Moving, Marathon and More

I am officially a Florida resident. Registered voter.  Florida license.  Florida license plates. Florida address.  We are official homesteaders of The Sunshine State.

This last month has been crazy. I am pretty sure I have experienced every human emotion imaginable in the last 30 days. The stress of selling a home, trying to get everything packed and selling/donating everything we didn’t need. Loading a UHUAL and shipping all of our possessions as well as my car, dog and husband off to Florida, where we would close on a home down there.  Knowing I was going to be away from them for 5 weeks. Two jobs going full force in the process, making for very LONG working days. The sadness of leaving the place I have called home for the last 35 years…as well as the family, friends and clients that have made my life in that state AMAZING.  Excitement for new beginnings and heading to a warm and sunny location that we have dreamed of living at for years. Extreme missing of my boys. Physical pain and exhaustion from marathon training. Doubt of whether I would be able to even run a marathon with the pains I was experiencing. Nostalgia from staying at my childhood home for a month and running the same routes I did all through high school and hanging at my lake. Fear of making such a huge change and wondering if we did the right thing. Stress from trying to plot out a flight to D.C., run a marathon, then flight to Tampa to MOVE!!! All of this caused me to have extreme scatter brain and almost a numbing feeling as I went through the month.

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It was all so complicated. I was so sad to say goodbye and leave CT, but also so excited to get to Florida to see my boys I was missing so badly. And sandwiched between all of that was the Marine Corp Marathon. As all of this other stuff called LIFE was swirling around me, I tried to stay focused on the 26.2 that I had spent so many weeks training for. This would be my first marathon running for a goal time (3:20) and I knew I had to stay grounded and rested to hit that goal. I am a strong believer that the physical body is deeply attached to the mental state, which I was thinking was the direct reason for my body breaking down. While mentally I felt numb to all of the insanity going on in my life, I was pretty certain it was presenting itself as lower back pain /hip pain. (If you haven’t read Dr. John Sarno: Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection, you should!)

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So, while making date after date with my friends and clients (goodbye lunch, dinner, drink, hike, etc) I tried to also stay focused on meditating, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep. Before I knew it, it was time to go.  My parents dropped me at the airport Friday Night and I boarded a plane to go run a race. Not to move.  Not to go see my husband. Not to leave CT and all those that mean the world to me. I boarded a plane to take care of business and in the process pay my respect and honor to the Men and Women of the United States Marine Corp who so selflessly put their lives on the line to protect us and our freedom. This race has been on my bucket list for years. I have always had a special place in my heart for Marines, because my Dad is a Marine and a Veteran of the Vietnam War. So I was not only running this race for the Marines I have never met, yet still fight for me…but for my Father, my favorite Marine.

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Next stop, D.C.

Stay Tuned fo Marine Corp Race Report.

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At Any Given Moment Who Have Two Options…

2 weeks from today….Friday, October 23rd I will board a plane and officially leave Connecticut. I will not fly directly to Florida, however. I fly to Washington D.C. where I will run the Marine Corp Marathon, then to Florida. In exactly 2 weeks I will move from the state I have called home for the last 35 years. I will fly to Erik, who has already arrived in Florida and reunite with him and Gunner after a month apart.

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While it has been a tough month with so much craziness and transitions, I have to say I could not have written a better script for my departure. First, with Erik and Gunner gone for a month when it is my time to leave it will make leaving so much easier.  I miss them so much it literally hurts. Second, I will be flying to run a marathon, which will take my mind off of leaving with the nerves and excitement of marathon weekend. Third, I am able to spend my last month with my parents, in the house (and bedroom) I grew up in. To go out on runs on the same roads I remember doing as a child and to spend this time with my parents has been a real treat.

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So, as my time winds down in Connecticut I am embracing this beautiful fall season, but also looking forward to the change. I have always known that I am not that girl who stays in her small town home and never leaves the comforts of all it has to offer. I’ve always had this tug on my heart to leave and go explore what this world has to offer. I have suffered from incredible anxiety in my adult life, and I am starting to understand it was largely because I felt trapped. I felt I was living a life that I was not meant to live. I only felt truly free when I was traveling and discovering small towns and unfamiliar areas. When I would return from these adventures I would feel homesick. What a crazy thing. I was homesick from the mountains, the woods, the places I only spent one night at. I was never homesick from “home”.

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So, now we start the journey of the unknown. Erik has already started working at his job and seems to really enjoy it. We will work seasonally in Florida, allowing us the summer months to explore and travel. To jump in our camper and discover small towns, mountains, and all the places I have never been but am homesick for. While I am experiencing a lot of sadness and some uncertainty about such a large move, I am overwhelmed with excitement. I feel this is the beginning of a new, happy life for Erik, Gunner and I.  More than anything I am proud of us.  We are the only ones who really know what it has taken to get to this place. The sacrifices we have made and the endless hours of working and saving. All with a goal in mind. And, as we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary this month we celebrate 12 years of working as a team and accomplishing more than we could have ever dreamed of. A life of happiness, big dreams, freedom, and love. The love. That’s what means the most. Because what would all of this mean if I didn’t have my best friend to share it with. On the month of this 12 year wedding anniversary I am so thankful the young me never gave up on us. I am thankful I get to start the life of my dreams with the only one I would ever went to share it with.

Every Ending Is A New Beginning

Life has done a 180 (quite literally) in the last few months. This is probably a big reason why I have not been blogging as much as I would have liked. Partly because my time as been limited, but we all know when we really want something we MAKE time for it. So, I would say my lack of blogging has been largely due to: a) not knowing exactly what to write b) mixed emotions making my ability to speak “truth” difficult, as I am not really sure what my truth is.

Never the less, I have been asked several times lately when I was going to put a new blog up…so, alas, here it is. I will try to fill you in on the details of what’s going on in my life to an extent that I am comfortable with sharing. Some thoughts and ideas may not make the World Wide Web yet.

The big picture: we have sold our Connecticut home and have bought a condo in Venice, Fl.  Venice is the town that Erik and I have called our “2nd home” for many years now. Erik’s parents bought a condo there in the late 80’s and we have spent a ton of time there in the last 10 years. We absolutely love it there, and have developed real comfort there. We have our friends, our coffee shop, our ice cream joint, Gunner has a vet, a groomer, etc. I guess it has always felt like home to us, and every year when we take the Venice exit off of Interstate 75 we just both just breath a deep sigh of relief and our mood just changes.

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This past Winter we knew we had to explore other areas and not “settle” with Venice.  While deep down we always saw ourselves living there, we needed to make sure places such as Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Beaufort, etc did not steal our hearts. While each one of these places made a distinct mark on our hearts, there was no place like Venice. The number one factor: the weather. Almost every day of the 2 month stay in Venice was sunny and 75-85 degrees.

Here’s the other thing you need to know: for the last 20 years Erik has been Food and Beverage Manager at a New England golf course. This means working 70+ hour weeks in the Summer, leaving Winters our time to vacation. Well, how many places can we go in the winter? We aren’t big island goers. We aren’t ones to sit on the beach all day. We would much rather go on an adventure. Ride our bikes, hike the mountains, explore small towns, etc. So, we would spend winters in Florida , and many years ago realized that the community we are in is VERY seasonal, with a ton of golf courses. So, we started to think about changing our seasons. What if we worked seasonally in the winter, while still enjoying beautiful weather, and then spend the summers traveling?  Then we can go to places that have been right at our back door for so many years, but we were never able to get the time off to explore. Bar Harbor, White Mountains, Adirondacks, and…the National Parks!!  Now we can go see Crater Lake, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Moab, etc because the summer months will be our time to travel.

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This all seems like it was an overnight transition and a seamless one at that.  Those who are close to me, however, know that this was a multi-year process and a lot of small steps that have lead to one big step. It really is amazing how things have gotten to where they are now, and how organic it kind of feels, while knowing the we have spent so many years planning, making decisions, taking risks, but most importantly: listening to our hearts. Last year we bought a camper and used it to explore the Southern Coast this past winter. Well, it looks like that camper will be getting a lot of use, as we will have summers open now to take it wherever we wish.

With all of these amazing changes there are, of course, always some negatives. For one, I am leaving my home. The place I grew up, where my family resides and where I have made memories of a lifetime. I am leaving my job as a personal trainer at a fitness company I co-founded with my brother and that has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life. My clients and the bootcampers at mission FITNESS have made my life so enriched and fuel my energy daily. I can honestly say that I will never find another place like it. Not only because of the incredible staff and clients we have, but because it is a business I put my heart and soul into for many years. It is now my brothers business and to try to excel for something bigger than you…to help him succeed and give my nieces a better life, made me a better trainer. To walk away from this place will be one of the hardest things I will ever do. However, I know a part of me will always be there, and I know I will always find my way back to mission FITNESS even if it is just to take a bootcamp while I’m in the area.

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As I write this and look around at our blank walls and boxes labeled with the few things we decided to keep, I can’t help but get teary eyed. This is the first home Erik and I have ever had. We have been here 13 years and we have grown so much as a couple since we moved in. If these walls could talk….the ups and the downs we have experienced here. Just a few years ago I would have told you that this place was perfect for us and that we would never sell it. But, this past winter the 5 months we spent traveling has changed us. We came back to Connecticut different people and we no longer feel like we fit here. Sometimes you must go away to come back stronger, and not only are we both stronger now, but we are stronger together. I feel a bond to Erik that I have never felt so strong. He is not only my husband but he is my teammate, my partner, my rock. I am so excited for what we have ahead of us. And in the midst of the chaos of these next couple of months I will do my best to stay calm and trust the process. To surrender to what is and have faith that if we keep chasing what pulls our hearts and live our truest selves we will end up in the right place…wherever that may be!