2013 proved to be a year. The End.
Oh is that not how a "Year In Review" blog happens? Not gonna lie I haven't really done one of these before. :P I guess because big things happened at the end of the two years this little slice of the internet has been around.
2011 - deciding to move back to Boston from Chicago
2012 - Grampa unexpectedly passing away on December 27, 2012.
2013 rounded out without major issue so let's see what kind of review I can put together.
The year was truly defined in April. It gave me the mantra for the reminder of the year: Finish What You Started!
I can't believe how long ago the trip to Disney in January 2013 feels.
It may have been just 365 days ago, but it seems likes a world away.
April 15, 2013.
That date will forever be engrained in my mind ... and tattooed on my body.
On that day, I lined up for the Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team in honor of my Stroke Heroes - my grandparents.
For those that read the blog you know the ordeal and if you are new - 1st Hi! :) and 2nd feel free to read about my Boston Marathon Bombing experience here. I was lucky to cross the Finish Line 1 minute before the explosions happened and for all of my friends/family/teammates to make it out of the area unscathed.
But that one single event impacted the rest of the year. It never truly leaves you or your memory. Months later it is still hard to walk down Boylston St or to hear folks talk about the events on that day, but it made the city of Boston and the country come together.
It gave me a sense of purpose for the remainder of the year. Simply put: Do things those hurt/killed on that day can't!
So I set out starting in May to live in the moment with friends and family, find new fitness challenges to conquer and earning some amazing accolades.
Friends And Family
Friends, Family and Folks I have met through the interwebs became the backbone of 2013. I needed those faces, those hugs and those interactions to remind me how lucky I was to be living, to be breathing, to be walking.
One of my BFFs, Lindsey, & I enjoying wine! :)
In June I had the honor to attend Suzi Storm's wedding in update New York. We had not met in person before that day, but had formed just a tight friendship through social media that I happily jumped in a car for about 7 hours to witness the biggest day of her life.
This amazing meeting led into Fitbloggin. An amazing weekend for bloggers that I attended in 2012 for the first time. After encountering about 8 hours of delays on my way out from Boston to Portland, I finally made it. Fitbloggin has a special place in my heart. You can read why here.
Fitbloggin occurred at the perfect time. I needed to be surrounded by the love and in a judgment-free zone. Many of the people at that conference were the first to check on me after the Marathon Bombings. The hugs and love experienced that weekend are still felt today.
My other best friend, Sarah, and her family moved to Bar Harbor, Maine (over 5 hour drive from Boston) at the end of May so when her daughter - my Joanna - turned 1 in July. We took the long trek to see them. We spent over 12 hours in the car to spend 12 hours with them ... and it was worth every minute in the car.
Wouldn't you agree for that face?
But just a couple weeks after that, we faced a roadblock. My wife, Tori, underwent an ACL replacement the day after her birthday. It put a big hinge on our summer/fall plans, but seeing her have a healthy recovery was worth the sacrifice.
As a result of the surgery, Tori missed out on the adventures I had meeting new friends through racecations in September and October.
I even hosted my first meetup/tweetup in Los Angeles. It was AMAZING to meet so many folks that I had only interacted with before online.
Check out the pics and recap here.
As I mentioned, the theme of this year was to hold on to the loved ones and it spawned meeting social media friends IRL (in real life) and it was magical. I loved seeing online relationships foster into real friendships.
Oh social media.
In the beginning of 2013, I focused on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and The Boston Marathon. But I knew I needed to keep signing up for races in order to push myself farther outside of my comfort zone.
During Memorial Day weekend, my friend Kim and I took on a special challenge. We were going to take on two races in one day: The Boston's Run To Remember Half at 7am-ish and the Cambridge 5k Freedom Run 5k at 9:30am.
And we made it!! Kim experienced a leg injury/cramp during the Half, but I refused to lead her side and she finished like a champ - leading to this amazing embrace being caught at the Finish Line.
But on that day we did, we conquered 16.2 miles! :)
Then came the obstacle races. These scare me more than a marathon. I have limited upper body strength so they freak me out. But in 2013, I conquered two obstacle races and even got to do the second with a team of Boston bloggers. :)
In September, I took on the challenge of completing two half marathon in two days in two different states - ZOOMA Cape Cod (9/28) and Rock 'n' ROll Providence (9/29). It was an amazing experience and went smoother than I thought. :)
Oh and I even dabbled in more intense trail running. Yup, that included one at night - thank you See Sharp Run for being my light - in more ways than one and one in the big mountains of Maine, which reminded me I am injury prone. :P
But the biggest fitness challenge of 2013 - the one I dreamed about for ages - was...
tackling my first Sprint triathlon!!! It was something I never imagined myself completing, but it was a blast. And yes, I was quickly hooked! Which may have led to one of the 2014 fitness goals. :)
Weight Watchers bestowed a couple amazing honors on me in 2013. In our annual April celebration, I earned the Rookie Leader of the Year award and Diamond Leader status.
In October, I was contacted by WeightWatchers.com and told I would be featured on the website as a Success Story. While I can't show any of the photos from the photo shoot yet (it hits the web in March 2014), I can share a couple pics from the trip to NYC itself.
Great dinner with fellow WW Sucess Stories - over 330 lbs lost in this pic
Little trip to Statue of Liberty with the wife
For the second year in a row, I won a spot on Got Chocolate Milk's Team Refuel. Thank you all again for taking the time to vote! :)
Out Of The Comfort Zone
This year I made two big leaps outside of my comfort zone.
At Fitbloggin in June, I was asked and accepted a spot in the new Fashion Show that took place during lunch one day. I was nervous, but knew if there was a place to make an attempt at walking in a Fashion Show it would have to be at Fitbloggin.
Look I even tried to strike a pose. :P
I even put myself out there with a goal of running 1,000 miles in 2013 ... and you know what? It happened!! :)
What was even cooler? I exceeded it. I ended up setting a 2nd (1,111) and finally a 3rd mileage (1,150) goal for the year.
It was one of my proudest moments. Seeing my body accomplish such a big goal that seemed so daunting when I set it in January 2013.
But even with injury and sickness, I pushed forward and used that goal guide me!
So to say 2013 was eventful is an understatment. It had it's lows, but with the help of friends and family they turned into highs. It was a trying, yet fulfilling year.
What could 2014 possibly bring?
My goal is to be more consistent in life. Have I fully defined that yet? No. It will be a work in progress as 2014 dictates. But I know I let some old emotional eating habits creep in in 2013 and I am ready for those to quietly fade away.
What about fitness wise?
The big goals of 2014 are: The Dopey Challenge January 9-12, The Boston Marathon April 21 and my very first Half Ironman September 7.
Wow! I would've never imagined myself signing up for these five years ago, but now is the time to learn, to love and to push my limits.
Bring it 2014!