Friday, January 9, 2015

Year in Review

At this very moment, one year ago today, I was in the middle of my second open heart surgery. I obviously wasn't blogging about it then, but I did update my Facebook status earlier that morning as I walked through the hospital en route to registration:


Although I was naturally scared and overwhelmed that morning, I also remember feeling an unexpected calm and sense of confidence as I walked into the pre-op room. I was hardly looking forward to it, but I knew the timing was right. I don't know if my parents felt the same way, but they put on amazingly supportive and (outwardly, at least) confident game faces. And I'm sure that helped me do the same.

After the 5-hour surgery (which was, according to the operative report, "uneventful"), I was brought into the ICU. Knowing that I was fortunate enough to have many people awaiting the "all clear" notification, I had preplanned the post-op communications strategy, including an email announcement from a family member who was with me at the hospital and a status update by a dear friend who logged in as me to give an update to the Facebook world:


For reference, here's what "all put back together" looks like right after surgery:

January 9, 2014
January 9, 2014
 
January 9, 2014
I spent 11 days in the hospital and was on medical leave from work for 7 weeks. It was certainly no picnic, but I am forever grateful at how well everything went. The human body is truly amazing, and I definitely experienced this first hand over the last 12 months. While I ended up not doing the Chicago Triathlon this past August, I did have a pretty full year that consisted of a move to Washington, DC, for a new job and three 5K races, including one that set my personal record time (while still in the middle of my 12-week cardiac rehab) and two that were done (for the first time) without stopping for walking breaks.

After going through something as major as this, one tends to obtain a new perspective on many things. While I haven’t made formal New Year’s resolutions for a while, I did have the opportunity over the holidays to take some time and really think about what’s important to me and how I want to prioritize things in my own life in 2015 (and beyond). While it is oftentimes easier said than done, my goal for the New Year (call it a resolution if you must), is to consciously embrace a basic principle: Live Simply with Intention.

Here's to many more healthy years and 5Ks together!