2013 Lessons: When to Push and When to Let Go

I’ll admit, there’s parts of blogging I’m totally over, especially writing posts that feel forced, like Thanksgiving and Christmas posts. Do you really care about my Christmas when everyone else in your reader is writing about their Christmas? Probably not.

I try to be as real as possible on the blog, while not dwelling on the bad, but last year, the idea of a year-in-review sorta post felt so freaking forced to me. Yeah, there were some good times in 2012, but I was still in the midst of some STUFF in the beginning of 2013 and just didn’t have it in me to put that happy face on. I was in St. Croix, and I was trying my best to unplug and be in the moment of a beautiful vacation.


I was lucky enough to have the best friends in the world who took me to Puerto Rico to celebrate my 30th.

Immediately after I got back from Puerto Rico, things changed very quickly in my life, and I went through a long, difficult job search.

Through these months, I learned when to push, push, push through my life, and when I had to let go. Let me tell you, it’s so much easier to push than it is to let go.

But I credit a great therapist, yoga and meditation with teaching me when to let go, and I found the first two through sheer luck. Thank you ZocDoc for helping me find a great therapist the same day I wanted an appointment without calling every therapist in the city and potentially waiting weeks to see one, and thank you Laughing Lotus for helping me learn to let go. I freaking love that place, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

I pushed, pushed, pushed to get a HUGE PR at the D.C. Half. (Thank you to RB Fiona for being by my side for it!)

I pushed, pushed, pushed to get through my open-water fear at the Franklin Lakes Triathlon.

I tried to push, push, push as running through the hot summer felt impossible…but then I just had to let it go. I could push against something that wasn’t changing, or I could embrace it and just go through it.

As I let it go, it slowly started getting easier.

One particularly harrowing day in the job search, I called Emily, frustrated beyond belief. I did a fair amount of whining but trying to stay strong, and I’ll never forget what she said: “you don’t have to be strong. It’s okay to cry.” I started blubbering, and I felt so much better getting a good cry out. She also said something about letting go, and I fought back and then realized I sorta had to, at least for a few days.

I did, and you know what? I found the posting for my current job just three days later, and I am so incredibly happy with it. Sometimes that cheesy stuff people say about things happening for a reason and things being worth the wait is true.

After running the Philly Half and having some Real Talk with Meggie, I was still really focused on my goal, obviously, but I also tried so much harder to let the fun back in and run more relaxed, rather than fight and berate myself if I didn’t hit goal pace. And, OH HEY, sub-4, and I did NOT bust.

It’s worth also noting that for as many times as I’d tried in the past to make myself a Person Who Liked Yoga or a Person Who Liked Strength Training, forcing myself never helped. But this year? I fell in love with yoga, and I found an amazing community of people at Uplift, and I really enjoy strength training now and, whoa, miss it when I take a few days off.

2013? You ended on a fabulous, fabulous note, but good lord, did you teach me a lot of lessons along the way.

I’m so, so thankful for good friends, good family and an awesome friend/coach who put up with all my #runcrazy to get me to two awesome big PRs.

What did you learn about yourself in 2013? What did you discover once you started letting go?

(On a side note about meditation, my girl Heather released her own meditation album yesterday! Go check it out. I supported her KickStarter, so I downloaded it yesterday but haven’t listened yet.)

28 comments on “2013 Lessons: When to Push and When to Let Go

  1. Cathryn

    Great post – you had a tough year but you came out so much stronger, there’s a lot to be proud of there.

    In 2013, I learned (once again) not to compare myself to others – either as a runner or as a mother or a wife or even just as a woman. It’s a continual lesson to be myself and not try to be someone else. I’m working on it, but this year I found more contentment.

  2. Amanda @runtothefinish

    I so wish we lived closer, I feel like we are on the same page about a million things. Sometimes it’s ok to just feel like life sucks and then well you get over it! I am right now debating the job search again, but no idea where i even want to look!

    I agree that I don’t post anything now because I feel like I have to. Even my race reports are more what I want to write than feel required to write.

  3. meghan @ little girl in the big world

    I love the blog redesign, since I didn’t say it on your post about it. I’m glad 2013 was such a great year for you in so many ways, beyond just the significant events and milestones that you achieved. It sounds like you really found happiness in a lot of ways because you took some of the pressure off. I’m so happy for you; and I’m so excited for you for 2014! I know you feel like you don’t want to post the “obligatory” posts, but I do hope you’ll post your 2014 goals in some form or fashion. I’m interested to hear what’s up next for you.

  4. AmyC

    I love when things start off “not-so-great” but end up AMAZING. This is what I think for you after reading your post.

    I’ve learned that letting go can bring me happiness…now I just need to learn to, let go! 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  5. Katie @ Live Half Full

    I’m glad to hear your year ended on a positive note! I’m going through a job transition right now- my current company will most likely be closing in 2014, but since I’m under contract I cannot leave. It’s an odd time and frustrating, but I’m trying my best to just be patient.

    In 2013 I learned to let goal of my need to control EVERYTHING! This mainly happen because I got injured and couldn’t run, so I had to let goal of a few major goals. In 2014 I’m getting surgery to hopefully fix the issue and get back to running. I cannot wait!

  6. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    What a fantastic year- so many great accomplishments! Huge congrats on the sub-4 marathon, too. I love when you finally stumble into loving something fitness related- I had a similar experience with weights this year.

  7. Ericka @ The Sweet Life

    That pic of you and Ashley and laura is sooo great, you all look gorgeous! I’m loving your new blog and as always, your honesty. I’m seriously thinking about getting into yoga because of this stupid injury. You are convincing me I should…ha ha. Happy 2014, hope to see you soon!

  8. Jenny

    I love this post because I remember seeing you before/after some of these milestones, and even when you were struggling, you were so honest about it and did your best anyway. And everything turned out OK! Definitely a great example that life is about the journey, not the destination.

    Also, I need to check out this Laughing Lotus place.

  9. Patty @ Reach Your Peak

    You had an awesome 2013! I learned so much through NYC Marathon training this year…mainly that I am so much more capable of what I think I am. I really pushed myself in training and it paid off. Can’t wait to marathon train again and get another PR, though I don’t think that will be until NYCM 2015 😉

  10. Caroline

    It’s hard to have those moments that seem so very overwhelming. I’m glad that your year ended well, and you got so many of the things that you wanted this year. I hope 2014 is even better for you!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Meggie: Well, there was the snowman wrapping paper, the Santa wrapping paper, the bows…the gifts from Bailey, the gifts from the reindeer, the gifts from the cat…

  11. Emma

    Congrats on pushing through and ending the year well!
    On a side note, what did you wear for your first triathlon? I’m going to do my first one and just wanted to know first hand form someone, as it looks like you didn’t have a wetsuit. Thanks!

  12. Pingback: 2013 Lessons: When to Push and When to Let Go | My Diet Bonus Blog

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