No doubt about it, 2017 was a tough one. Grad school was completely bananas, Tyler worked on the other side of the country for 3 months, we moved house, my mountain bike was stolen, I’ve been sick more often than not since October, ect. ect. ect. There were plenty of good things too! But, man am I exhausted.
At the beginning of 2017, I wrote about my goals for the year: 7 Goals for 2017. This was the first year I can remember setting goals, thanks to the influence of the Tough Girl Podcast and Tough Girl Tribe! I completed some of my goals, sort of completed a couple, and totally fell flat on a few of them. Here are my results, in the order as they appeared on my original blog post.
1) Run my first half marathon – Completed!
I ran the Berry College Half Marathon back in March with my friend and lab mate, Erin. We trained together through the winter; although work craziness and illness kept us from running at all the last few weeks leading up the event. Overall, it went well (more details in a blog post coming soon). We finished in just over 3 hours and ran the whole distance!
2) Ride two laps at Fort Yargo – Sorta
I didn’t actually ride two laps at Fort Yargo, so in that sense I didn’t complete the challenge. However, I feel like I met the purpose of the goal. The point of riding two laps at Fort Yargo was to put emphasis on mountain biking and improving my endurance. To that end, there were periods of time in 2017 when I cycled regularly and/or longer distances than normal. Two examples come to mind: riding approximately 46 miles over 3 days at Tsali this summer, and one weekend where I rode 45 miles of gravel on Saturday (my first ever gravel grind!) and then did a mountain bike ride at Chicopee the next day. In short, I did some big milage this year, and I’m fairly proud of that.
3) Do an unassisted pull-up – Uhh, no
I started on this one a few times, but never really stuck with it. So no, I can’t do an unassisted pull-up. Not even close. Some day, I will put in the effort, but honestly it just wasn’t a priority for me this year. I’m pretty sure I forgot about it for at least half the year.
4) Hike Tallulah Gorge – No!
I didn’t hike Tallulah Gorge this year, and I attempted planning it multiple times! I bought Chacos for my birthday in March and did several small hikes to get my feet used to wearing them. One of the difficulties with hiking the gorge is that the gorge floor is closed for water releases certain days. I knew this, but also figured that there would be plenty of warm weekends where the gorge floor would be open. What I wasn’t anticipating was for the floor to be closed for dam repairs for a while, or for so many of the water release days to fall on the weekends in the fall. I even considered doing an alternative wet-footed hike (~7 miles with 40 creek crossings), but forest fires kept me from doing that. Eventually, it got too cold for me to complete the hike with the equipment I have, so I didn’t get to hike the gorge this year. Oh well, maybe I’ll get it this summer!
5) Go rock climbing outdoors at least once – Sorta
When Tyler was working in Santa Fe, I got to go visit him. One of my visits, I explored Bandelier National Monument and Tsankawi (blog posts to come) which were the homes of ancient cliffside-cave-dwelling people. One of the great things about the trails is that there is some rock clambering and ladder climbing. So even though it wasn’t really bouldering per se, I still was outside using my body to navigate away from the ground, which to me seems close enough!
6) Go kayaking or rafting at least once – Completed!
Easy peasy, yes. I went kayaking with PACS, the chemistry graduate association that plans fun events for graduate students. In fact, I even helped plan the trip! Our coordinator wanted to go white water rafting, but all the places were rather far way. I suggested kayaking instead on the Chestatee River. It was closer and a good choice for people who had never paddled before. I have many fond memories of paddling the Chestatee River with my family when I was growing up. It was a nice, relaxing trip and fun to revisit childhood memories.
7) Complete a small 30 day challenge each month – Uhh, no
The purpose behind this goal was to complete easy tasks to help me improve in an area of my choice. For example hamstring flexibility, or arch/ankle strength to help with running. Most months I would start something, only to stop doing it a few days in. I never came up with a routine that worked for me. Good goal in theory, but not in practice. This is another challenge I’d be interested in revisiting.
I think my goals for 2017 were good, but they weren’t necessarily my priority. I vastly underestimated how much time and effort graduate school was going to require of me this year. I knew it was going to be a lot with the original research proposal in the winter/spring and teaching in the summer/fall, but I still didn’t expect it to be quite so much.
Despite working long hours, I have many fun times and adventures to share from 2017. I just haven’t found the time to blog about them yet. Hopefully, I will get to it soon. Also, now that I’ve wrapped up my goals from 2017, I need to think about 2018!
How about you? How did your 2017 go? What plans do you have for 2018?