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The beginning of MY quest

If you’ve been reading the blog, you may have noticed between the lines that I’ve been in search of something.  The past 6 years I’ve been trying to move in a positive direction after being so not positive for a long period of life.  Before I played the victim, I complained all the time and nothing could ever make me happy.  It wasn’t a great situation which didn’t make me a fun person to be around.  A lot of my personal relationships suffered greatly and I knew I had to make a change.  Today I feel like I’ve taken a lot of steps to move in a positive direction and I am a changed person.

That was partly the reason why I had my moment and everything just clicked.  It’s just a moment in time when everything aligns and it all works.

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I’ve been searching for my happiness.  I’ve carried a lot of stress on my shoulders because I always felt like I’m the one who had to hold everything together.  My daily life has always put some added stress on me from a young kid.  When that happens to you when you’re younger, it’s hard to not carry it over into adulthood.  I don’t know the art of small talk, I’m mostly always serious and I don’t like to waste time.  I know why I’m like this, but I don’t want that to define me.  When I was struggling the most, The Happiness of Pursuit fell into my lap by way of a blog contest. I won a free copy of this book that ended up changing my life.

The day to day leaves me longing for more.  It’s a feeling I can’t really explain.  It’s more than just not being happy; it’s about not being fulfilled or useful. I always thought I was going to do something to change the world where I was going to leave my mark, but that never came to fruition.  And then this weight loss thing happened and people started taking notice for one reason or another and I felt like I had to power to help change and inspire. I don’t necessarily want to be the poster child for weight loss because that’s a very hard job.  But I do want to spread the word that what seems to be impossible can be possible.  I want to show people that with hard work anything can be achieved even though there are forces working against you.  I want to inspire and motivate people to live the best versions of themselves because it’s all attainable.  Weight loss has helped me become the person I always thought I was meant to be, but I don’t want my weight to define me whether I am 338 or 150 pounds. I would rather be that girl who inspires and motivates you to go after your dream and take the risk!

That being said, it’s time for me to take a risk and jump out of my comfort zone.  The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is about “finding the quest that will bring purpose to your life” and it’s time for me to go on my own quest.

I briefly mentioned my quest a couple of weeks back, but I know I have to really write it down and share to make it real and trackable.  Here goes nothing:

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My Quest: To run a marathon in all 50 states in the USA so I can become an official member of the 50 states Marathon Club.

Why did I decide on this quest:

Running marathons is my sick addiction.  It’s sick because I put myself through the torture of building myself up, breaking myself down and then putting myself back together over a 26.2 mile journey.  It’s a mental game.  Every time I run a marathon, I’ve said I’m never going to do it again during the race.  I cross the finish line, celebrate the fact I’m finish and look back over the race…and then sign up for another one.

Running is not everyone’s thing.  I get it.  I don’t want it to be everyone’s thing because I love it so much.  I don’t want people running just for the sake of it and REALLY hating or disliking it.  (And I don’t mean the runner’s dislike of running because it’s a sick version of love.  I promise you, it’s not normal.) The thing I want my blog readers to do is replace the running with something else they love or want or need to do.  My stories and lessons come by way of running, but that could be easily replaced with something else.  It’s about the message not the activity and I really hope all of you will be able to see past it.

Running makes me happy.  It provides me an escape.  I like myself more when I’m in a running environment.  I’m happy. I’m talkative.  I’m not serious.  I smile.  I hug.  I laugh.  I cry.  I’m friendly. All those things are not who I am in the day to day.  Those are things I want to be in the day to day.  This is another reason for my quest.  This quest will push me out of my comfort zone because I will be in an environment where I won’t know people.  I will be forced to break down the walls and talk to people.  I’m hoping to learn some social skills along the way and just stop being so freaking shy and reserved.

I also want to see this great country that we live in.  Before I was super passionate about taking photos.  I really loved to do it but I was very sedentary and didn’t do anything.  I became bored with photography because I was looking at the same things every day.  I still like taking pictures but this will give me the opportunity to go around the country to see different things and photograph our great country.  Many people want to travel overseas to see what the world has to offer and I’m one of those people.  BUT I know I’m neglecting the place I live now and I should experience the United States of America too!

My quest time limit: 1,139 days (or 3 years and 44 days)

States I already have on my list: Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia, Arkansas

I need 10 states to officially join the 50 States Marathon Club and I will have that completed by the end of 2015.  Next year will be a mild year because I am doing my half Ironman and I will have to spend the time training for that which will cut out some of my marathon time.

The rules of my quest:

My quest has to be documented on the blog.  It’s important for me to share the steps of my journey.  The good, the bad and the ugly will be here to read.  I also need to bring something back from each state.  I’m really bad about buying souvenirs or anything cool on my travels.  This could be anything from a really great picture to a post card.  I just want something from each state.

And I have to finish the marathons.  I don’t really care what the time for each marathon is because I don’t really care about that in normal life, but each marathon needs to be completed.  I’m hoping I will get a PR along the way too!

Most importantly, I need to get out and meet some people and just talk.

And there are some places that I can’t go without Willie.  The states of Washington, Oregon, California, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii! I’m pretty sure he’s going to want to venture to some other places too and maybe he’ll run a few of those marathons with me!

Willie’s rule: This can not interfere with my goal to finish a half Ironman competition in 2015.

Obstacles to completing my quest:

The cost of travel but I’ll have plenty of frequent flying miles and hotel points.  That’s always an upside!  That also means I’m going to have to work a lot harder to make more moolah! I’m not afraid of hard work though.

Most marathons happen at the same time of the year. I will be running a lot of back to back to back marathons!  I’m going to have to make sure I recover with lowfat Chocolate Milk to keep me moving.  This is the biggest physical thing I will undertake so I’m going to have to stay strong and healthy!  Healthy eating will take me a long way!

But in the end it will be all worth it.

Good planning and budgeting will be just as important and running the marathons to make my quest a success!  It’s more than just running though.  It’s about opening myself up, taking some risks and just being happy.  It’s completely personal to my set of goals, but this is what I need and want to do. Bascially, I want my life to be a never ending episode of

This is my quest.  I hope you will enjoy the journey with me.  It’s important for me to document and lay out my plans of the quest to make it “real” and to hold me accountable.  And I hope to inspire and motivate you to really find your happiness too!

If you were to go on your quest, what would you do?  

Running The Quest

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  • Lauren S

    Awesome quest! Part of me wants to do this one-when I’ve got more time and money!

    • Thanks Lauren. Surprisingly, with some planning it’s not that expensive but like I said, you have to plan ahead.

  • Mandie

    This is awesome!! I know you will achieve all of your goals!!

    • Thanks Mandie! With support for you I’m able to achieve all my goals.

  • This is so exciting! I’m glad that you enjoyed this book too! I loved it as well. I cannot wait to follow along on your journey. I just followed your blog via Bloglovin today. 🙂

    • Thanks Kimberly! I’m looking forward to the journey!

  • Alison Calderone

    So I’m a little behind but just catching up on blogs today! This is super exciting! You should totally come to Pittsburgh to run our marathon! I do not run, but I know someone who does run it, and I’d be happy to introduce you if you wanted. I’d also be happy to help you with your travel and lodging here, good places to eat, places worth seeing, whatever! Pittsburgh is a really great city, and if you want to run here, I’d be happy to help!

    As a side note, I don’t run and have no desire to (and really hate running, actually), but I love reading your marathon recaps! And I love travel, so I think your quest is super cool. Good luck!

    • Alison Calderone

      OMG you’re going to think I’m a stalker, considering I already commented on a prior post saying you should come to Pittsburgh! Please just know that I just flaked out and forgot all about that prior comment, not trying to nag you to death into coming here!

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