Dirt in your skirt blog

Wrapping Up The Year – Part 2

Posted on December 31, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

Yesterday, I reflected back on all the things I did, which looking back was quite a lot and the post doesn’t even touch on them all. If you really want to know it all, check out old posts from the last six months. Looking back on the year, its not so much about the stuff I have done, because at the end of the day its stuff. The most important things to me from 2011 are the friends I have made and the things I have learned about myself.


So in no particular order here is my top 10 things I learned this year:

1. Do not race in cotton! Well I actually learned this in 2010 but the post I wrote has helped many people prepare for their first obstacle race. So it’s worth mentioning again!

2. I like to run, albeit slow and mostly up mountains. I like to run and run pretty far. I spent my whole life saying I hated running and didn’t get it. Well I get it now and have found a quiet solitude in its simple joys. I find I am actually good at it as well if you put a mountain in front of me.

3. My competitive drive still is deep within me. 2011 brought back out a drive and passion in me that I haven’t truly seen since I was in high school and I dare say fully my freshman year. The spark was ignited in 2011 and will only grow in 2012.

4. I am not only good at obstacle racing, but I dare say I am actually great at it. I have deep athletic abilities I have yet to tap into.  As the season has progressed this year I gained more and more confidence and have been able to make this statement. I am not trying to be boastful, but this is the first time athletically in my life I have truly been able to say I am great at something.

5. I have amazing friends. I have always had amazing friends but this year in particular my circle of friends opened up and I now know some truly incredible people who have accomplished incredible feats. For many years I had a lot of negativity around me when I looked online and in my real life it was all around everyone had problems and problems were all I heard about, now having expanded my circle I am given and can take inspiration each day from at least one of my friends. I have found people who share my passions and push me to succeed higher and see the endless possibilities in me I often do not and for this words cannot express my gratitude.

6. I learned how to sleep-run, what night terrors were, raced to the point of hallucinations, fatigue, and hypothermia, battled mild depression when I hit a really low patch, battled with deep rooted emotions around fear and being inadequate and came out of all of them and still want to race more. The fact I want to race more after all these things tells me that I am doing something right in this whole racing and endurance world. Many times in my life I have taken on endeavors of a month or two then quit for whatever reason when it got tough or hit a plateau. Training for endurance races has brought about some extreme emotions and I have prevailed through and still want more. This is something I have only had in one other sport (or really any endeavor) in my life, alpine skiing, which I have done since the age of 2.

7. In writing, I have found my voice. I was never given accolades as a young person about my writing. In fact, it was something I was not particularly fond of. In school I wrote because I had to, in college I wrote because I had to, my creative writing was never really that creative. Through this blog I have unlocked a skill, a skill completely unknown to me. I like to write, I have a voice and people seem to like it. I thank everyone who takes the time to read the sometimes ramblings of my brain on this blog each day. I try to be honest and just tell the truth, because the truth is often far more interesting than any fiction.

8. I am an adult. I look younger than I am and much of my adult life I have been in the limbo stage feeling the pulls of the college self and the obligations that I should have and strive for as an adult. This year I realized their is no definition of what an adult should be. We make our own definitions and interpretations. But I think one thing that is truly adult is taking responsibility of your actions and taking the reins on your life. This is the first year I feel like I am in charge, that I am captaining my ship known as life. Before I was brilliantly hiding my state of floating. For the first time in a while I have goals again, albeit not professional as many think they should have as adults, but I have some real solid life goals, that are no longer just dreams floating in the air and more importantly am acting on them.

9. I am strong. I am a lot stronger physically and mentally than I realize. Still probably both more than I realize or will admit to. But this year, especially looking back I am starting to realize it’s ok to pat yourself on the back everyone once in a while and acknowledge what you have done. I have never been good with compliments, they make me feel awkward and they continue to. But I have learned to say thank you and know that the people mean what they say, a compliment is a compliment.

10. There are no limits. I am not special, the things I plan to do, or continue to do, or have done are not unique. In truth anyone if they dedicate themselves can do what I do and maybe better. I often use the phrase, Why Not?, in describing the things I plan to do. I learned in 2011 when you get over the initial shock of the unknown and fear of failing the walls start to breakdown and everything becomes an opportunity, a why not. Life really starts to become an adventure. No mountain is too tall when you take it a step at a time, no run too long when you only look at whats ahead in the next 5 minutes, and no tasking to daunting if you just break it down and build it back up brick by brick. This is the real lesson I take from 2011, the idea that their are no barriers, it just takes practice and time to get over some of them and courage to even attempt them at all.

Lastly, before I close this post is I have to promote my friends over at Mocean365 they have come up with a bold concept for 2012, called simply Best F-ing Year. If I was into the whole New Years Eve Resolution thing this would be it. They are not selling anything (other than t-shirts and stickers), this isn’t a product or a gimmick, it’s a movement and could be a powerful one. Their mission, “The Best F-ing Year”-A bold new concept designed with the sole purpose to inspire people worldwide to have the best year of their lives and spread the message to others from all walks of life!”

This idea grew out of a few people (Mocean365, Megan Walsh, and Joe Fox) and they want to “start a revolution of living life fully for everyone. Most of us here are blessed to know how to live fully and full of adventures but we are living in a world of 1 in 3 obesity and rampant unhappiness. let’s help those people.” They want to start a movement of positive action in life. “This is NOT a business idea and the goal of this is not to generate income but instead to generate positive ACTION in peoples lives. This is not at all solely about fitness or health or losing 30 pounds. It is about each and every persons interpretation of living each and every day fully culminating into a years worth of those experiences.

I have the pressure of knowing the brains behind Mocean365 and Megan Walsh. They are truly incredible people and although we don’t actually see each other much their message has been a huge part of 2011 for me. I had the pleasure of running part of the Spartan Beast with Joe Fox, although admittedly it wasn’t too much, as I kept forward momentum. I met this crew in 2010 and their spirit has had a profound impact on me making some changes for the positive and keeping it moving forward. So as I close 2011 in a few hours here on the East Coast, I offer the challenge to make 2012 the: