She did it! Sarah did it!

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joey-thumbsNo, I haven’t run my first 5k, yet, but I did reach my first major fitness achievement of walking a total of 100 miles!

Maybe that doesn’t sound like much to some, but to me it’s an indication of sticking to something for once in my life. It’s about making good choices for myself, feeling strong and capable. It’s about doing life better.

As it happens, I hit my goal on Sunday, December 9th, which was also my 35th birthday. It’s certainly not the first birthday I’ve celebrated without my brother, considering it often fell during finals week while I was in college, and Joe had lived in Austin for the last 2 years. But there was no phone call, no text from him – even the next day, as he was apt to text me after I’d already gone to bed. I miss him terribly, but every day, I strive to live that much more purposefully because of him.

If I’m really honest, I must admit that Joey’s death knocked me down. I feel as though my worldview has been shattered in a way, and yet, as the pieces have fallen, they’ve found a new way to go back together that oddly makes much more sense and stands stronger against the winds of trial and tragedy.

Bad stuff happens. It happens to everyone – even me. I can let it kill my spirit, or I can choose to be stronger, to live better.

I choose to be better, to live fuller, and to love extravagantly. 

For me, getting fit is part of loving myself so that I have more love to give away. In January, I plan to join the local YMCA and start running and training in earnest for my first 5k. I know Joe would be proud of the physical accomplishments I’m making, but I think mostly he would be proud of the way I’m growing as a person. My 35th year saw the biggest challenges of my life so far, but I see year 36 getting better and better. Maybe by my 40th, I can take Joe for that sky-dive I’ve always dreamed of.

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