WE MADE IT! Happy New Year, friends! And with this new year starting, it’s time to review the past year and celebrate successes—even and especially small ones—and acknowledge milestones and changes. As with every year, I do this more for myself than for you, but I’m happy to have you follow along. Here we go.
While this category is the most quantifiable, I cannot begin to describe how much more it means to me than these numbers convey. And on the fitness front, movement is my favorite medicine, hobby, and way to socialize.
Aside from a cold in May, it was a very healthy year for me. The biggest medical event was finally getting the hole in my eardrum patched up in October. I had a post-op in early December and it’s healing beautifully.
I took 5,903,919 steps, which includes running but doesn’t include the times I took off my watch (which, admittedly, was rare, so this is pretty darn accurate).
I ran 532.6 miles over 130 runs.
I got back to road racing after a two-year hiatus! I only ran two, but they were good ones: the Catamount Climb Half-marathon in Cullowhee, NC in April and the Running of the Bulls 8k in Durham in June.
I hiked 143.2 miles over 40 hikes and gained a total of 25,522 feet in elevation.
I lifted heavy weights! (Strength stats aren’t as easy to find but I’m still at it.)
Thanks to a dance studio opening up in my neighborhood, I’m dancing again! A friend who had also taken a long hiatus from dance once described the experience of getting back into it as being forced to face self-limiting beliefs as a dancer and that she focused on her movements going out through her fingertips and eyelashes. That stuck with me because I knew exactly what she meant. I’ve taken a couple tap and ballet classes and am looking forward to more this year. I even bought jazz taps to replace my heeled tap shoes that are probably about…cough…24 years old. (They still sound great, but they kind of hurt!)
Richie and I still manage to get beer runs in when we’re in the mountains because we joined a crew that runs out of Innovation Brewing in downtown Sylva weekly.
I also joined Women of the Triangle Hiking Club. I don’t make it out often, mainly because I prefer smaller groups when hiking, but I always have a nice time, and it’s a great way to learn about new (to me) trails.
The best books I read this year:
- How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Diana Helmuth
- Decide and Conquer: 44 Decisions That Will Make or Break All Leaders by David Siegel (CEO of Meetup)
- Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World by Danielle Friedman
- The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff
- The Martian by Andy Weir (I finally read it! And yes, Project Hail Mary is on my list)
- Deacon King Kong by James McBride
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (and I’m about halfway through Circe now and loving it)
I also started taking remote classes through CreativeMornings (topics vary) and Uncomplicated Kitchen (cooking and baking). I’m already noticing an increase in confidence in the kitchen, and these sorts of activities have been so helpful in combating seasonal depression. (Read more about those here.)
I started the year at the ed tech startup, Upswing, with a bang: I won the Jimmy Webb Award, which is an internal award for exemplifying the company’s values. It was such an honor, and a great way to start the year. I really enjoyed my almost two years working in account management and engagement at Upswing, but in June, I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse…
In August, I took a job at the patient insights company, Savvy Cooperative, as Director of Special Projects. Savvy connects drug and medical device developers to patients so that they can infuse the patient experience and perspective into what they do. Sounds obvious, but it’s actually quite novel in this industry, which typically focuses on prescribers and payors instead of patients. Whenever Savvy does a project, though, the client owns the data; so, I was brought in to run projects with Savvy as the client so that we can own and share the data as we see fit (as well as manage other special, strategy-driving projects that come my way).
Richie and I are among the most COVID (and other viruses) risk-averse people we know, so we’re still not traveling like we did pre-COVID, but we did manage to get a few trips in.
In June, Richie attended a conference in Chicago and I took the week off to explore, visit friends, and eat all the Chicago dogs my heart desired. I had only ever been to Chicago in the winter, so now I understand why anyone lives there.
In July, I had a conference in Nashville (my final days at Upswing were spent there) and then I detoured to Phoenix to celebrate my niece’s fifth birthday. That was unfortunately the only time I got to visit with my family in 2022, which was not nearly enough and I am vowing to do better this year.
In August, Richie and I joined the nonprofit One Rare in Minnesota and Wisconsin for the inaugural One Rare Adventure, which is an outdoorsy program for young adults with rare diseases. We kayaked Lake Superior…and then we went to the Mall of America.
In September, I was back in Chicago for a Savvy retreat. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but such a great opportunity to be able to meet my colleagues in person so soon after starting the job. (Also I was thrilled to visit Chicago in summertime again! More Chicago dogs!)
Finally, we managed to get to our home in the mountains at least monthly, even going up twice in October to catch peak foliage.
I feel like there should be a week between December 31st and January 1st—a sort of limbo to reset and wait for the next year. But one year becomes the next in the blink of an eye, and we keep going. (That reminds me to post about the time I ended up in a debate about space and time when I disputed a parking ticket in Philly—stay tuned for that.) Anyway, I’m sure I missed some highlights of 2022, but sitting here, the evening of January 1st, 2023, I’m just feeling ready for the year ahead.
Happy New Year!