Arizona, sun and fun…. ok, and a few tears ;)

Well I think I have started and stopped this blog post about 30 times. Big news… I am moving to Scottsdale Arizona  in about a month. I am so so excited and grateful to have been offered an opportunity at Sole Sports. My 12 years of running specialty store experience as assistant manager, manager, owner, coach, etc will be put to great use as I help grow the Sole Sports business and become an active athlete in the community. To say the least, I am very Very VERY excited.

With all that excitement comes tears and bittersweet feelings. I can’t even put into words the amazing support system I have here, my incredible friends, and the running community here that I feel is family. So many memories, so much support, so many shoulders to lean on, and so very many that I feel I have inspired and in return have inspired me. The most incredible thing is that those that are closest to me and still amazing friends, I have known since middle school. Those I competed with and rode with on the equestrian circuit, school, and beyond. The memories of going to get candy, playing horse in the tack room jumping over broomsticks, tack trunks, and pillows, rides down the road, dozens of races and post race memories, trips to get coffee, walks through Cedarburg, nights out sipping wine on the patio, bike rides with mid-ride iced coffee drinks or ice cream, sushi lunches with my best friend, babysitting the Great Danes and now an added Irish Wolfhound, and so many more incredible memories.

With all the positive, there where those days of doubt, fear, and pain. It was those that were by my side through it all that will be in my heart FOREVER. It was 3 major spine surgeries, years of constant debilitating pain leading up to that and days I simply could barely get out of bed. Then post surgeries came miracles. Ran a 3:16 marathon between back surgeries to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And then less than 1 year post last spine surgery ran the Boston Marathon in record heat, finished, and knew God was the protector and the strength that carried me to the finish. There were the knee surgeries, intense rehab. and Mike at Froedtert Sports Med. that saved me more than once from losing my mind. God puts individuals in our life for a reason. Mike taught me not only to be a better athlete but a better person. No possible way to express my gratitude but to say Thanks and carry his lessons as I continue the journey of life.

There comes a time in ones life where you must take the next step, you must allow yourself to grow, to broaden your horizons, step out of the comfort zone, and develop opportunities as they come present. None of this possible without my Faith. I feel God has told me it is the right step, I am following in his plan for me now. He has given me the opportunity to be close to my parents. To be able to share special time with them, to watch them grow and for them to watch me develop into a stronger individual. I feel so blessed but won’t lie, those blessings come with tears, for I will miss my “family’ here but will be with my family there.

But I guess that is why God made airplanes, I am also blessed to know and have been told I always have a place here in WI with my “extended family” and they all know that when winter hits WI and the temps drop, snow falls, and wind blows…all they have to do is hop on a plane and let that wind blow them to AZ, where they will always be welcomed with open arms.

Home is where your heart is… God has given me a large heart that exists in 2 places close to 2000 miles apart. Therefore I am blessed.

Much love and thanks,

Cristin

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