying to force myself to learn something and it never stuck. It’s when I randomly stumbled down a horoscope website that I started researching more and more into my horoscope. And not just that, different signs such as your moon and sun sign, along with your birth chart. In no way do I live by any of this, I just decided to start looking into it all and I think it’s insanely accurate and fascinating.
Daily Gratitude- If I had to grade myself on daily gratitude I’d give myself a C. I’m 50/50 when it comes to writing down things I’m thankful for. Not that I’m not grateful for things, I just have a hard time taking the time to write it all down.
Save Money- Again, I would give myself a C for this one. Did I save money? Kind of. Did I go crazy and buy random crap that I didn’t need? Not really.
Be Spontaneous- This one is the resolution that I’m the most proud of. I had been wanting to visit my best friend in Missouri since she moved a few years back. But you see..I hate flying. Just the thought of it terrifies me. I was having a bad couple of days and really just needed something good to happen. I texted my husband, looked at her work schedule, and next thing you know I’m booking a flight to St. Louis. Probably one of my top three moments of the year and one of my favorite decisions.
Start to write my book- See tomorrow’s post.
Don’t be so hard on myself- This will forever be a work in progress for me. I tend to be a people pleaser, and want to make everyone happy. I tend to be hard on myself if people aren’t happy with me. Which is so messed up if you think about it. Just because someone else has randomly decided that they are upset with me or don’t like me, unless I have done something wrong, that’s their issue not mine. This was a constant struggle all year and will be for awhile. But i’m trying.
In thinking of different things to write about for this month I decided to switch it up.
I don’t think people my age talk to their grandparents enough.
Visits for holidays don’t count.
We need to talk to them more.
Learn about them.
Ask them questions.
They created our family, and without them we wouldn’t exist.
To this day one of my biggest regrets is not asking my grandpa more questions.
For Christmas a couple of years ago, I gave one of my grandmas a book.
More like a journal.
In it I wrote out different questions.
Questions about herself.
Questions about her childhood.
Life with my grandpa.
Life with my mom.
Every question had a few pages for her answers.
And I asked for it back when she’s done.
That way I can forever have it.
I loved the idea and it will always be one of my favorite gifts given.
I realized the other day that I never gave my other grandma this opportunity, so I decided to turn it into a post.
I wanted to ask her questions to get to know her more.
I obviously know my grandma.
I spent so much of my childhood with her.
I idolized her.
She introduced me to coffee, country music, and day time television.
I spent most days after school at her house growing up.
Until I got old enough to do after school sports.
I wrote up a list of questions and sat down with my grandma and asked them to her.
She knew it was going to be for a post and loved the idea.
We didn’t just talk about the answers to my questions. We talked about so many different things.
And it was so nice.
So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it.
My interview with my grandma. ❤
Me: What’s your full name? And why were you given that name? Grandma: Betty Lee Everetts, and I was told growing up that I was named after the Betsy Lee Mine since I was born in Montana.
Me: Do you remember the day my dad was born? Grandma: Not a lot, it was a long time ago. I remember being in a lot of pain.
Me: Do you have any regrets? Grandma: I wish I could have finished school. I only went to school until I was 12, my dad wouldn’t let me go to school after that. I had to work.
Me: What are you most proud of? Grandma: My kids.
Me: If you could change one thing about the world today what would it be? Grandma: I wish people would get off of their phones. Every time you get together people are always on them, I wish they were never invented.
Me: What do you want for me in life? Grandma: I really want you to write your book.
Me: What was I like as a kid? Grandma: Oh my gosh you and Janelle would talk so fast, I always had to ask what you were talking about! Half the time I couldn’t understand you two.
Me: What was your childhood like? Grandma: We really didn’t have much money. For Christmas each year I would get the same doll just in a different dress. By the time I left home there were 12 of us all living under the same roof.
Me: When you were in school, what subjects did you enjoy? Grandma: I really liked math.
Me: Did you have any pets growing up? Grandma: I had a black curly haired dog, but I can’t remember it’s name. Me: My dad said you guys had a turkey when he was little? Grandma: Oh yeah we had that turkey! We also had two cats when you were little, Sugar Ray and Boomer. *Best cats ever*
Me: What big events in History do you remember? Grandma: I remember when President Kennedy got shot. We were living in Aumsville, I was pregnant. I was watching TV and saw it happen. I ran and told Grandpa and he didn’t believe me.
Me: What’s the most rewarding thing about getting older? Grandma: That I can still function, but not as much as I want to. That I still have my mind.
Me: What was your favorite show growing up? Grandma: Well we didn’t have tv growing up.. Me: Duh Megan Grandma: I loved listening to radio shows like The Shadow and Nick Carter. But now I love watching what’s left of my soap operas.
Me: What’s your favorite color? Grandma: Green
Me: Favorite flower? Grandma: Tulips
Me: Favorite food? Grandma: Everything.
*Woman after my own heart.*
Me: Who was your favorite singer/actor? Grandma: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor.
In interviewing my grandma I found out the most fascinating thing..
That she lived in New York.
I had no idea.
Maybe I did, but I really don’t think so.
My grandma left home when she was 19. She said her dad told her that only rich people lived in New York so she wanted to live in New York. She lived there for a little less than a year.
My grandma lived in Oklahoma, New York, California, and finally in Oregon.
It was actually on a greyhound in the middle of her travels where she met my grandpa.
Now this part I knew.
Being the persistent man that he was, he wouldn’t stop talking to her until she gave him her contact information.
While she was in New York she decided to move to California with her friend.
Her friend came down with the flu while she was there and she needed a new place to live.
That’s where my grandpa called her and said “hey want to move in with me and get married?”
She thought..sure why not.
And that’s how a marriage that lasted 53 years started.
My grandma is a strong person.
One of the strongest I know.
She may not like it, but my nickname for her is “crazy.”
It’s the perfect description of her.
She’s so full energy and spunk.
She’ll tell you how it is and maybe not what you want to hear.
But she’ll always tell you what she’s thinking.
She loves her family so much and is very independent.
I hope you all enjoyed this and I hope she does as well.