Wow, 2011.

I can confidently say I nailed this year! In so many ways, it could’ve nailed me. But I got the best of it. I’ve done these recaps on my blog for the last few years (2010, 2009, 2008), and this is by far the most fun year to answer the same questions.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? So many things, but all involved finding physical and mental capabilities that I never knew I had: my first pull-up, dead-lift, squatted more than my body weight, climbed a rope, flipped a 300 pound tire multiple times, shouldered 70 pound concrete balls, benchpressed over 100 pounds, and a multitude of other lifts and movements I’ve learned since Ronnie opened his gym.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Um…no, I guess I didn’t keep them. I didn’t attempt nearly all of them, and the two I really attempted turned out to be pretty unrealistic, but I made a very valiant effort. The vacation travel – I made it to Colorado and then we went to Florida again. It wasn’t Jamaica as originally planned, but it all worked out better anyway. And the pull-ups – apparently I set a goal to do 15 consecutive. I’ve got three. But I am dang proud of those. It’s been such an interesting journey to go from not doing any, to using the rubber bands for assistance and moving through to the lightest bands. And what’s crazy is that in this last half of the year, I haven’t been training specifically to do more pull-ups. Had I been doing that, I bet my goal would have been met. Instead I’ve been doing CrossFit, which means training a variety of things all the time, but not specializing in one, so really, nearly everything is getting better and stronger, not just my pull-ups. I will definitely be making resolutions for 2012. More to come on that later.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My good friend Jesse had her third daughter at the beginning of this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die? “Close” is not the right description, but one of my bosses from my previous employer passed away unexpectedly in September. I wasn’t sure how I would react, but seeing his wife, children, and other family whom I knew, was incredibly emotional. The funeral was very sad, and it was heartbreaking to pay tribute to a life that seemed cut short.

5. What countries did you visit? I went to a bonfire party in the countryside of Jefferson City, Missouri, but did not make it out of this great nation last year.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? A cleaner house. It is the one major stressor in my life and cleaning is the thing I hate spending my time doing. It literally brings me to tears on nearly a weekly basis. I plan to work it out in 2012 to afford a housecleaning service.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Two dates: February 24 – Google made a dramatic change in the search engine results that had a dramatic negative impact on the work I do in my career. It caused an incredibly challenging and nearly defeating year for me and the team I work with. Though we haven’t recovered or bounced back, I’ve recently decided to wipe the slate clean and start with a fresh perspective in the work I do there. The other date is May 1, as that is the day Ronnie took possession of the property that is now home to the rockin’ community of Sky’s Limit CrossFit. He had a vision, that is now our reality, and it has already positively impacted our life and that of so many others.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The most satisfying achievement of the year was getting my first chin-up (not pull-up). It happened by accident, and I attempted it to prove to someone that I couldn’t do it. And surprised myself by doing it. It was something I’d never done before, and had attempted just months prior. The same thing happened when I surprised myself by climbing all the way up the rope at the gym. I had tried a few times over the summer, and finally at Thanksgiving, I did it! The realization of the strength gains I have made, and the feeling of doing things I had never done, was amazing, and gave me a new found confidence and hope in all the possibilities of my life ahead.

9. What was your biggest failure? Let’s go back to the housecleaning. I feel like a constant failure at home because I don’t make keeping the house clean a big enough priority. It stresses me out, but I can always find other things to do. And I hate the defeated feeling when I clean; I know I’ll be doing this same waste of time in a day or two, so why bother? No one else in this house makes it a priority and I’m sick of cleaning up after them, so I just give up.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, fortunately nothing notable.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I finally joined the world of smart phones and got a fancy touch screen Android phone in May, which has allowed me to waste more time on Facebook and playing Words With Friends. But we also got a new car to replace Ronnie’s old gross black car, which is a nice relief for me when we trade cars.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Ronnie – for chasing his dream and making it a reality!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I’m not sure, really. I hate watching the local news, because there is a homicide report a couple times a week at least. It’s depressing that so many people feel the need to kill each other.

14. Where did most of your money go? We refinanced the house, but it is still our largest bill, though preschool is almost as much as that per month!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Personal records and progress at the gym, but also our vacation to Florida!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Why? I heard it almost daily this year and never got tired of it. Skyler and I would dance to it in the car on the way to and from work, and every time it came on it put me in a great mood!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier! Happier! Happier!
b) thinner or fatter? Stronger.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Use my nice camera to take photos. I totally slacked on that this year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Yell at Skyler.

20. How did you spend Christmas? The traditional way, with family here in town.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? This question is a weird one to answer every year. But I’ll take a different spin this year – I think I fell in love with life. New abilities, new confidence, new focus on health and well-being has made me see life differently. It was never bad before, but I’ve got a much more positive outlook and sense of adventure. We have so many blessings.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
There was nothing to note until a few weeks ago when I was home with Skyler, she was sick, and I was bored out of my mind looking for something to do while we holed up inside. I came across Seasons 1 & 2 of Vampire Diaries on Netflix, thinking a couple episodes would be a good way to pass some time. Forty-four episodes and two weeks later, it’s my favorite show! Season 3 is on TV right now, so I’m trying to get caught up on Hulu. It is the perfect drama in between the cheesiness of Twilight and the craziness of True Blood.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Still not hateful.

24. What was the best book you read? I don’t think I really read much this year, nothing notable anyway.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Skyler has been seeing along with so many songs we hear in the car, and gets the words all mixed up, but it is the most adorable and wonderful sound to hear her singing. Especially when it’s hard rock music.

26. What did you want and get? To do pull-ups.

27. What did you want and not get? Double-unders.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Still not a movie buff, but a few weeks ago we took Skyler to see Puss in Boots and I thought it was so cute. I think I enjoyed that movie way more than her and Ronnie. So many funny cat jokes!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 32, and on my birthday I took it easy at home. The next night we went to dinner and a concert, which was my sort of substitute birthday. It was nice and drama-free.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Fewer screaming matches with Skyler. I am miserable when we don’t get along.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Stupid question, however I’ll say that I was much more comfortable in my own skin this year, so much more comfortable in anything I wore. I wore tank tops and slim-fitting shirts without feeling self conscious of flabby arms or waistline, and it was nice to just not worry about that!

32. What kept you sane?
Working out.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Stupid question.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Probably our national debt, but I didn’t pay too much attention this year. I’m sure with elections next year I’ll pay more attention. Oh, and the education sector had lots of changes and new regulations, which has greatly affected our clients at work and thus the work we do.

35. Who did you miss? I don’t recall, but I think I was too busy to miss anyone specifically.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve met a whole bunch of great new people through Ronnie’s gym. New friends and “teammates” to encourage and motivate each other.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. How about some inspirational quotes that spoke to me? “I want to live and die young, as old as possible.” “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” “You can have excuses or you can have results.”

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. From “Ultragigantor” by Red Line Chemistry:
Big machine
I’ll take it for a ride
Get inside and grow this
crushing sound
Deny the limitation

Happy New Year!

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