2016 -> moving on{ward}

Life is hard. We all experience struggles along the way. But hopefully, we all experience joy, happiness, contentment, and love sometimes too. I finally feel like I’ve turned the corner and a change in scenery has been a huge part of this transformation.

We spent the first half of the year trying to soak up as much sun and sea as we could before heading east. Trying to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer, and even finish up a couple of tourist things that we hadn’t done in the eight and Kyle’s nine years on the West Coast. It was a fine farewell. We had many people who came into our lives and made our time in San Diego so amazing. It was a longing for warmth and the beach that brought me out there, a sailor who let me stay, and friends who made it hard to leave. I had a dip in the Pacific and we were off on our journey!

JOY: Crossing a finish line always brings a feeling of joy. Crossing so many last year helped bring more. I’ve always enjoyed toeing the line and racing over training. I know the suffering of training will help the racing result, but competition is what fuels me. And the occasional time when you cross before your competitors, well that’s what the ultimate goal is, right?!Crossed enough cat 4 cyclocross finish lines at the front to cat up to the 3s! As much as I still feel like a beginner, I was feeling a bit pressured to move up. I had only done 3 races, and yes I’m a cat 2 on the road, but cross is a completely different animal. I used the upgrade as an opportunity to improve. You only get faster by riding with faster riders, right? Racing with the big girls for an extra 15+ minutes of pain and suffering brought learning and improving. And having fun!! Having miss Vivian to ride definitely helped bring joy to each week last fall. Whether it was exploring a new off road area or racing the Chicago Cross Cup series, she was a champ. I’ve found a lot of joy getting off road. Breathing in the fresh, crisp air, getting dirty and exploring new routes. It’s exciting to have seasons again, even with the hovering grey winter skies. I fell in love with fall. I went out in the rain and shine, both with a smile filled with happiness aboard miss Vivian.

This summer we found a great racing scene at the Velodrome in Chicago and another great group of women racers. I won a couple state championship races {scratch and points race} and I had fun racing USAC sanctioned nights. Earned enough points to submit my upgrade for track as well and will start this season off as a Cat 3.

Adopting kitties has brought so much joy to our lives. They are the cutest little sisters and we love them dearly. Eleonora and Bertie have joined the #willsdynasty and we couldn’t be happier. I’m turning into a #crazycatlady faster than I thought! Kyle surprised me for my birthday, knowing his schedule would ramp up in January. And I can’t thank him enough for these two little bundles of adorableness. If I can’t cuddle on the couch with my husband, the kitties will have to do. Or, Eleonora at least. Bertie is still a scardy cat. 

HAPPINESS: I left the West Coast with a few tears and a lot of uncertainty. I didn’t have a job, a team, a home, or a goal. I tried to forget all that and enjoy our time off together and the epic road trip out here. Well, I got hired, we found an amazing apartment, the team is in place, and goals are now beginning to be dreamt up.

The Count came out of hybernation after the cross season had has many frozen winter miles under his wheels. I shocked myself and completed the Rapha Festive 500k with average temps below 30 that week.

My trip back to the west coast for the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz brought so much happiness. That race will forever hold a place in my heart.

Other highlights: Team Time Trial with xXx ladies, North Shore Triathlon so close to home {and the double race challenge!}, and our first gravel race and on the tandem! #nightbison

CONTENTMENT: People are always in search of feeling content. In Southern California I felt like people were never content. Everyone, it seemed, was in search of the next greatest thing. Whether that be a job, a place to live, a relationship, or a team. Social media is ever present in most of our lives {well anyone reading this!} and the crafting of those moments definitely makes me feel like we are actually missing moments together. Conversation. Laughter. Joy. Yet, the Chicago Cross Cup left me feeling content. The community is amazing and the races are well run.

Velosmith has become a great family. I love my job and still enjoy making people faster and more comfy, sharing my passion of cycling.

LOVE: I feel at home. I feel the Midwestern love. My husband is my rock and the love he shows every day only grows. He’s ridiculously busy with work but still finds the time to carry me to bed. To cheer loudly each Sunday. To check in & catch up even when it feels like we see each other in passing. We just hit six years in October and he let me climb in Kentucky without him. Although I had an amazing time, I couldn’t help thinking, “Kyle would’ve loved this!” a bunch throughout the weekend. We officially celebrated {anniversary and RDC-C school graduation} together last fall at the Kings/Blackhawks game! Sadly the Kings lost, but we heard the greatest rendition of the National Anthem ever. It was worth the price of admission alone.

I got to celebrate love with Nordica and Kevin at their wedding reception in St. Paul. They are a gorgeous couple and I couldn’t be happier for them. The family and friends that gathered were a testimate to how awesome they are. 

We spent Christmas in our home in Wilmette. And while I was sad to not spend it with family, we had a great time welcoming the kitties into our home and enjoying time together before Kyle’s first class. And now I’m on my way to Phoenix to play with my nephews and celebrate Jax’s 3rd birthday. Because #bouncehouse! 

2016 was a year of change. What was good and bad, better or worse, we made it through. As with every year, we can look back for reflection and guidance and look forward for motivation. The focus for 2017 is growth. Growing friendships. Growth through sport. Growing business. Grow in love. 

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