async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: My Word for 2021: STRONG

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

My Word for 2021: STRONG

A little late to the annual word-of-the-year announcing party, I've settled on a word to guide me through 2021. Not a resolution maker or a New Year's goal setter, I've also never chosen a word to focus on for the year. But this year is different.

It sure did start off differently, didn't it? 

When I woke up last Wednesday morning, I couldn't wait to lace up my shoes, with hopes to escape to the trails and chase my anxiety away. Surely, I thought, a run in the woods, in the snow! would make me feel better. I do love a good snow run.

Unfortunately, I couldn't escape my thoughts. The trail was snow-packed and icy and required even more focus to avoid tripping or falling than usual, yet I kept getting lost in my head. Six miles later, and I felt no better. Fighting tears, I was considering calling off work. I berated myself, telling myself that I was STRONGER than this. 

Later that morning, looking at my pictures I took on the trail, I searched for a quote to describe the beautiful winter scenes I captured. This quote popped up first and oh my, was it fitting: 
"In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me, an invicible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there is something stronger, something better, pushing right back." ~ Albert Camus.

Having this quote land at the top of my search felt like serendipity. Google always knows what we want, right?

What a perfect quote for how I have been feeling, and for how I need to focus my year. Because I am STRONG. As I read these words, I reminded myself of this, and my anxiety began to dissipate. Even as the day unfolded, I held it together. I felt STRONG. I can't succumb to my panic about what I can't control. 

I can summon up my STRONG.

Because I am STRONG and I can push back.

STRONG on the road and on the trails,

STRONG in the gym,

STRONG mother to my boys,

STRONG wife to my hubs,

STRONG friend and coworker,

STRONG sister,

STRONG daughter,

STRONG nurse to my patients,

STRONG heart,

STRONG in my beliefs,

STRONG in mind.

A few years ago, shoe manufacturer Saucony ran a campaign with the slogan "maybe strong is what you have when you've used up all your weak". The ads implored runners to "find your strong". 

Yeah. That's my plan for 2021. I'm going to use up my weak. 

I'm going to find my STRONG. If you read my recap from Sunday, you know I found some strong at my trail race. The goal is to keep it going. 

Did you pick a word for 2021? If so, what is it and why? How will you find your strong?

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahJenLaura, and Lisa.  



38 comments :

  1. Wow, that Camus quote, Wendy! I've never heard it before, it's great!
    "Strong" is a very fitting word for you - I perceive you as strong (eventhough you may not always feel that way). And you forgot to add in your list: a STRONG running blogger.

    Here's to a successful 2021 with many strong trail runs and races!

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    1. That quote hit me right in the feels. Funny how sometimes you get just what you need!

      My blogging game has not been so strong--I've got plans to work on that this year!

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  2. Self-love and self-compassion are words that come to mind for 2021. I have not been too kind to myself and know that needs to change. Thanks for the “food for thought.”

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    1. Those are great words! I think a lot of us are too hard on ourselves. I hope you give yourself grace this year!

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  3. Love your word for 2021 - there are so many different ways to show strength this year!

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    1. My goal is not to succumb to anxiety--something I've been really battling with this past year.

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  4. I admit it. I pick a word each year and then I forget about it.

    This year, it seemed more important. I picked "resilient" and I doubt that I will forget my word. It's what we all need to be after 2020.

    Strong is perfect. And you are one of the strongest persons I know already.

    When I am out running and I want to quit because it feels hard, I will gather Wendy's strong.

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  5. That quote!!! Oh wow! That hit home. Funny thing is - when I see your posts, read your blogs and generally interact with you, WARRIOR always come to mind - and at the heart of that word is STRONG! You've got this my friend.

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    1. I love that you think that of me! I am definitely a work in progress...have battled with low self-esteem and anxiety most of my life. Running has given me confidence; running trails even more so. It's been fun and empowering to do things that I never thought I was capable of!

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  6. Strong is so 2020 (for me, LOL, that was my word last year -- and I had no idea how strong I would have to be).

    You always seem damn strong to me, Wendy -- and your sister, too, I think of her often and then I just forget to write my prayers & well wishes here. I think Strong is always a good word!

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    1. My sister really surprised me--I was very worried about how she would handle the chemo, but she is managing like a champ. I look forward to the day when we can sister trip again.

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  7. You are one of the strongest people I know. I am always so in awe of the things you do, physically and mentally.

    We are going to need all the strength we can get to push through this year. If anyone can do it, it's you. <3

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    1. We are in this together! I gather my strength from others around me. Last week, my coworkers really held me up when I was struggling with the events in DC.

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  8. I recently found a journal that belonged to my mom. It was from 1994 and started with her having knee surgery. That was the year my brother died and her cancer came back. In one place she wrote, "People say I'm strong but I don't feel strong." But when I remember that year, I remember her never crumbling under all the pain. That is strong. And I see that in you, Wendy.

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    1. Your mom's description describes me to a T. Strong on the outside, not so much on the inside!

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  9. This is a very inspiring post, thank you Wendy! I'm excited to follow along as you find your strong(er) in 2021!

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  10. STRONG is a great choice. It's something we all have (more than we're usually aware of), and it keeps us going.

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  11. So I have never picked a word for the year either, and I hadn't picked one for this year, and then in a meeting this week we were encouraged to come up with one. Funny enough, the word I came up with was "strength"! I'm looking forward to seeing how strong you are this year!

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  12. Such a fitting word for you Wendy! It's a word that easily comes to mind when I think of you.

    I absolutely love that quote! Cheers to the invincible summer!

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  13. Great word for you, and great quote to highlight!

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    1. I just loved this quote and it was perfect for how I was feeling at that time.

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  14. I love your strong! I'll thing of you every time that I pick up a weight instead of "just running".

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  15. Great word and it is perfect for you! I remember that campaign from Saucony but didn't think much of it then. Many times we are stronger than we think.

    Thank you for linking up with us!

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  16. I think that’s a great word for the new year. I’m hoping to remain strong and push to be stronger. Love the quote from Saucony (my shoe).

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    1. Sadly, I can't run in Sauconys. The zero drop is not my friend.

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  17. Perfect word for you this year! Finding your strong gives you so much confidence in so many areas of your life. I love that quote from Saucony seems very appropriate.

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    1. I wouldn't even have chosen a word for the year, but the quote just made it happen!

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  18. You're a strong friend too. :-) You are one of the strongest women I know. Hell, you survived 2020! Not to mention RA. It's a great word for you. I don't usually pick a word but I've been thinking about HOPE for this year. We just need to get to January 20 and hopefully things will start to improve.

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    1. HOPE is a great word. We sure could use some hope right now!

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  19. I love that quote and so perfect for this season of life! Do you mind if I use it?
    I do not make resolutions or pick a word for the year but I do enjoy hearing why other people pick the words they do and yours is just perfect for you Wendy! Have a good weekend!

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    1. Of course you can use the quote--I don't have any hold on it. It's so good and I'm glad you love it as much as I do.

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