Happy last day of 2013! This year has flown by, but they always do. I’ve been so grateful for so many new and exciting experiences this past year. Good things have came my way and I am so blessed to have been so fortunate. Here is a wrap up of my 2012 in no particular order.
1. Making the Lady Vol Rowing Team 2012 was about trying new things. After starting the spring semester of my junior year at the University of Tennessee, I decided to try something new and I tried out for the division 1 rowing team. No experience. No athletic ability. I surprisingly made it and worked my butt off for the four months of being on the team. I have never been more proud of doing something in my whole life. Although I don’t row anymore, I am so thankful that I was a part of a team that made me believe in myself, have confidence, and got my rear end in shape. I will always look back and remember the time I was a Lady Vol.
2. Nuun Hood to Coast Need I say more? By far the best trip I took in 2012. I was so blessed to have been selected for the team and my small town heart exploded with experience by traveling to the west coast. I met so many great ladies that I still talk to often and learned so much about myself in the process. You can read about my recaps here, here, here, and here.
3. 5k PR After working so hard last spring, I was so excited for my big birthday race and excited to try for a PR. Fortunately, I was able to PR and break into the 28 minute range for a 5k. That was such an exciting day. PRing has no effect on my finger language skills since me and Michelle can’t make P R with our fingers.
4. Finding love Please excuse my cheesy factor. For a long time I never thought I would find anyone due to the stigma I had on myself that big girls just aren’t lovable. But they are. I am. And I am so thankful to have found someone that loves me just the way I am and who supports me in everything I do. This man was totally worth the wait. I never thought a summer job would bring me love, but it did. And for that, I am blessed.
5. Made blog friends I have been blogging here for a bit now but unfortunately not too many bloggers live in the east Tennessee area (at least that I know about). But I’ve been so grateful to meet one blogger in the Knoxville area who is around my age and has already signed up for 3 races with me in 2013. I have also started commenting on blogs and interacting on Twitter with bloggers. I love emailing my fellow blog friends and receiving supportive (often funny) texts during the day. Making new friends has been great and I am so thankful for their support. Hopefully some REAL LIFE meet ups can occur in the coming year.
6. Enjoyed exercise Did I really say that? I enjoyed exercise. In 2012 I learned to exercise for the pure enjoyment factor and not because I wanted to lose weight. Often I would go for a run after a grueling 3 hour rowing practice and feel good about it. I would lift weights and like the burn. Unfortunately I have lost that in the past few months but I am going to work hard to get it back in 2013.
7. Became a group fitness instructor and got CPR certified. What, what? Although my job primarily deals with the older folks in my community, I have been so blessed with the opportunity to teach group fitness on any level. I still can’t teach on my own just yet, but working with a great group of instructors has really made me more confident. Part of my job also involves getting CPR certified, something I never thought I could do. Hopefully I won’t ever have to use it, but if need be, I can potentially save a life.
8. Completed a state Call me crazy that I hopped on an airplane and flew halfway across the country by myself to do a half marathon in Kansas with a blogger that I had only talked to via email and blog commenting. That’s safe, right? Kansas was my first major state besides Tennessee and Alabama that I knocked off my list. My girl Kelsey, same name because we are cool, was so nice to host me and show me everything that her great state had to offer. I am also so grateful for her friendship;we are alike in more ways than I ever thought possible and have loved staying in touch with her throughout the year.
9. Saw Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte train Yesss. Such a highlight of this past year. When I heard that they would be training at MY school before traveling to London this year, I made every effort to sneak a peak. Never happened. Then I saw a post where training would be open to the public for one hour on the last day. So me being the weirdo that I am along with a friend camped out the night before and were second in line to get into the aquatic center. We even got quoted in the New York Times! Dream come true and my life is definitely complete.
10. Trying new things I’m not a huge fan of change so trying new things can sometimes impose a threat. However this year my best friend Ashley and I took a huge step outside of our comfort zone and traveled to Nashville to run in a mud race for Nuun. Yeah it was hot, dirty, and we were slow, but we had more fun than probably anything we had done all year. I actually enjoyed being muddy and am so glad we got to experience that together.