Below is my second posting for the ACHA blog, which was published today.
As the holiday season winds down, many people spend this time of year
reflecting on the past 12 months, taking stock of both the good and bad
in their lives, and thinking about how they want to improve themselves
throughout the coming year. Oftentimes, people like to think of the
start of a new year as a chance to hit the reset button, to put the
challenges of the old year behind them, and to embrace the promise of
new beginnings. As clichéd as that may sound, I suppose I’m no
I’ve gone though my own share of health-related challenges this year,
and I’m looking forward to putting those behind me as much as possible.
But the reality is inescapable: for those of us with CHD, the journey
is ongoing. There is no magic reset button that can erase all of our
past year’s challenges and struggles and just allow us to start the new
year with a completely clean slate.
But we can start 2012 with a new outlook and make a resolution
to do everything in our power to always make the best of our situation,
whatever it may be. For me personally, I find it easier to stay
motivated and positive when I’m connected to a mission and pursuing a
vision that’s larger than myself (perhaps that’s why I decided to pursue
a career in the nonprofit sector). As an avid cyclist, I feel like I
recently found the perfect thing that will keep me even more motivated
than normal throughout 2012 and—hopefully—beyond.
The Ironheart Racing Team
was created as a way for everyday endurance athletes to raise awareness
for healthy heart living and congenital heart disease. About two weeks
ago, I contacted David Watkins, the founder of Ironheart and a former
ACHA board member, to express my interest in joining the team. Through a
few emails and a great initial phone conversation, we talked about ways
for me to get even more involved than just becoming a member of the
team. David is actually in the process of expanding the Ironheart Racing
Team to include five separate divisions, including one focused
specifically on cycling. He explained that cycling is going to be a big
part of the organization’s growth and that he’s looking for people to
help him drive that effort forward. While our conversations have just
been preliminary so far, I’m quite excited about what the coming year
has in store.
So as 2011 comes to a close and we prepare to welcome 2012, I hope
that everyone who reads this blog post is able to find the inspiration
and motivation they need to make 2012 their best year yet! You certainly
don’t have to be an endurance athlete to make that happen, nor does
congenital heart disease have to be your driving force. But I am a
strong believer that people can best pursue happiness and success by
pursuing their passions. It’s your own life to live, and I hope you
chose to live it the best way that you can.
Here’s to a safe, happy, and heart healthy New Year!