- San Antonio, TX – NCAA Convention
- Philadelphia, PA – NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship (victors!)
- Roaring Point, Nanticoke, MD – Getaway
- Columbus, OH – Visiting Josh and friends
- Ocean City, MD – Beach
- St. Michael’s MD – Deanna’s bridal shower
- Emerald Isle, NC – Summer vacation
- Baltimore, MD – The Yanez wedding
- Washington, DC – flight to Ohio
- Ashland, VA – Leadership seminar
- Dayton, OH – Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Newark, DE – Adventures
II. BOOKS I READ
- Forks Over Knives
- Shred It!
- The Power of Habit
- Living with a SEAL
- It’s Not What You Think
- The Compound Effect
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood
- The Boys from Brazil
- Outlaw Christian
- Living Courageously
- Beautiful Outlaw
- Half the Sky
- None (Apparently I didn’t read in September…)
- Leaders Eat Last
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
- Turn the Ship Around!
- I am a Church Member
- Love Does (again)
III. LIFTING/RUNNING STEPPING STONES
- Back squat: 145 for 2
- Last year: front squats – 125 for 6
- Deadlift: 215 for 1
- Last year: 180 for 5
- Bench: 105 for 6
- Furthest run without stopping: 6.2 miles
- Last year – 5 miles
- Total recorded miles ran in 2016: 234.69 (first year recording my mileage)
IV. NEW THINGS I TRIED
- Dermatologist. I had my first-ever biopsy on a spot on my leg. Now that I know it wasn’t anything to really stress over, it was neat to learn about the skin and what cells are doing in the body. Go health.
- Vega Sport Performance Protein. Since watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, I have been adamant about finding a clean, plant-based protein powder. Last year was my discovery of Aloha protein, which I did love but kept looking for more. This year I found Vega Sport protein, and it was quite the upgrade for me; 30g protein/6g BCAAs, glutamine (can improve protein metabolism), probiotics, and tart cherry (antioxidant that fights inflammation). Big wins in my book.
- Running a 10k. This was an incredible experience. Josh and I decided about three weeks out that we would run in the 10k Across the Bay. I had never run more than 5 miles without stopping up to that point, and my goal was to run under an hour. I finished in 57:46! I actually also came in first place in my age group in a 5k in December!
- Ran the “Platform for His glory” social media manifesto. During Lent this year, my objective was to remove all social medias from my phone and abstain. God had different plans, and the phrase “use it for my glory” came to my head the night before Lent began. I got great feedback from people that follow me and I was able to dig deeper into who God is during these 40 days.
- Gave away Love Does by Bob Goff. This was really cool two-day project I took on. I opened myself up to saying “Anything,” much like Jennie Allen (check out her book here), and to my surprise the answer was sending this book to ANYONE that was interested in reading it. I was able to send out eight copies. 😃 Check out Love Does – it will change your life.
- Establishing a church home. One year ago, Josh and I decided to start attending Oak Ridge Baptist Church. It was an incredible decision. God called us to that very first service because they went through their “State of the Church” (mission, vision, values) and we were sold on day one. Not only did we establish a church home, I was re-baptized on Easter, became a member in the summer, and started serving in the fall through the kiddos ministry. I can’t wait to see where God leads this year.
- Took a Sabbatical from Social Media. This was highly successful and needed for me. You can read more on this here.
- Reading the Bible in One Year. I highlight this gold because I both am meeting my goal, yet I did not stay consistent. For the first five months of this challenge I was pretty regimented on reading the allotted chapters every day, and doing the study on Sunday’s. I loved it. The study helped SO much in following along and helping correlate Old Testament to New Testament (especially in Leviticus.. yikes!). Once the NCAA tournaments rolled around in May for our spring sports, my consistency stopped and I never got back into a routine. At the end of the year I had made it to Acts, and I plan to finish this year.
- Underwent Financial Peace University. Alright, I love this program. I would recommend this to ANYONE. Dave Ramsey takes you through a weekly program on how to organize and align your finances, create a REAL budget, work down debt, etc. He even gives you pointers on how to buy a car. I absolutely loved creating that budget and working to stick to it, using my credit card very little. I fell out of using the budget mid-year, but I plan to get back on track with this in 2017.
- Vegan Lifestyle. One of the most important things I learned this year was this phrase: “I DON’T HAVE TO BE ___, AND IT’S OK.” Too many times this year I scrolled through Instagram and compared my lifestyle to other peoples’ and I fell into this trap that I created for myself; the kind of trap where I told myself I had to label my lifestyle. I wanted to try all these new labels on and change what was true about me. I tried a vegan lifestyle, bodybuilding-type workouts, using more makeup products that I wouldn’t normally wear. I threw away my half-and-half, got rid of butter, and didn’t buy eggs. I was in the gym 2-3 out of my 16 “awake” hours, 6 days a week. And, I sucked at makeup. And guess what? I LIKE HALF AND HALF IN MY COFFEE – milk alternative creamers suck – but I do really enjoy plant-based meals. I don’t have to label how I eat. I LIKE picking the type of workouts I want to do, whether I max out, run long distance, or take a spin class. And for real, I am not a makeup connoisseur – mascara will do. I don’t have to be vegan, ripped, perfectly made-up everyday, and it’s okay.
- Bodybuilding-type workout program. I died. Okay, not really, but it wore me out so badly that I took two months off from lifting. I started a 12-week program in January, including pretty strict nutrition guidelines that I should have finished in April. I dominated the first 6 weeks, staying on course with both workouts and nutrition, and I could see results. Here are some mid-program progress pictures, since the last half of my program and nutrition did NOT look like the first. I now know it takes INCREDIBLE discipline to go through a program like this – props to any competitors out there!
IV. LAST YEAR’S NEW THINGS THAT I CONTINUED DOING
- Collecting/rolling coins. A few years back, Matt Nein, Sports Performance Head Coach at SU, strategically placed pennies throughout the weight room as a lesson for our athletes to see who would notice one and pick it up. At the completion of the session, none of the athletes had picked up any of the pennies. Moral of the story? Pennies add up to create a dollar. Small details matter to build on the big picture. Since then, I’ve picked up every coin that I’ve seen on the ground. Last year’s total collection was $9.00; this year, I collected $13.50 total.
- Tithing consistently. It has felt so great to give God 10% of my paycheck cheerfully. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). My method for flawless tithing has been simple but useful. As soon as my paycheck is directly deposited, I transfer 10% to another account that I use solely for tithing. This way I am not tempted to use that money since I’ve deemed it solely for that purpose. It’s a really great habit I instituted last year at this time.
V. OVERALL HIGHLIGHTS
- The opening of Sea Gull Stadium
- Threw Josh a 30th birthday party
- Became intramural softball champions (woo!)
- Interviewed and hired for my first official job
- Bought my first house
- Found a new favorite local band (and concert)- Go Go Gadjet
- Got to know some really great new friends: Kalani, Kailyn, Mark, Lu, Conner, Katie, Kristi, Grant
- Cubs World Series (Yay for Grandpa!)
- Played in my first alumni softball game with my sister
- Checked out three new coffee shops – East from West, 4 J’s Bakery, and Central Perk
- Worked on 12 home projects
- Visited the Baltimore National Aquarium
- Dr. Vienna was inducted into the Salisbury Athletics Hall of Fame
- 50th Anniversary of Superior Aluminum having been purchased. Go Grandpa!
- Attended two weddings: The Yanez wedding (October) and Tulowitzky wedding (December)
There you have it. I had a big year and plan for big things this year. Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store! I encourage you to take down the highlights of your year this year, just so you can look back on how incredible of a year this was (will be).
BREATHE COURAGE | LOVE PEOPLE
Getting better every day,