Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 2, 2010

One Little Word : June 2010


My one little word for 2010 is story.

From the very beginning my word has had a slightly different meaning for me than you might think. When I first wrote about it back in January I talked about the obvious idea documenting stories from yesterday & today but I also hinted at my deeper truth: "One of the biggest things is that I have a couple threads in my own
story that I would like to weave in a different direction.

The real truth is that I chose the word story because I wanted to focus on changing my story.

My secret word for 2010 been athlete.

My journey so far this year has been about finding a piece of myself that's been missing since I stopped being an athlete when I left the pool in 1994. I was done with the practices, done with the competition, done with the time it took away from all the other things I wanted to be doing in college.

For many years I didn't miss it at all. Not one little bit.

After Anna was born I started to wonder what it would be like to be an athlete as a full-fledged adult. What would my life be like if I took the time to exercise and got in shape and liked the feel of myself in my own skin again? What if I could get to the place of seeing myself as an athlete again? I began having visions of myself as a super fit grandma. I liked the idea of myself as a positive fitness role-model for my kids.

I decided I wanted to make a change in the way my story was being written.

Since January, in ways little and big, I've been returning to this unfinished piece of my own story. A chapter I want to continue and add to in the years to come.

Most of the action steps in changing my story have been small. They've been little daily choices to get up and get out and move my body again. Some days and weeks I'm successful and others, not so much. So much of it for me is a mental game.

I've gotten back in the pool. I've bought a road bike. I've started running (with some serious daily support from Cathy). And I registered to participate in the Danskin Sprint Triathlon in Seattle in August. Crazy? Yes, totally. I found that for me I needed something to aim for, something to move towards, in order to start making the changes I want to see in my story. I am finding that I love the variety of swimming, biking and running so much more than when it was all swimming all the time.

Really, I just want to show up and participate.

So that's where I'm at with my word right now. My words in years past have been undercurrents, with less real-world action. They have ebbed and flowed with me throughout the year and existed as a place for me to come back to when I felt like I am drifting too far off my path. This year has been different in a really good way for me at this time in my life. I am on my way…

If you left your word back in January or February or whenever, you can always reconnect with it. You can also always choose a new word. It's never too late.

Anyone else happen to have a secret word you are ready to share? Or a
new word that evolved out of your initial word?


My 8×8 Rejoice photobook arrived in the mail from Shutterfly yesterday. I love it. And more importantly, Simon and Anna went nuts over it. It was all about the photos. Going to make a couple extra copies for a few other people I love.

You can view my completed book here and purchase the layered template package through Designer Digitals here.


  • 51.
    Kristen said…

    Woot Woot, Ali! Way to go! I, too, am on a mission to become an athlete for the first time in my life…and it feels awesome!

  • 52.
    Diana said…

    Good for you! Interesting how we test ourselves. I was a track athlete and did my first sprint triathalon a couple of years ago–I wasn’t competing against anyone else but myself–it felt great to find ME again after 16 years! :) Good luck to you, chin up–stay STRONG!

  • 53.

    I don’t have a word and I was never an athlete, but I took Memorial Day to bike 16 miles with my husband. It was the first, but I hope it won’t be the last.

  • 54.
    Beth said…

    I purchased the rejoice template (love it)! But wanted to know how you added the word pages to shutterfly. TIA!

  • 55.
    kristyn said…

    Ali, I’ve read and re-read this post several times tonight (many with tears in my eyes). I so relate to it! I love: “One of the biggest things is that I have a couple threads in my own story that I would like to weave in a different direction.” I have several threads I want to weave in different directions yet find myself stuck and unable to move. So for now, I will continue to be inspired by you and your journey. Thanks for being so open and transparent with all of us!

  • 56.
    Lori said…

    awesome, awesome, awesome :) what more to say!

  • 57.
    Jillian said…

    I too did the Danskin Women’s Tri as my first. You will love it! They are so supportive of first timers. I started after college when I no longer loved the daily grind of training and competing. I’ve been “Tri-ing” ever since. Hope you love the moment!

  • 58.
    Molly Irwin said…

    You know I’ve been thinking you are looking incredible. Really!
    After having ruled-out some medical stuff,(thankfully) I’m ready to take control. This month I’ve begun a 30-day run/walk/move challenge, but my real goal is a 5K in early October. I haven’t made it public yet … until now.

  • 59.
    Deb J said…

    Love the Shutterfly book. Love your kids.
    Don’t have a secret word. I’m doing good to get through the year with my main word–Intentional.
    I like what you are doing with your secret word. I think you have a great idea.

  • 60.
    Meghann said…

    Good luck with your goals Ali! I am rooting for you. My secret word has been “revive” and it really is a word for what I need to do in all aspects of my life, my marriage, my career & my ways of thinking about myself.

  • 61.
    Amy said…

    Your photos are just awesome. The last picture in your book actually made me teary-eyed. I just had my second baby a month ago and I look forward to lots of pictures like this of my two boys. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 62.
    Melanie said…

    You are such an inspiration to so many of us out here in blogland. You are just wonderful.

  • 63.
    Sherri P eh said…

    Congratulations Ali! Love your secret word and what you’ve done with it.
    My word for this year is RENEW, with big plans to renew everything, myself, my health, my friendships, my art, everything. I lost steam for awhile, as many of us do. Almost 7 weeks ago I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. Shocking. That same day, while indulging in a vanilla latte at Starbucks, I noticed that had a mug with my word on it. RENEW. I took that as a sign. A good sign on a day on which I’d received pretty crappy news. So I bought it, and right now, I’m working at renewing my health and my life. Surgery 3 weeks ago, prognosis is great, still facing more treatment. This year wasn’t what I thought it would be! I think next year’s word just might be survivor!

  • 64.
    Mikki McGehee said…

    This year I chose “Explore”. It meant a lot of things to me. Explore myself, my desires, new challenges, and travel… even if it’s traveling to my own back yard. I have started hiking and seeing new things. I’m learning and growing every day. Thanks of inspiring me to choose One Little Word.

  • 65.
    Jocelyn said…

    What a fun picture of you. I have never commented before but I have been following your blog for quite some time. I love your hybrid scrapbooking and I am very excited about doing “a week in the life” when I can get myself organized. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to roadbike so I got really excited to see you in your gear holding a super cool road bike. I wish you all the best in your pursuits. I did my first half iron man a couple years ago and it was the best race I EVER did. Have FUN!

  • 66.
    JennV said…

    Yay for you! It has been my goal this year as well to get in shape and to eat right. I haven’t signed up for any triathalons yet because I haven’t learned how to swim. But I have been biking and running. I find that when I am the most active, I am also the most creative. I just wanted to congratulate you and your awesome “athlete” outlook. :)

  • 67.
    Michelle K said…

    Wonderful book, Ali.
    And good-on-ya for getting out there and re-discovering the athlete in you. I’ve always thought there was one in me as well, but as of yet, I’ve not discovered where.

  • 68.
    Keri B said…

    Love the book. I just downloaded it and plan to make one for my husband for Father’s Day. We have 5-week-old twin boys, so this will be something that I can do quickly, but I know will look amazing.
    Thanks for the daily inspirations; I just love your style and your willingness to share pieces of your life with us.

  • 69.
    Autumn said…

    Hey Ali! You inspire me. I’ve been wanting to do a triathlon for awhile and the one in Seattle sounds totally doable. I’m not much of a swimmer and the triathlons I’ve looked at require a long swim so that makes me nervous. Good luck! Have fun training for it!

  • 70.
    Stacy said…

    Hey Ali!~
    First off I want to say CONGRATS to YOU! Way to go girl! For some reason I keep coming back to this post on your blog today. It is really inspiring to me. I was on a quest to become a runner earlier this year and then b/c life got busy and injury and excuses, excuses, excuses, I threw in the towel. I’ve NEVER been athletic, but always WISHED i was. This post about you getting back to athletics and the theme of “changing your story”…it just really hit me today and struck a chord. It inspires me to get back out there and keep on keeping on. I’ve always LOVED your blog and your wisdom. Been a scrapper for many years (but that has taken an aside for awhile to, just not “feeling” it or in the “groove” right now with that). Thanks for sharing so freely! It truly is an inspiration to others. Thought i’d share this as it may be of interest to you (if not just disregard) when I took up running earlier this year I got myself a road id, so as to be safe. Good for all athletes, smart idea. Maybe you’ve heard of them, but if not, just passing along the info. . once again! way to go!

  • 71.
    leslie said…

    ali. i love your story. and wanting to show up and participate. such a great reminder. at the perfect tim. and i absolutely love that rejoice book. my gosh.

  • 72.
    anna said…

    whoot! go you ali!
    i have to share that two years ago, i decided to see if i could be athletic and started to train for the 5k. the next year the 10k and this year i just completed the 21!!!! turns out i can be athletic if i put my mind to it.
    good for you to train! having a goal or race day really helps motivate :)

  • 73.
    jmbmommy said…

    I like what you are doing with your word. Really inspiring, thank you! About your book, how is the quality of the image on the pages. I have had some books made through Snapfish and they were OK, but didn’t have the glossy vibrancy that I really desired. (sometimes the pics were a bit grainy and I had uploaded a HUGE file) So, I was just wondering what you thought…

  • 74.
    Rani said…

    Awesome Ali!!! Go for it is all I can say! I am doing my first tri July 25 and am so excited to get back into my athletic self too! Who’s to say we can’t have more than one word…it’s all part of the same thing…the same self I am striving for! Have a blast and I will do the same! Happy training!

  • 75.
    Erin said…

    Sending a loud and proud “ATTA GIRL” your way. More than any other influence, Cathy, has been inspiring my fitness this year – I’ve lost 13 lbs by swimming and walking. I think there is something very powerful about hearing from a real person…thanks for being an additional voice in that fitness chorus.

  • 76.
    alyssa said…

    Go Ali! Your approach to change and happiness is so open and positive. And infectious! Love this: “I wanted to make a change in the way my story was written.” So perfect because it is the one thing we all can change for ourselves.
    Happy training & good luck in August!

  • 77.

    I like your word of 2010…even though I don’t have a word for every year, seems like I made a similar decision. It had been a year since I had gone to the gym or done any sort of physical exercise…this year, I decided to take a little break from my home business and focus on my health (along with finishing up projects for me)…I can tell you it has been just fabulous. I too get on a bike path nearby and a trainer at the gym has helped me stay motivated…we all need that motivation sometimes especially on those challenging days.
    Good luck with your goal!!!
    Peace & Blessings,

  • 78.
    sue said…

    You go girl! Triathletes are some of the most fit people in the world. Be proud of YOU!

  • 79.
    patty said…

    that is A*W*E*S*O*M*E…and a great role model for your children. i desire to feel fit again…i am slowy edging my way into it, maybe a need a shove!!!
    anyway, congrats to you & as always, thanks for the inspiration…

  • 80.
    ck said…

    Ali- I am SO enraptured and overjoyed not only at your playful “SECRET WORD” but to choose something so healthy and HUGE like a triathalon (oh no- you couldn’t just choose something like “lose ten pounds”:-))and recapture a lost and important part of your youth. I wonder if this happens to many of us- I have similar thoughts that have been reoccuring- and tho my not so secret word for 2010 was center- it is my centering focus that leads me to believe my secret word for 2011 will be “dancer”. WAY TO GO ALI!! If you could hear our cheers from there, you would have a mighty loud crowd.
    I also wonder if the action of going through all of your albums and re-organizing them a year or so ago made you more aware of the part of you ( I remember an entry about a soccer team photo). It’s ALL GOOD!!

  • 81.
    Beverly said…

    GO! Ali!!

  • 82.
    jakki said…

    congratulations on connecting with YOU

  • 83.
    Kathy said…

    Your book is amazing, Ali. What a priceless gift.
    You are such an inspiration to so many of us. Thank you for sharing your story…congrats on the upcoming triathlon…good for you! I, too, enjoy exercising and staying fit. It makes me feel so much better. My kids are older now, and it is so much easier to take time for myself.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration in my life…your posts always make me reflect on my own life…I love that!

  • 84.

    It just totally hit me that little words that have been chosen around me are kicking it big time. Crazy, crazy good. My word seems to be a shape-shifter – but as it’s FLOW, that’s what it is. I am connecting with it on a, I’d say, weekly basis – it flows in and out of my conscience, and again, it is, what it is. Loving it. This year, I am seeing it more as a “commentary” on my life – a way to reflect and see things in a different light – whereas last year, my word was a constant reminder to make it real.
    It is truly awesome to witness how you are inspiring such greatness in others and yourself. Wow.

  • 85.
    Stacie said…

    This book is amazingly delightful Ali! So simple and so profound all in one 8×8 package! Love it! Funny that you are reclaiming your athlete label. I have recently done the same. I tool up running about a year ago but refused to call myself a runner until a month ago when I did a 1/2 marathon. It is funny the limitations we put on ourselves. I too was an athlete in high school and have been pretty athletic all my life but seem to not consider myself an athlete unless I am full into some sort of athletic endeavor! Stay strong and healthy for you and your family!

  • 86.
    Christy said…

    Wonderful inspiration today! I’ve been thinking about a healthier lifestyle a lot lately and that picture alone is going to make me get the bike out of the garage tonight. I’m not an athlete and never have been but I want to look and feel good. Thanks Ali!

  • 87.
    DawnS said…

    Ali- thanks for the reminder that it is possible to change your story. One of my favorite songs is “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield…”Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.”
    I just bought a Compendium book called “5- Where will you be 5 years from today?” The very first paragraph starts “You don’t have to take life the way it comes to you. You can design your life to come to you the way you want it.”
    It’s all about choices…make the decision to get out of the rut that you’re in! My word was Focus and I’m choosing to focus on making my dreams come true (running in a 5K and making a business out of my photography & notecard designs). I do need that proverbial “kick in the pants” every now & then to keep me motivated though :)

  • 88.
    cher said…

    wow what a great post! luv the way your head works girl! I too am doing the exercise thing…takes away from other things, but it is IMPORTANT! helps to have hubby as my best cheerleader…I am blessed in so many ways! I will never be a runner due to bad knees, but my heart will be in great shape!You are such a great inspiration to us all…and I just loveeeeee that book! your kids are the cutest! xox cher

  • 89.

    Ali I don’t usually comment, unless it’s a giveaway (smile), but I wanted to say 3 things:
    1. I also thought to try to reconnect with my olw on 1 June (energy).
    2. I think it’s great that you’re doing something for yourself. I’ve also had the same thought lately, that though I’m primary caregiver for my children, I want them to know and see that I have a “life” of my own too.
    3. Triathlons are one of the most exhilirating, life affirming experiences/activities I have every done in my life. I am no athlete and only did them (no longer, sadly–running destroyed my feet) to motivate me in my exercise routine. But I would laugh from start to finish and love every second of it. One tip, not that you asked: be sure to practise the bike to run transition as much as you can before the race. Otherwise your legs will be RUBBER. Numb rubber.
    Have a blast!
    And thanks, as usual, for inspiring me to continue trying to be authentic in all I say and do.

  • 90.
    Jennifer said…

    I totally agree with you. My word for our family was live…find the time to live. But my secret word for me was fit. Get fit. Lose the weight…get back to where I want to be. I think it is great that so many people are working to better themselves! Cathy and Donna have been great inspirations to me also.
    Good Luck!

  • 91.
    Leslie said…

    Funny to read your post this morning as I was thinking it has been TEN WHOLE YEARS since I did my own Danskin Sprint Triathlon in Denver, Colorado. TEN YEARS! I was 33 and I didn’t know how to swim so I learned and I was afraid but I did it anyway and it changed my life. Period. It will change yours, too.:)
    My Word is Possibilities and I think it still is. Loving this word and loving the new directions my life is taking. All is well. I am learning and growing and loving it.

  • 92.
    slammie said…

    My neighbor usually does the Danskin and I think that she’s getting another neighbor to do it with her for the first time this year. Have fun training. Work your way up to the STP – crazy husband signed up to do it in one day this year. I have a feeling I might be doing a road trip to Portland to pick him up. LOL!

  • 93.

    I haven’t changed my word or had a secret word, but I am having good results so far. I choose courage, and among other things I have been led to start writing weekly articles for my local weekly paper. I have never had the nerve to ask before.

  • 94.
    dmatthews said…

    I love, love your Shutterfly book!

  • 95.

    Ali, congratulations on regaining this part of yourself! I had totally noticed that you had become much more athletic this year – in both what you were doing, and how athletic you look! My struggle is trying to fit in exercise and creating in my precious free time while the kids are in school. I agree though that that we need to be positive role models for our kids in that respect. We just finished major house renos, and built an exercise room on our second floor. I had painted an accent wall, with the idea of using it as a background for a photo collage. It occurred to me yesterday that it would be awesome to theme the photos to athletics – like photos of past races, my husband rowing in university, team sports growing up, etc. It will hopefully serve as inspiration to my husband and I and our our kids, to set goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Have fun with your triathlon! I LOVE training for races, can’t wait to get a new bike myself, as its been years since I did a triathlon. You look awesome, and I’m guessing you feel that way too.

  • 96.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I love that idea Sarah – a wall like that would be super inspiring.

  • 97.
    Michele H. said…

    Super inspiring post Ali! And I echo what so many people here have said: you look wonderful:)
    Like you, I have to be able to have something to aim for, a goal in mind…so slowly but surely…I will make this positive transition to a more healthy lifestyle for me (& my children).

  • 98.
    JodeeS said…

    Cathy has inspired me too! I had a secret word as well and was similar to yours. “Not Diabetic” My family has struggled with disease for so many generations and I am trying my best to break this cycle. My mother is really suffering now and I don’t want to have my children see the same in me. Good luck in your triatholon!

  • 99.
    Wendy said…

    This is a beautifully written and inspiring post. I’m tickled to know your secret and am rooting you on for a fabulous triathlon.

  • 100.

    I´ve seen people from all over the world, from different, unrelated groups take up running this year. A kind of world wide “get and and go” movement. Way cool.
    My word “Listen” has evolved into “change” because I did indeed, listen and now I´m taking it a step further. Movement.

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