Friday, February 5, 2016

A Decade of Awesomeness

Ten years is a long time. A lot can happen in a decade. Ten years ago I moved to Michigan from Norfolk, Virginia. I left the familiar confines of my family, a job I enjoyed and a city I'd grown to love to move nearly 800 miles north to Lansing, Michigan. I followed a boy and a job to a place where I didn't know anyone. Not one single soul. It was quite the adventure.

I hated winter immediately. In my first week of my new job I stepped into a melty snow puddle and ruined my favorite Gianni Bini shoes. I loved those shoes. I can only get them at Dillard's. You know what Michigan doesn't have? Dillard's. I disliked winter intensely and immediately, and that has not lessened much in ten years.

The boy didn't last long. I broke up with him only a few weeks after I moved here. The job was fascinating. The legislature was a fascinating creature that I grew addicted to rather quickly. There's one thing about working in the Michigan legislature - it either grabs you and pulls you in and becomes part of who you are or you don't get it. There's no in between. I got it, and I loved it. Even though I don't work in the legislature every day now and I want to pull my hair out due to some of its decisions, I still love it. 

I met another boy. Scratch that - I met a man. He was the first guy I'd ever dated who didn't feel like a child. He pulled me in and swept me off my feet. We worked together in the House, and that love of politics and policy and addiction to the world was a huge thing we had (and still have) in common. I thought I should probably marry him because he's hilarious and brilliant and just a good, good man. He's the kind of man I could see fathering my children. Ten years later I've learned he's an even better dad than I could have even imagined.
With the hubs October 2006 at the Soo Locks. Our first campaign season

I wasn't a runner. I had never run more than a mile. Ten years ago this spring I signed up for a marathon on a whim, and it started this other love of my life - running. I've logged thousands of miles training for four marathons, 20 half marathons, seven 10-mile races, ten 10ks, three 10k/5k combos, a sprint triathlon and dozens of 5ks. My weekends and our vacations have revolved around running. 

I've run races in places like Knoxville, Tennessee, New York City, South Bend, Indiana, San Francisco, Morgantown, WV, Pensacola, Florida, Washington, DC, Freeport, Maine, Louisville, Kentucky, Green Bay and Nashville to name a few. That doesn't include the many Michigan cities I've explored through running races, cities like Detroit, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Portland, Plymouth, Flint and Grand Rapids.

My first marathon, Detroit 2010

Marine Corps Marathon 2013

My first half: Nike Women's Half in San Francisco, 2006
We've adopted a small human. It's been amazing. We've adopted two dogs and a cat. We've purchased two homes. Life has been a whirlwind, and it's been phenomenal. I went from being a 27-year-old single woman without a plan to a mom, a wife, a runner and a career woman. This decade has been pretty good to me, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next one brings.

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