I moved to the US in 2007.
Coming up to 10 years now.
At the time, I did not know I would still be there now, although I knew I loved America from our three year stint in the adorable little city of Bloomington, IN when I was a child. We still stayed in touch with our lovely neighbors, and they had shown us how great Americans are.
That being said, if you would have told me I would be married to an American living in Kentucky in 2007, I think I would have laughed.
The longest I have gone without going home to St Albans was 16 months, and that was really really hard. But for the most part, I have gone home 1-2 times per year, and had many flying visits where I crammed in as many people as I possibly could. I am very lucky to be surrounded by lots of wonderful, genuine people.
But this time, the visit home is not about coming to see friends and family, although of course that is a huge bonus.
This time, running is the priority, and my preparation to the London marathon, which is less than 3 weeks away (eeeek!).
Coming back the day after I found out I was running for Great Britain was pretty exciting. I only had one day at home before we had to leave for Cardiff, but that was enough time to look at St Albans in a whole new light.
When I ran around the city, listening to music as I had only got off the plane a few hours before, a lot of the same songs I used to listen to when I was 14-18 years old came on.
In the past, I had used a lot of these songs, music from the Rocky Balboa movies mostly to motivate myself during those hard workouts to push myself. As I trained alone a lot of the time, they helped me to believe that someday, I would achieve something big.
Listening to those songs last week, brought back so many memories, so many moments where I thought about where my running would go. It was during those early days that my ultimate goal of running for Great Britain came about.
Not only that, but I was running past places where I used to race cross country for Beaumont school. My first taste of racing and pushing myself.
As St Albans is relatively small, I could make it around a lot of the city in 9 miles, and memories came flooding back, like they were yesterday. I felt in my bones the emotions I had felt as I had run my hardest in a race, or how I had listened to the song “no easy way out” and known that someday I would get the rewards for all this hard work and not taking a shortcut.
At points during that run last week, tears filled my eyes. I could not believe that it was actually coming to life. I was actually going to achieve that goal in a few short days. I must have been smiling like a crazy person, but I did not care.
It just makes you think about where you come from, and how each moment, even this one right now, is shaping our future. We are creating the world we are going to live in at some point in the future.
Yes, I was young, and thinking about “when I grow up”, but the principles are the same, you are still laying the foundations for the future.
How you treat yourself now, what you decide to focus on right now, is what you are going to bring into your life in the future, and that is incredibly powerful.
It makes (or should make us) think more about what we are doing at this very moment. Do we really want to look back on our lives knowing that we spent hours and hours feeling crappy about ourselves because we could not stop going through a snapshot of others lives on Facebook?
Would we rather take some time to spend it with friends, or planning something out of our comfort zone to do in the future.
Obviously I realize that we cannot be go go go all the time, and that is actually what gets me in trouble a lot of the time, but instead, it is better to create memories with loved ones, or read a book to learn something new.
I am not always the best on this myself. It is just too easy to space out and scroll. Buzzfeed makes it so damn easy to stop on their links and go read a pointless article, but reflecting back on how I have got to this moment, it just really made me see how our lives develop for the future.
Okay, I know I am rambling right now, but I just felt like I should share this, and hopefully we can all work together to do things we enjoy rather than things that make us feel bad about ourselves.
I am all for following people and occasions that do make you feel good, but unfollow or hide those people who make you feel like you are lesser of a person.
In a similar way to my early running days where I would look at the other girls who were running for Great Britain, sick with jealously that they could, and I was just not good enough, but looking back, I have accomplished it when it matters the most, as an adult.
And that feels pretty damn good.
I am here over the next few weeks to train, but I am also here to enjoy being at home, it is unlikely I will ever have this long at home again, so I intend on making the most of it.
Build yourself the life you want to live in, and if you trust in it and work hard enough at it, your dreams will come true.
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Are you going to create a better future for you and your loved ones?