|August 24, 2012||Posted by Katy under DC, Inner Musings, Move, Moving|
Three years ago, I packed up all my belongings in the back of a U-Haul truck and moved an hour and a half away from home to Jacksonville, FL.
It wasn’t the first time I had picked up my life and moved away from home; I did that the previous August when I moved to Rock Hill, SC to attend Winthrop University.
Unlike the move the previous year, this one seemed more permanent. I was moving into my first apartment by myself with my own furniture, kitchen, and bedroom. I felt more independent and ready to brave the world.
Even though I moved between three different apartments over the past three years, I felt like I made some roots here in Jacksonville. I may have not had the best college experience nor have fully enjoyed living in Jacksonville, but this city did become my home away from home.
It was in Jacksonville where I first learned that I could be independent. I fell in love with running, cycling, and eventually swimming. It is where I first got involved with Girls on the Run, an organization that I will continue to be involved with in DC. I made some friends during these last three years, gained 40+ sisters, and earned my Bachelor’s degree.
Most importantly, I learned that it is ok to change our dreams, as long as we keep dreaming.
I have carved a place for myself in Jacksonville over these past three years but I am very ready to move. I am ready for a new start, new opportunities, and a new city to call my home.
With all that being said, there are a few things I will miss here in Jacksonville:
My Gym: Now that I am moving, I feel comfortable revealing where I worked out over the past year and a half. I have nothing but amazing things to say about the Brooks Family YMCA. This place seriously became my second home. When I was recovering from my stress fractures last year, I needed a gym that had more equipment than my campus gym provided. The Brooks YMCA had everything and more: an indoor swimming pool, spin bikes on the main floor with a separate spin studio for classes, a large weight room, countless cardio and weight equipment, and much more.
In addition to the excellent facilities, the staff was incredible. I was always welcomed with a smile and felt comfortable working out (which I have struggled with at gyms in the past). I only took spin classes, but the instructors were amazing, especially Sheila who taught my favorite Thursday night class. I know it sounds silly to wax poetic about a gym, but I will seriously miss it and I think it is going to be very difficult to find a new gym like this one. If you are in the Jacksonville area and are looking for a gym, I highly suggest the Brooks Family YMCA!
Girls on the Run: My experience with GOTR was truly life changing. I got so much out of my volunteer time over the past three seasons that it is difficult to put into words. Seeing the transformation in the girls from the beginning of the season to the end was very fulfilling as a coach. The girls tried their best at every practice, which made me want to try my best and be a better person too. I was also welcomed with open arms by the other coaches, especially Patti, who treated me like her daughter. I will still be involved with GOTR in DC this Fall, but in a different capacity and I can’t wait!
The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail: I know that the DC/MD/VA area has a LOT of different trails and paths to ride and run, but I will still miss this trail. It is where I first began to pick up cycling and learned to love the sport. I logged many, many, many miles on this trail and I will definitely miss it.
My Alma Mater: I had a love/ hate relationship with Jacksonville University, but I could not imagine my college experience without JU. It may not have been the ideal college experience, but I definitely made many lifetime memories. I joined a sorority, got involved with campus activities, and learned a lot about myself.
I am sure there are other things I will miss, but have not realized it yet. Despite it all, I am ready to start this next chapter in my life. It is time and I am ready.
Thank you Jacksonville for the memories, but it is time for this Florida girl to take on our Nation’s Capital!
“Here I go, and there’s no turning back. My great adventure has begun. I may be small, but I’ve got giant plans. To shine as brightly as the sun!”