I hope 2016 is treating you all well so far! Here’s my annual post where I look back over the past year and see my struggles and my progress.
First of all, WOW! I ticked a couple things off the bucket list last year. First, I traveled to the Florida Keys and spent a few days studying for my SCUBA certification— learning to dive had always been a life goal of mine, so I’m absolutely thrilled. (I’m looking forward to diving again later this month, too!)
Bucket list item #2: 3 work buddies and I backpacked the 42 mile Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail in 4 days. I was a noob backpacker. (I’m still a noob backpacker.) It was ambitious, and really, really hard– and it was tremendously rewarding, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt an avalanche of feels like I did when we finally crossed into Harper’s Ferry. Apparently I’ve earned the trail name of “Two Trees” (every time we came into my camp, I went looking for two trees to hang my hammock on). I learned some skills, got to know my friends a little better– and myself, too.
This year I ran 100% more 5k races– that is, I ran 2. The one in spring was pretty average (I blame my trip to Puerto Rico shortly before the race, where I ate a lot of fried stuff and drank a lot of beer and didn’t run at all– it was great). However, the one on Thanksgiving went really well! Despite training for only a month beforehand, I beat my previous PR by 45 seconds, finishing in 35:45.
Speaking of, towards the end of the year I started getting mysteriously faster. I think something in my attitude changed: I finally got comfortable with discomfort. I could say to myself, “This sucks but it will only suck for X more minutes” and keep on trucking. That mantra and “I don’t have to go fast, I only have to go” got me through a lot of runs this year.
I lifted too, last year: in January I wrapped up a couple months with the Stronglifts program. Now, I’m looking at the recap from the program in disbelief– really, I was squatting 185lb?? How did I even? The 215lb deadlift, okay, I can see myself getting close to that now but everything else looks ridiculous to me. Man, I was a friggin’ built unicorn!
I also swam during the summer (it was glorious) and did HIIT and yoga occasionally. I got a tattoo, I got engaged, I traveled a lot. Honestly, 2015 was not a bad year!
I did strain my back really bad (and it still bugs me, months later). And I struggled with sleep (here, just have the whole tag). And I had my share of bad mental health days. And I got bit by a dog! So it goes.
But it all gets put in the bin together as I move forward into 2016. Here’s to continuing to shape change in the coming year…
Bonus greatest hits of 2015: