Let me start by stating the obvious: parts of this year are tough to reflect on. But this is a blog about writing, yoga, and running, and those aspects of 2016 were wonderful for me. It’s strange how you can experience personal successes and joys amidst large-scale… challenges, which obviously impact you personally. At this moment, I’m choosing to bask in the sunshine of highlights from a year that held so much fun and adventure for me.

Let me also say that I’ve never really done this before. I’m not big on New Years resolutions and/or reflecting on a whole year of my life. But I happen to be on staycation and find myself thinking back and appreciating what this year held. I’m hitting pause, rewind, reset this week and I’m taking you along for the ride. Mostly through photos, because stories without pictures are boring.

2016 Highlights

  • Launching YogaWordNerd!
  • Completing my first half marathon
  • Running 5+ trail races
  • Adventuring around Banff with Babe
  • Teaching yoga workshops
  • Getting fully wrapped up in November Project

Those were the Wisconsin notes. Here are the details:

Running

I don’t keep close tabs on my total mileage and such, but I know that I ran more this year than I have in a longgg time – maybe ever. Between training for my half and other races, I finally feel more consistent in my running. Falling in love with trail running was another huge moment and I’m pretty sure I’m hooked.

I also finally fell into a consistent rhythm with November Project. I always found it tough to balance NP with quiet solo runs and my favorite yoga classes, but I’ve been listening to my body and following my instincts, which has given me a great mix of everything. And it feels good.

2016 Trail & Road Races

2016 brought me a solid base and something unexpected: more trail miles raced than road. 2017 promises to bring some new challenges, especially in speed and distance.

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NP Mondays: How to Jump Over Stuff. This was one of my favorite workouts this year because I didn’t hesitate to try weird things. Photo: NP Boston
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Fenway Park will be a tough Destination Deck to top. This was a moment I’ll never forget. Photo: NP Boston
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Mighty, morphin, and color coordinated. The day I swooned over trail running (and Carolyn). Photo: Daniel Rothenberg
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Highs and lows at Harvard Stadium are a part of any good year. Photo: Ryan Komaiko
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Summit Ave: My forever frenemy. Just kidding, I mostly love you now.
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The Brookline Reservoir is one of my favorite spots in the city to run and where I had many training milestones. Photo: NP Boston
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Boston represented in a big way at NP Summit 4.0, my first time attending.
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SeaWheeze 2016: My first half was out of control fun, despite there being no puppies at the finish as promised.
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Ragtag Ragnar crew.
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Running in Banff was a dream. Excess additional photos below.
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WOahMAN: By FAR the toughest workout of the year. I think I’m still sore.
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Jessie’s first trail race! Zero spills = winning.
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This run around San Francisco was one of my favorites this year because I finally remembered what it’s like to explore a new city on my own two feet.
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Exploring with Janji’s Nomadic Run crew is sure to be a feature of 2017.

Yoga

This year has been all about gaining more experience teaching yoga. Between leading classes for athletes at Wellness in Motion and the Janji store, I’ve had so much teaching friends and strangers, and connecting with yoga in a deeper way.

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Our Give Presence Run+Yoga session at WIMB was one of my favorite teaching experiences so far.
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Boston, you beaut.
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Janji store photos: not always the most coordinated, but always the most fun.

I will admit that my personal practice has taken the backseat a bit, but that’s something I’m planning to work on in 2017. It has, however, been nice to strive less and just let the practice be what it is each day. When I was getting to classes 5 times per week, I was inadvertently looking for “progress.” Now that my time practicing is so precious, I’m less tough on myself and understand that my body and mind will be in different places on any given day. I also practice at home more, which has been really nice and allowed me to be creative in sequencing. I can feel almost immediately when it’s been too long since I’ve been on my mat, so I definitely want to prioritize a few of my favorite classes as staples in my schedule for the New Year.

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Home practice: sometimes photos happen because I can’t see my own feet when they’re overhead.

Personal life

2016 brought many new friendships into my life and solidified older ones. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that inspire, support, and push me to be my best every day. We also reunited with many longtime friends during an epic wedding season this fall. I loved seeing some of my closest friends take such an important life step, and got to spend time with many people after far too long apart. We did start to feel like wedding crashers after back to back weddings on a few packed weekends, but hey, many people to see is the best problem to have.

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Things got a tad wild at Meggie & Tim’s wedding ❤
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Who wouldn’t want to spectate a beer mile with this crew?
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Our annual family reunion in Stowe, VT is always one of my favorite weekends of the year.
NP has brought me so many incredible friendships, a wonderful side effect of running around Boston before dawn.

I was also fortunate enough to go on the most amazing vacation following my half marathon. This was a definite highlight. Chris and I hiked and adventured around Banff National Park, which was an absolutely incredible experience. I can’t believe I didn’t write a post dedicated to it, but I think I was honestly overwhelmed by the sheer awesome sauce. Banff and Lake Louise were among the most beautiful places I’ve ever – probably THE most beautiful – and we had such a perfect time. I can’t recommend this trip enough: the hikes are tough and the views are unbeatable. Plus, Canada is just the best. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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The only lake that can make your neon gear look dull.
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“Are you kidding me?!”
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There are ~40 pics in existence of us posing together and 38 are from this trip.
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Doesn’t get better than pizza + salad + beer + a view after 15 miles of hiking. I’m wearing shorts, I swear!
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Guys, remember when it was hot and sunny and you wore only one layer?!
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I’ve never been more proud of my relationship than this moment. XX
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Casual jog in paradise.
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Because do you even yoga if you don’t do a handstand on vacation?
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The hills are so alive.
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Dude next to us: Do you see the fox head? Us: …definitely
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So many bear sightings! Mom + babies.

Writing

In addition to an exciting and challenging new writing job at Dana-Farber, I am so happy that I finally started this blog. I had been quietly writing posts and contemplating blogging for years (yes, YEARS) and I let so much hold me back.

Can I write about more than one thing? What topic do I pick?

What should I name it?

Do I have time for this?

Would anyone read it?

Do I want anyone to read it?

I finally decided to overcome these minutia and launch this here blog in April 2016. It’s definitely one of my proudest accomplishments of the year, not because of stats or number of posts, but because I went for it before I was ready. I didn’t hammer out every detail; I took a leap and have loved the journey.


I’ve also been more vulnerable and written about things I never thought I would, which allowed me to connect with many people that I might never have known or known on a deeper level. I get to write freely and without excess editing and attention to detail (since that’s my 9 to 5 work) and I’m able to share my thoughts as they come and explore my creativity.

To put it Bostonly, it’s been wicked fun. I really appreciate all of the support and encouragement from my friends and family. Thank you for reading, readers!

Now that I mention it, 2016 was pretty freaking awesome. I feel so #blessed. But seriously, I do. There’s a lot that’s unknown about 2017, but I know it will include some exciting things for me. Preview post coming soon!

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