Scratching Off the Bucket List
Posted by Jillian Rieckmann
Every year, I pull out my dream journal and write down my goals for the year, as well as long-term goals for the future. I jot them down, close my book and generally don’t pull it out again until the following year. Every time I dig it out, dust it off and flip through the pages, I amaze myself at how much of my dreams have come true. My goals are accomplished and I renew my vow to continue to grow and challenge myself with new adventure in all areas of my life.
Looking back, this was a habit I got into as a child, maybe not with the concreteness that my goals have today, but seeing something or someone and saying “I am going to do this”. Throughout the years, my social network has been doubting or unsure of my pursuits, whether big or small. But, as I checked off my goals, and those “Nay-Sayers” started seeing, I CAN and I WILL do what I set out for myself, the doubts turned to encouraging words and enthusiasm. Now with the knowledge and confidence I have in myself, I know in my heart that all the hard work pays off and that dreams do come true.
After competing in the INBF bikini competition in October of last year, my love for fitness had become stagnant and uninspiring. I was mending an injury and realizing the new balance needed and the changes that were taking place in my life and body, as I brought myself back to a more “normal”, healthy lifestyle. My workouts were lacking passion and purpose and stepping into the gym didn’t place the same rush of excitement on me that I needed to keep it going.
I needed something to drive me, to look forward to, and to make tying up my laces feel energizing again. After feeling this way for what I considered too long, I took the plunge and registered myself in my first Half Marathon. After my initial training run of the season, my hip hurt, my knee hurt and my injury seemed to try to stop me from continuing. That night I thought to myself, “What was I thinking?”.
Instead of giving up, I decided, Im going to take care of myself by getting massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic when needed. I gave my body healthy food to fuel and repair my muscle tissues. I cross trained with spin class and 2-4 yoga classes a week. As well, I had my feet assessed to prevent any further injuries. There were ups and downs throughout the training process, but with my eye on the prize, my motivation continued.
This past Saturday was race day. As I landed in Vancouver, my bags filled with workout gear and my morning oats, my excitement grew. With my goal to complete the half marathon in under 2 hours and 15 mins, I made my way to the appropriate corral. The street was flooded with 7500 runners in neon spandex, numerous volunteers, friends, family and TONS of others who came out to encourage everyone on their 21.1 km journey (which we found out later was actually 21.4 km).
That last km DID seem long). With every minute the anticipation grew, until the horn blew and the run began. With every step and every breath I took, the beauty of the city, the seawall, and the people all around encompassed me. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:02:06.4 and a sense of extreme accomplishment. Another scratch off the fitness bucket list and now room to pursue my next feat.
As I continue to check off goals from my list, my zest and love for life grows. Knowing anything and everything is possible gets me out of bed each morning, embracing every moment I get to live my life, following my heart and my dreams in this amazing journey.