I really dislike most cliche traditions but reflecting on the past year is something I thoroughly enjoy provided the year was a good one which 2017 certainly was. Looking back I realize that while I created a lot of fun memories I also enriched my life in more ways without intentionally trying it. Here is a breakdown of the categories that have helped enhance my well being as a person:
Writing – My sometimes stated but always underlying New Year’s resolution is to write more. I can say that I have actually done that in 2017. I would have to review my stats, but I am fairly certain I wrote more blogs this past year than any other year since I had my blog. I believe I am also developing my own “voice” in the blog as well and try to really put effort behind each post to make it worth reading. Although somewhat boring at times I actually wrote more in 2017 for work as well as I have become the unofficial “procedure and help guide creator” on my team. I also had two letters to the editor published in the York Dispatch. I have often said it’s an unofficial life goal to write a book, but at this stage in my life I am finding that short excerpts such as blogs and essays really are more of my forte. In 2018 I intend to keep this writing momentum going and hopefully branch into writing some op-eds for the newspaper.
Running – Much like writing, running tends to go without saying that it has enhanced my life each year. Running actually fueled more of my writing as I documented my 2nd half marathon training and am currently writing about the The York Winter Series. I am forever grateful to the orthopedic doctor and the physical therapists who put me back on track after years of struggling with knee pain. I haven’t committed to any specific running goals as of late other than surviving the winter, but there could possibly be another half marathon to come in 2018.
Working Out – While running will always have my heart, I have also gained an appreciation for mobility work this year. It has helped me feel more in tune with my body and to grow stronger. I love my foam roller and would’ve never guessed such a cheap investment could help repair sore muscles so well. I also love my DailyBurn app. For years I hated workout dvds as I often found them too long, hard and/or boring. DailyBurn is none of those and for $10 a month it’s cheaper than most gyms.
Reading – I have and probably always will read nearly anything. I was the child who read the back of the shampoo bottle in the bathtub. It’s just in my nature and is probably why I can recall a lot of random facts. While I certainly didn’t read as many books in 2017 as I have in past years the ones I did read certainly were thought provoking. 1984 is one that I heard so much about but despite reading Animal Farm in high school, just never picked up. I received it for Christmas last year and finally read it and understood why I heard so much about it given recent political events. The Road was the most beautifully heart breaking writing I have ever read. While somewhat slow at times, I found that the detail in the descriptions of the environment made me want to keep reading. I just finished A Christmas Carol. I have always loved Dickens so why it took me so long to read it I’ll never know. The story was familiar of course, but reading it in its original version as opposed to just watching movie versions of it truly added to the Christmas season.
Coaching – I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had this year to join the Wildcats’ coaching staff. I hadn’t coached track since I was in college and it was a great to have My First Season Coaching the Wildcats. The ability to learn from seasoned coaches and bond with some really great student athletes has been great experience. We started off season training 3 days a week earlier this month and I’m already looking forward to the spring when I can see my athletes compete again.
Climate Change Advocating – Not long after the 2016 election, particularly with the appointment of Scott Pruitt to the EPA, I felt compelled to do more to help the environment. It was no longer enough for me to recycle and watch documentaries; I had to find a way to try to stop the madness. In my searching I came across Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The local chapter meets once a month at a location not far from my house, and I always look forward to the meetings. Conversing with similar minded people who are as passionate about climate change as I am just brings about such a connection for me. I am wrapping up a climate change course via Coursera this week and am looking forward to integrating some of the things I learned with my CCL chapter and helping to advance our cause even further in 2018.
2017 was very much a personally enriching year while containing a lot of special memories as well. Here’s to even more growth and fun in 2018!