It’s Saturday afternoon and I am sitting on my couch snuggled up with a blanket, listening to Christmas music and feeling…content and happy. As I sit here and reflect on the last 12 months, it has been filled with many highs and equally as many lows on both professional and personal levels, but this year has also been one of the most beautiful and amazing years of my life and I walk away feeling….thankful, inspired and forward-looking – all really positive emotions.
This time of year is about giving thanks, so I thought I would share with all of you what I am thankful for. This year, the people in my life and my relationships with them are THE reason why I am sitting on my couch today feeling the way I do. I’m no Barbara Walters, but here are the most influential people in my life in 2013:
1. James Duffy
James is one of the most important people in my life – not just since I arrived in Los Angeles, but ever. He has supported me unconditionally through the highs and lows of my job and along the way has pushed me to face fears and strive to become a better person in ways no one ever has before. His intuition, patience, poise and kindness have helped transform my life and opened doors for me I am not sure I could have on my own. He inspires me in a truly unique way and I am forever grateful to him.
2. My mother
When I decided to leave the world of finance behind me and take a chance on triathlon, both of my parents has serious concerns and reservations (and for good reason!). But they swallowed all of those and have shown nothing but the utmost support to me in my endeavors. My mother has become a veritable triathlon groupie – she reads the blogs of every athlete, she runs the statistics on every race, she knows the nuances of every course from the elevation gains and losses on bike and run courses, to the water temperature, water quality and speed of every swim. She has immersed herself in this sport in support of me and has stood by my side, cheering me on to be the best athlete I can be. I am so thankful to my mother for her unwavering support and her open-mindedness in allowing me to take my own path and create my own destiny. Thank you mom!
3. Emma-Kate Lidbury
Eeks, Eccles, EK, EKs – my dear dear friend. EK moved to LA not even a year ago and I feel like I have known her a lifetime. She has not only become my closest friend in LA, but one of my dearest, most loved and valued friends in my life. We have pushed each other in workouts, challenged each other on personal levels, are fierce competitors in races, but at the end of the day love and respect each other. One day we are beasting each other in training, the next we are cooking dinner together and laughing, and the next we are back at it – creating new physical and mental limits. We have succeeded in mixing business and friendship so well – something that can be hard to achieve. I feel so lucky to have EK in my life and her presence in LA has been more important to me than she will ever know.
4. Gerry Rodrigues and Matt Dixon
My growth in triathlon has been a project. And both Matt and Gerry have taken this journey with me with their arms wide open. Over the last two years, these two individuals have grown not just to be coaches I respect so much, but friends and family who have offered words of support, love and kindness in ways I did not expect. I have a family in California, and Gerry and Matt are very much part of that. I cannot express the gratitude I have for their coaching, guidance and friendship. We have few opportunities in our lives to have people like Matt and Gerry take part, and I value these relationships so much. Thank you to you both for being part of it all.
5. Stacy Tager, Heather Gillespie, Todd Larlee and Caroline Bird
My relationship with these three ladies and one gent have grown in exponential ways this year and I could not be more thankful for their friendships. Each of you have shown what spectacularly loving, kind, generous and thoughtful people you are and anyone who is lucky enough to have a friend in you is blessed. Thank you all for being part of my life. I cherish your friendships.
6. My family
Where I would be without my family, I don’t know. The perspectives, differences in personality and individual strengths and weaknesses bring color to my life. As we’ve grown, our lives have changed. We all have taken different paths. We have evolved as people, as parents, siblings, spouses, cousins and children. But at the end of the day, we all have each other’s backs, we aren’t afraid to speak the truth, and we push each other all to achieve greatness. I love you all so much. I value and love my relationships with every single one of you. Thank you Mom, Dad, JM, Vanessa, Jeff, Laura, Marcia, Adam, Travis, Zoe and Eliza.
7. Avery Roth
Avery is like my long lost sister. She was my roommate in college and like James, she has pushed me to break down barriers on a personal level that I am not sure I ever would have without her in my life. Her loyalty and friendship has created a bond that will never be broken. Thank you Avery for being such an incredible friend and sister. I love you!
There are so many other people and things I am thankful for – for the generosity and kindness of so many that have helped me along the way in my triathlon career, to my sponsors, whose support and belief in me means the world, to the city of Los Angeles for bringing joy and happiness into my life. To Sweet Rose for making un-freaking-believably amazing ice cream and for being located just a few shorts miles from my apartment. To Primo Passo for their delicious lattes. To Father’s Office for their ridiculous burgers, and the Taco Truck for mind-blowingly good Ceviche tostadas. To the beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the Pacific that make me smile every day. To my girlfriends in NY (V, Kate, Elena, Amy) who I love and miss every day. I could go on and on.
In a few weeks it will be a New Year and a new triathlon season. I’ll be taking everything I learned and all of the experiences from this past year with me and working to be a better athlete, better person and better ice cream eater :).
Happy Holidays everyone. Have a safe, wonderful and joyous Holiday season and Happy New Year.
Don’t Dream It. Be It.
Little Red –