I am not going to lie I will be glad to say goodbye to 2017. It has been a hard bittersweet year but one that has me looking forward to a better 2018.
I met Jill 3 years ago online, we had both started a journey to get healthy. Of all the wonderful supporters I have had Jill was my number one cheerleader. She was a very solitary person who did not put her life out there like I did but she supported me in private and in the Beach Body page we both spent time in. While I openly shared my journey, my ups and my downs she did hers on the sly. She broke her leg when she was 12 and ended up spending the rest of her life in a boot and later in a scooter as well.
She spent 18 months losing 150 pounds eating healthy. She went to the gym nearly every single day once she could. She went from not being able to fly due to her weight and not being able to venture much because of her scooter, to going places with her scooter and ultimately without that scooter. She flew for the first time in 25 years to go to a Beach Body coach meetup. She lived and breathed that it was her joy. She para-sailed, she flew to Hawaii, she road the train all over the USA. She hiked up to the top of a lighthouse. She packed more into 2017 than most anyone I know. And then….she was told she had pancreatic cancer and 6-8 months to live… she passed Christmas Day less than a month after finding out.
I am going to honor my beautiful amazing brave friend by getting my heart back into my journey. I have gained 70 of the 120 I lost back and I will take it back off. She wanted so badly to come to Oregon and have me take her to some of the places I hiked. We never got to do it but Jill…. I promise you, I am gong to take a picture of you and we are going to hike those places and have those pictures you so wanted. I love you, I owe you and I will miss you forever my sweet sweet friend. I do not think Jill knew just how many THOUSANDS of people she inspired. She was a true badass super hero!
As I said above I have gained 70 of the 120 pounds I lost. According to my doctor I basically beat my back and hips to death. I have spent the last year off and on taking steroids, having steroid injections and nothing has worked. The pain, the lack of being able to hike and heck barely walk has set me back immensely. Emotionally it set me back, I did not realize how much hiking helped me. I have a hard time shutting down my mind. It goes non stop. On top of the issues the obsessive hiking caused (10-15 miles a day) I have arthritis in my spine, COPD and Asthma and that also makes it difficult. BUT I can walk and breath and I am grateful for that.
Reality is I likely will be in pain for the rest of my days and I will need to find a way to work around that. I am not willing to give up hiking it just means too much to me but I will find a way to do it in a not so obsessive manner.
Other issues that have set me back are ones I just cannot say anything publicly about.. it serves no purpose and will likely just hurt or anger people but the issue cuts so deep it is never ending pain. It is however one, that as hard as it is to do, move on from it which gives me another sense of guilt. If you have not figured it out yet I am a guilt riddled soul!
In spite of it all I am lucky, I have a beautiful daughter and son and an amazing mom as well as sister and nephews. I have the best friends and coworkers a person could ask for. I love where I live, I have an amazing view that soothes my soul. I have 2018 to look forward to. Yes the same heartache will follow me into it but it is full of new amazing possibilities and I am looking forward to exploring them. I will get back to my beloved hiking, I may never get to do the level of what I was but there are many beautiful less strenuous areas where I live.
Here’s to a 2018 filled with endless possibilities. The picture below was my very first climb up a steep incline. It took me 3 attempts that weekend to get to the top of Mt. Talbert and I broke down in tears. I was determined and I did it. I will always cherish this moment and this shot. I will do so again!