Fortunately my husband, daughters and I all have our health, are safe, and we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and the lights on. Any year where all of that is still true is, I admit, a very, very good thing. But it doesn't make any of the rest of it sting less, unfortunately.
Cruising in to the end of the first half of 2016 it appeared everything was going along swimmingly. There were normal bumps in the road, but personally I was rocking at life, and finished my longest race to date at the end of May. That race was supposed to be a jumping off point, of sorts, to charging in to training for the 100 miler I had my eye on.
But it wasn't to be. My body, and spirit, were ravaged after the Sun Mountain 50 miler. In the handful of weeks that followed the race I didn't run, and instead indulged in rest and simply looked forward to summer. Then in mid-June my grandfather, at 97 years old, passed away. He was a good, honest, hardworking man that lived a long, simple, and healthy life. His passing at 97 wasn't exactly a surprise, but still hurt. As a WWII veteran he had military rights at his funeral, which was incredibly moving. He is deeply missed.
While away at my grandfather's funeral our beloved family dog, Heidi, only eight years old, collapsed and died completely unexpectedly. Her death hit me extremely hard. Any motivation I had to do anything, especially get back in to running, was destroyed in the months following Heidi's passing.
Without Heidi, Summer plodded along, and I in my sadness I decided to forcea bright spot back in to my (our) life (lives). More on that later.
Fall came, things were okay-ish again. Running was still a pipe dream, but I was getting by (and putting on weight, UGH). Like every other human in the United States I was stick-a-fork-in-me DONE with the election well before November 8th. But then fucking November 8th came and then WHAT THE HOLY FUCKING HELL HAPPENED. Jesus Christ. Like the majority of the people in our country, I didn't actually want a demagogue as a president. I am having a hard time figuring out what I can do that's actually meaningful. Right now it seems to be consuming news at a rate about 8,000 times I ever have at any other point in my life and wondering when I when will wake up from the nightmare.
And because death and destruction wasn't enough to cloud 2016, let's just throw in very scary diagnoses for two of my loved ones, shall we? Out of privacy for these people, I won't say anything more about it than this, but it's fucking shit. People we love aren't supposed to have scary health issues. One person I am more directly involved in, and affected by, the care for than the other, but it's all kind of terrifying and awful.
That's the bulk of that.
But I won't end this on a low note, no way. There was one major high point of 2016, and his name is Stargazer's Ultimate Full Heart aka "Riggins". If you're new around here, Riggins is the Portuguese Water Dog we brought home at the end of July, when he was eight weeks old. He was, and is, the cutest freaking thing I've ever seen.
Fortunately a puppy fills every single ounce of space you might have devoted to feeling like complete and total poop. He's definitely saved me from ending this year huddled 24/7 in a trembling mass under the protective covers of my own bed.
I've brought Riggins out for short hikes on the trails. Being back out there has felt so that good I've even started dipping my toes back in to my running shoes. Hoping that the motivation to keep running sticks, but we'll see. I'm not pushing anything at this point. Riggins can't run with me yet, but as soon as he's grown enough I'll get him out!
So, here's to 2017 not sucking balls.