The last Monday of 2021! Good Lord, what a year it has been. While I think many of us looked to 2021 for hope and reprieve after an oppressive 2020, the final weeks of 2021 are still headlining with this dooming pandemic.
Perhaps, I feel susceptible to this right now even though I thought myself immune to the "COVID fatigue" I've seen described on social media. But after a celebrating Christmas in a room, double-masked with my siblings and straining to hear my Mom, who had been COVID-infected, through a glass window in the literal quarantine room, I found myself cracking a beer before the sun went down.
I almost think this year has been more challenging than 2020, the heart of the pandemic. Last year, we were isolated from one another, yet the sense of community and solidarity was strong. It's like when a ferocious storm hits a small mountain town. Roads are covered, cars are buried, living is HARD. But a community hidden under a blanket of snow finds solace knowing that they are in the hardship of harsh winter conditions together. There is so much hope in that solace.
But the rapid spread of omicron, coupled with the social, economic, and political tension that pulses through the news, feels like a snowstorm in May—wilting the flowers and causing unsuspecting drivers who have already taken off their snow tires to slide out of control.
Again, the tension of another Christmas where I could not hug my Mom may be bringing out my dramatic side. But I don't think I'm the only one who has been broken to the point of dramatism.
I crave my pre-pandemic life back, the one with consistency and predictability. But when I think about where I was in the winter of 2019-2020, I realize that it will actually never be the same.
I am a lot slower right now than I was pre-pandemic. I can get the speed back, but what has changed is that I am OK with my slower pace.
I am closer with my family, even though we sometimes couldn't physically be together. That need for connection through isolation drew my siblings and me to each other like magnets.
I am no longer in the relationship I thought I would be in forever, and that is scary as hell. But the emptiness it left in its wake was filled with love from old friends. People I hadn't talked to in a long time but who have always remained so close to my heart. Their acceptance of me back into their lives, greeted with unconditional love and support, was as close to magic as I've ever known.
I am with BROOKS, my dream brand to run for, ever since high school. My first pair of road and trail shoes were Brooks. I feel so much pride, like SO MUCH, every time I pin a bib on my racing kit or talk to shoe designers.
My career has pivoted yet again with my new role with Method Seven! From vagabond to a teacher, professional runner to coach, and Brand Manager at Method Seven Ultra Trail. I can't believe I stumbled into this career, where I love the work, even in the frustrating moments. My creative work with Method Seven feels like flexing a dormant muscle, and every day I get stronger. It feels good.
So while life seems unstable and in flux, and balancing on that instability has been exhausting, I do have quite the list of things I am grateful for. Change is so uncomfortable, and there has been so much change. But as one of these old friends often reminds me, change is the only thing guaranteed in this life. So I choose to sink into this change and welcome it, knowing that once I sink in, the tides will just change again. And I will grow because I choose to grow with change.
With the start of the new year, the finish of the M7 Trail Series approaches. There are still a few days to sign up! Run a few miles with the M7 Trail Series to cap off 2021 and raise money for Silverton Single Track Society. Every mile run helps to raise money to build and maintain trails in the ultra-iconic Silverton, CO. But even if you don't run a single mile, you should still sign up. By registering for the M7 Trail Series, you will automatically be entered into the Method Seven end-of-the-year raffle. AND you will be invited to apply for the Beta Team, which will consist of 4-6 fellow nerds to help me develop the Method Seven Ultra Trail performance eyewear.
Happy last Monday of 2021. Onto 2022! I am excited to welcome it with an open heart and step into whatever chaos this new year brings. Cheers, Y'all!