I completed my first 10K today (That medal is incomplete. It’s missing the surfer charm that says 10K on it, and that’s a half marathon lanyard. They ran out of 10K medals but I threatened to cry (I was dead last in the 10K, but dammit I finished) so the guy gave me an unfinished placeholder until they can mail me one). It’s not something I would have thought possible a year ago. I don’t think it’s something I would have done had my life gone the way I thought it would last year.

13 months ago this week my life changed in ways I never saw coming. Facing a move I didn’t want to make due to structural damage in my apartment, I seriously contemplated a move to Austin, Texas, from my current home in the SF Bay Area. There were many reasons to consider Austin, the main ones being that the cost of living is much lower there and I’d have Caryn (and family) and Keegan to cushion the blow of leaving the familiar. I flew out, interviewed for jobs, and was a dream candidate for one of the placement agencies I met with, who assured me they’d have a job for me when I arrived. But I still didn’t know what I wanted. Well, that’s not entirely true, I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t think I could afford it. It’s pricey to live here.

I came back, still not knowing what I was going to tell my boss. We had a conversation about salary- what I could make in Texas vs. staying at my job and what it would cost for me to continue to live here- which would require a substantial raise. His response to to my statement had me sure I was Texas bound. But then he opened his mouth and offered me something I never knew I wanted, and it was clear I was meant to stay.

Fast forward nearly a year and I’ve finished schooling my promotion required, joined a gym to try and lose the weight I’ve needed to lose for ages, and reconnected with an old friend who keeps getting me to sign up for these events… we did our first 5K in July, our first 10K today, and we’re signed up to do our first half marathon in May. We may even run a good chunk of it.

If I had moved to Texas, I think my life would be good and I would be happy. I’d miss family and friends here, but I would not have missed Caryn’s son’s entire first year- my one true regret about not moving there. But I would still be an admin. And I think I’d spend most of my time on my couch or someone else’s, hiding indoors from the Texas heat. There would have been no Color Run, and certainly no 10K by the ocean in my hometown with my oldest friend (we haven’t always been close but I’ve known Jen since I was a baby). Possibly not even a gym membership.

I am so blessed to have the life I have right now, at this moment, and to have been given this opportunity to to take control of my health on the path I’m currently on.

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