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    Posted December 19, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN Fit Nation: 2013 Triathlon Challenge

    Thirty is the new Twenty... at least I hope!


    On October of 2013 I will officially become a member of the dirty thirty club. While this is a time that most people dread, this is something that I am looking forward to. My twenties were filled with numerous ups and downs, which taught me a lot. But I am excited to see what the next phase of life has in store and I want to enter this phase feeling my best- both physically and emotionally.


    In my early twenties, I was on top of the world. I was in the best shape of my life, just graduated from college, found a fabulous job traveling, and bought a house. I could do whatever I put my mind to. In my mid-twenties, I lost my grandmother, uncle, and father all to cancer within two years of each other. After encountering such a loss, my family dynamic completely changed, which over shadowed my entire first year of marriage, making the remainder of my twenties extremely difficult.


    During all of this, I found a job that I could throw myself into, and also started a graduate program. This left little to no time for exercising or cooking healthy meals, but that was fine because my new job came with a meal plan! Just so you know- the freshman fifteen does not look good on a twenty-five year old!


    And so the story goes, I started eating more, exercising less, gained a bunch of weight and lost my self confidence. In a sense, I feel as though I’m getting a second chance. I have been though a lot over the last few years, but I have also learned a lot!


    1. You should never take a single day for granted- it could be your last
    2. You have to take care of yourself- that's the one thing you have complete control over.


    There are many reasons I want to take on this challenge:


    I want to do this for me- because I want to enter into my thirties in the best mental and physical shape of my life. I have never even ran a 5k, because running scares me! But I want to be that person who could do whatever she put her mind to- I want to face my fear of running head on- I am ready for this.


    I want to do this for my husband- because I want to be the woman he married. He is incredibly encouraging and supportive and he loves me no matter my shape or size. But I want be the healthy person that I was when we met.


    I want to do this for my co-workers- because I want to show them that not matter how challenging our profession is, we can still be healthy! And I want to do this for my students- to be a good example for them. To share the lessons that I have learned the hard way, in hopes to make things just a little easier for them.


    In higher education, we have a student development theory that we refer to as challenge and support. In order for students to grow and develop, they need a legitimate challenge, but in effort to be successful and grow from the process, they need adequate support- otherwise they will become easily discouraged and quit. This is how I feel about the FitNation challenge- it scares me. But I know that if I am selected, I will have the tools and resources available to be successful in this challenge. I can then enter my thirties as a tri athlete, ready mentally and physically to take on whatever this next decade has in store!

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