A few years ago, I was inspire by the amazing Paula Findlay to write an alphabetical gratitude list for the past year.

Bike close up

As I sat down to write this years, I read a “letter to my future self” by my Team Canada teammate and roommate from Sweden, Winston Guo.

And I got thinking that this would be a good time to focus on both appreciating what has past and turning that gaze forward to the future.
Starting, as always with gratitude.

A- Anne Paterson’s Flowers (Elli Jespersen). For your generosity, kindness, and unwavering belief in me. Thank you.
A- Ashley Armstrong. For sharing your wisdom and knowledge that help me to prepare my body to be the best it can be. Thank you.
B- Backfit. An incredible team that gives me a way to help people every single day.  Thank you.
B- Bob Palmer. For training my mind so that I can get into the Zone. Thank you.
C- Carole Clement. For being the most amazing and supportive landlord we could ever ask for. Thank you.
D- Tricia Dupilka. For being my family in Chicago. It was amazing having you there. Thank you.
E- Each person reading this that I may have unintentionally missed here. Thank you for being you, and for sharing your gifts with the world.   karmen finish
F- Fit Your Life (Kellie Willie). For being there from the beginning, and never stopping the flow of love. Thank you.
G- Gary and Janet Brucker. For your continuing love and support. Thank you.
G- Grant Pollock. You and Angela were there for Jim and I from the beginning. You are both so inspirational and supportive. Thank you.H- Heather Dunphy. For reminding me that “not ideal” isn’t “earth-shattering.” Thank you.

I- ITS Fitness (Krista Kokot). For your inspiration and ongoing support. Thank you.
J- Jamie and Sharon McNamara. Who guide me, support me, and tell me the truth, no matter what. Thank you.
J- Jim Rabb. You are my rock, my partner, my past, my present and my future. I adore you. Thank you.

K- Katie Montague. For taking such amazing care of our little monsters. Thank you.

L- Clint Lien. For keeping me focused and kicking my ass. Thank you.
L- Lillian and Larry Rabb. For becoming my family in my new home. Thank you.
M- Mari Chartier. For giving me a dream that is bigger than me. For showing me that anything is possible. Thank you.
M- Mercury Rising. A team of supportive, kind, and wonderful people that make training fun. Thank you.run turn
N- Shari and Jason Nachai. For your belief in me. Thank you.

O- Alex Olegario Lima. For your support and kindness. Thank you.
P- Papa and Nana. My rock-solid grandparents who keep me ground. Thank you.
Q- Quiet. I treasure those rare moments of peace amid the chaos.
R- Remarkable People (Bob McInnis). For inspiring me every day to push past what I think is impossible. Thank you.
S- SamCo (Sam Smith). For your love, support, and help when I needed it most. Thank you.

S-Sanjeev Gupta. For supporting both Jim and I through a tough year. Thank you.
S- Sara Gross. For reminding me “don’t think. Just train.” Thank you.
S- SKINS Compression Clothing. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to recover as fast and get back out there. Thank you.

S- SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery). Without you, I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am. Thank you for saving me time and money, and for supporting me every day.
T-Tanya Koshowski. One of the most beautiful and authentic people I know. Thank you for believing in and inspiring me.
T- Trek Bicycle Shop. For keeping my bike in the best shape ever. Thank you.
T- Triathlon Canada. For believing in me. Thank you.
U- Under Armour. For providing me with the means to train outdoors in every season. Thank you.
V- Vince Fowler. For reminding me that I can help others every day if I look for opportunities. Thank you.
V- Vitalize Team (Grant Molyneux). For still treating me like a part of the team, even from all the way over here. Miss you guys. Thank you.
W- Will Cargill. For reminding me to fight for what I believe in. Thank you.20x30-FFFB5672
X- Xrays, ultrasounds, and access to universal health care. I will never take this for granted, and I am grateful that I live in a place where I am cared for when something goes wrong.
Y-Yvette Jordaan. For staying in touch and staying supportive across the miles. Thank you.
Z-Vivian Zipchian. For keeping me motivated and supporting me in more ways than I ever imagined. Thank you.

Looking forward, this is going to be a building year.

I have some health challenges that I have put off for too long and they now need to be dealt with.

Early in the New Year, I will be going for abdominal surgery and I will be unable to train for 6-8 weeks.
This is frustrating as it means that my build won’t start until mid-March, instead of early January.

I will not be racing the VIRA running series, and I have scaled my racing to focus on key events.

My eyes are set on two key events: the 2016 World Championships in Cozumel (September), and the 2017 Long Distance World Championships in Penticton (August).

To qualify for the 2017 event, I will need a top 10 placing at the Great White North Half Iron on
July 3rd, 2016. That gives me 14 weeks to get into not only get into Half Iron shape, but get into sub-5:30 Half Iron shape.

It’s doable, but barely.

So, here goes:

Dear Future Me:

Sometimes life throws curveballs at you that you can’t control.

But you can control your response.

Rest when you need to rest.

Train when you need to train.

Fight when you need to fight.

Above all, be kind to yourself.

And, in the words of the amazing Sara Gross:
Decide that you want be a better athlete. Then go do it.

You’ve got this.

Have a wonderful 2016.