Be Brave

Last year, 2015, was the year I titled BE BRAVE. I did a few thing that were outside my comfort zone and it took bravery on my part to do them. Here are a few of them in no particular order.

1. Became a Certified Personal Trainer.
Now this is a rather long story, but I think I need to tell it. When I met my husband I was a freshman in college and he was a junior. We got married and since we only had one year left in school I sort of abandoned the idea of graduating. My desire was to become a teacher and coach high school sports. We moved to Washington and I immediately looked into finishing my education at UW. It wasn't going to be easy or cheap, but I thought I could do it. I had all the admission forms filled out on my desk (this was way back when you typed out your admission forms) and was going to submit them but for some reason I let the deadline slip. Then we found out I had troubles getting pregnant. I spent the next year or so working and going to doctor appointments. It worked and for the next 23 years I was a mom. 
My oldest was just 2 1/2 years old when I decided I was going to put what little college education I had received into practice and homeschool our children. It was thought that I would just do the elementary years, but when they were about middle school age we gave them the choice of attending public school or continuing with homeschooling. Every single year they wanted to continue homeschooling. So I have spent the last 23 years homeschooling my children. 
Last year when my youngest was a freshman in high school and only had two more academic years of homeschooling with me, I recognized that I was going to be jobless. (We have our children get their AA through our states Running Start Program. The spend their junior and senior years of high school taking college courses and graduated with an AA.) I wasn't sure what I was going to do. 
With LDS missions to pay for and college tuitions climbing every year, I needed to go back to work. But, I also didn't want to be held to a clock. I'm still a mom with kids who are still living at home, I had continuing education classes I loved to take, I had trips I still needed to make, so holding a 9-5 job wasn't really what I wanted. But worse was the glaring fact I wasn't trained or educated to do anything. Remember, I'm a college drop out. 
I took a long time friend to lunch for our birthdays and we got to talking about this problem of mine. She asked me, "In junior high, what did you put down as your career? Did it change in high school? What were you studying to be before you dropped out of college?"
I replied, "I wanted to be a teacher and a coach. But I've been teaching for the past 23 years and I really don't want to enter the school system where my hands are tied, paperwork is a nightmare and you punch a clock. I've been coaching  youth sports since 1997 and have loved it, but my kids are no longer playing and I really don't want to coach other kids, especially for free."
Then she said something that was brilliant, "Why don't you coach adults? You love to run and love fitness, why not become a personal trainer."
Here is the funny part, I've never hired a personal trainer. I've never seen a personal trainer do their job and now I'm thinking about becoming one. 
I went home, googled it, researched it and just before Thanksgiving purchased a course from NASM. I then passed the test! Convinced my husband to turn our basement into my private workout studio and started taking clients! 
I can set my own hours, work when I want to, pick my clients and enjoy the work I do! 
Now, this wasn't easy for me! I am totally out of my comfort zone. Besides homeschooling my children I have never worked so hard in my life trying to understand something that wasn't really my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I love fitness, but lifting wasn't the fitness I loved. I love sport and running. But then again running wasn't my cup of tea until I "had" to. Boy, talk about being brave!
And then to just add a cherry on top of my very brave moment, I earned my certification as a Run-Fit Specialist just before the year ended. I was BRAVER!

 My new business!

My new business!

2. Riding!
Another long story. I thank for for reading this far. My husband got a job in downtown Bellevue in March of 2013 and the parking was a lot per month, unless you rode a motorcycle. At the same time my son who had just moved back from college needed cheap transportation to his job. The bus was a long ride and he needed some sort of wheels. Together they got their motorcycle endorsements and of course that meant motorcycles. 
I refused to ride!
June of 2013 I took a three mile ride with Steve and thought I was going to die. I took a few other rides with him, but the gear was so cumbersome that it wasn't comfortable. 
May of 2015 I was going to run my last marathon in Vancouver, BC. Steve was going to be my cheerleader (best one ever!) and we were going to have a little couple get away. But it meant a drive to Vancouver. The day before I went to the Harley Davidson shop and bough $400 worth of gear that fit me and I went on my first long ride! I was brave, or so I thought. 
On Saturday we had some time to kill so we went for a ride up the coast. I had to have Steve stop and turn around as I was terrified. I was so terrified I was crying on the back of the bike. 
I wasn't going to let this get the best of me! I was going to be brave!
I noticed that the end of July that all of our kids would be out of town on adventures. Jessie was going to her grandmothers, Chris and Matt were on a scout adventure and that left Steve and I at home all by our selves. He's a travel agent and he has always wanted to go on a long ride with me. I've always stopped him because I'm not brave. I decided to change that. We spent the week touring through the Columbia River Gorge. I was brave!

 Mt. Adams in the background. Steve and I. 

Mt. Adams in the background. Steve and I. 

3. One more marathon!
I started running because I couldn't sit still. Back in 2009 I was in a lot of pain. Just above my hips in the middle of my back was this pain. The only thing that touched the pain was heavy narcotics and movement. Because I can't function knocked out by drugs I started moving. I started walking a lot. That got to be boring so I started running. Little did I know that both the pain and the running would turn into life changing events. 
The pain was cancer.
The running turned into a hobby, then a lifestyle and now a passion and a job.
The cancer is in remission and to celebrate five years, I ran one more marathon. I went back to the race that started it all. The first time I ran it, I ran only a half  as I had just started chemotherapy. This time I ran the full. I had a goal of 4:30 and I got it!! I was brave!

 Yes, I know what that clock says, but it took me 8 minutes just to cross the start line. That's a gun clock not a chip time. My chip time was 4:30:08

Yes, I know what that clock says, but it took me 8 minutes just to cross the start line. That's a gun clock not a chip time. My chip time was 4:30:08

4. High Places
I'm not particularly fond of heights. They make me a little nervous. But I did do a few things outside of my comfort zone this past year. The first one was to go to the out on a suspension bridge. While in Vancouver there is this place that has a bridge that spans the Capilano River. The bridge is pretty cool, but it moves. It made me very nervous to be on it, but I walked across it twice. I even went out on a glass bridge that over looked the same river. 
Then in August I went on a zipline! I even let go of the cable for a bit. It truly took courage to be brave.

 I walked across this bridge.

I walked across this bridge.

5. Faced the Needle
Got three nerve blocking shots in my foot.
Got a few CT scans and a MRI on my back with IV contrast.
Had my port flushed every other month.
Did I mention how much I hate needles? After all the medical procedures I've had you would think I'm use to being poked by a needle. I still hate them and every time I get poked I hate them even more. 
To combat tendonitis in my foot I decided to go the route of nerve blocks. I visited Dr. M and he put a shot in my foot. This isn't a quick poke, this is find the tendon and then take time to make sure the doctor slowly puts the medication in. I had to chant, "Be brave, Be Brave, Be Brave," over and over while he stuck me! 
The other stuff is "routine" cancer stuff but I still hate it; REALLY hate it. Not only does it hurt but it reminds me that I have cancer. I continue to be brave. 

6. Coaching again
Not so brave, you say after all I've been coaching my kids' soccer teams forever, but the truth is, it took a lot of bravery to ask the Redmond High Dance Coach to be their Strength and Conditioning Coach. I'm just a volunteer, but dang if I'm not making a difference in these girls' lives. I see strong cores and strong dancers. I was brave.

I want to continue being brave in 2016 so I bought a bracelet to remind me to be brave.