I have never really been one to wait for the New Year to start something new, to make new goals, etc (must have to do with my lack of patience overall.. hmm..), but I do think that a new year is a markedly good time to reflect back. To really reflect on your decisions and your life, and focus on the year ahead.

If there was one word to sum up entire 2015 in my eyes, it would be "change." This has been a year full of change (both positive and negative) including racing, training, moving, and living life. to the fullest.

shaun working at spartan

I finished up my 2014 in Boston, MA and started off 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally intended as a short pit-stop on my way to California, I ended up staying a little longer than planned.  Life happens, and sometimes it's best to roll with the punches!  I started working full-time for Spartan Race as the SGX lead on-site. I loved every second of the crazy hectic life of a Spartan; from meeting new people, constant travel, changing lives, and learning to accept last-minute plans as a thing that happens - frequently. I definitely learned a lot through this role. It was the much needed break from my previous 9-5 life, a focus on all things fitness, and a trial of something completely new and out there for me.

After a year or so working with Spartan, I decided to part ways. I found that my love for OCR as a sport (as both an athlete and a coach), would be best fulfilled through my business Unbreakable, rather than a single OCR company.  I began this journey with a stint in California, working for a health and wellness camp with a bunch of teenage girls. #challengeaccepted

shaun provost 2015

Leaving Spartan, I was looking for a more stable role in either fitness or marketing (my two main career loves). Upon my return to the 9-5 world, I found an amazingly supportive, innovative, and awesome company out in Utah. Entrata is one of the best things to happen to my (non-racing) career in a very long time.  I've learned through trial-and-error that it's the environment that you're working in and the teammates you have supporting you / that you support that make me feel most fulfilled.  It's definitely important to believe in the work you do, but it's equally important to be valued and to value the team you're on.  I finally feel that here, and damn - it's wonderful.

While all these changes were happening in my professional career, I was focused on rehab and balance in my athletic career. Though I participated in a number of events from Spartan, Battlefrog, and road racing, I was nursing a number of injuries that kept me from going all-out at any of the races I attended and competed in.  The hardest fact for any athlete to face is exactly how long it takes to rehab any injury.  Anywhere from 3 month to 8 months depending on the severity of the original injury (let alone compounded issues).  I learned this lesson (again) in 2015, and I won't let it slow me down in 2016.  I'll focus more on quality than quantity, and being the best athlete I can be. From nutrition to gym time, to focus on balancing muscle groups and racing, I have quite a few goals that rely on my health remaining awesome and getting even stronger.

Looking back on 2015, I definitely embraced change and learned a lot of lessons by living life my way. It wasn't always easy, and lord KNOWS I appreciate the support from my family, friends, and especially my sponsors.  2016 will be the year of improvement, reaching goals, and giving back.  But first, I'll spend a little time reflecting on lessons learned in 2015...

- Your decisions are based on your experiences. Other people's decisions (and advice) are based on their own experiences. Use this lesson as you will.

- Your Mom is almost always right (99.9% of the time) - stop fighting her and just accept it.

- Your Dad is probably also right 99.9% of the time - especially if he agrees with Mom.

- When the Dr.(s) tells you to rest, REST. Not kinda, not sorta, but really. REST.

- Stop trying to make other people happy. Make yourself happy first, and then focus on other people.

- Be a good friend. If you can help your friends, help them. You'll be a friend in need someday, and your friends will be there for you, too.

- Smile. Laugh. Enjoy the moment.

- Never forget to say "Thank You." Those words are never not appreciated, no matter how big or small the reason.

- If you love someone - friends, family, other - tell them. Why wait?

- Remain positive. If you let the negative voices in your life and in your head influence you, it's a quick slip into a downward spiral that's hard to climb out of. (Note... if you ever think no one is there for you, that no one will understand, or wonder if anyone would notice or care if you disappeared.. just message me. I'm here, I care, and I WILL notice).

- Smile. Honestly. To yourself and the world. You never know who you're influencing when you do.

Happy 2016 Y'all!  

Team Ilene Spartan Race