A New Year

Happy New Year!

The month of December was very busy- full of coaching, climbing, traveling, baking and parties.  Today has been my first day to stop and reflect on the moments that stood out in 2011 and to think about what I’m looking forward to in 2012.

Instead of boring you with my thoughts from 2011, I’ll just talk about what I’m looking forward to in 2012. These are not listed in any special order.

  1. Traveling.  I recently found out that I did not get into grad school, which keeps my schedule open for at least another year and a half.  While I am taking steps to improve my application for next year, I am looking forward to traveling in 2012.  I am hoping to go to Singapore, France and Spain as well as travel around the US here and there for some climbing trips. 
  2. Cooking.  I’ve decided that I am going to try to try new recipes more often this year.  I used to love cooking when I lived with my parents (6 years ago now?), but when I started college I quickly lost touch.  My college at the time was a small private school in Decatur, GA and I had to live on campus and there was no kitchen.  It sucked.   You can see how I quickly lost touch of cooking.
  3. Running.  Before I moved to Colorado in 2008, I was into triathlons.  I swam, rode and ran A LOT.  I used to wake up at 5am every morning to run and beat the southern summer humidity (say that five times as fast as you can).  I truly loved it- running through the thick forests, listening to the birds and the cicada and watching the sun beat heavier and heavier through the foliage.  The humidity would always get the best of me as I always ended up soaked with sweat.  A shower and breakfast afterwards would always make my day.  But shortly after I moved to Colorado, I stopped doing this.  Not initially though- I would wake up and explore the trails below the flatirons and the surrounding foothills.  The elevation got to me at first, but mostly I hated the fact that I could not sweat despite how hard I pushed myself.  The air was too dry and I didn’t feel complete concluding my running adventures sweat-less.  It’s just not what I was used to.  I realized that I loved the humidity at that point because I felt like it ‘cleansed’ me.  But then I moved to Vail for a couple months in the winter and stopped running due to the cold and the snow (treadmills don’t really do the trick for me…I believe it’s safe to say that I hate them).  I haven’t fully gotten back on board with running since then.  I’ve dabbled in it here and there, but until recently it didn’t catch my heart like it did before.  But last week it caught my heart: I was in Pennsylvania visiting my mom for Christmas when I went for a run.  She lives on this ‘mountain’ (Pennsylvania standards, but more large hill-like for Colorado standards) surrounded by Amish farms, lots of trees, and valleys.  There’s a lot of trails and rolling hills to explore.  It’s quite beautiful and very relaxing.  Running there was very quiet and I was able to get back into touch why I love running.  It helps me organize my thoughts and it’s time that I can just spend with myself.  I don’t worry about anything when I’m running.  I can just go and go and turn around when I feel ready.  I don’t rely on a running partner and I can go as fast or as slow as I wish.  I’m fully in control and I like that. 
  4. Climbing outside.  As sad as this next statement is, it’s very true.  I’m a gym climber.  In the past, I would climb mostly inside and take 2-3 months every summer to travel to Europe and climb outdoors.  I haven’t been able to do my 2-3 month excursions for the past couple of years though.  The fact that I haven’t been able to do this gets to me sometimes because I love to travel and I love to climb outdoors.  Therefore the time spent on rock the past couple of years has overall been less than it was in the past.  While most of my climbing nowadays is done on plastic, my heart is still out there on the rock.  This year, I will make it my mission to go outside more often, even if it is just mini-excursions.
  5. Coaching.  Team Sik Bird has grown into a family of young athletes, their parents and all the coaches.  I’m very proud of how this team has grown in the past year and I am very excited to watch it continue to grow and form into a strong unit of athletes who all truly love the sport of climbing.
  6. Being with friends.  I’ve never lived close to my family.  Currently, my closest family (my grandparents from my dads side) lives in Grand Junction, which I absolutely love, but I still don’t see them as much as I would like.  My mom lives in Pennsylvania and my dad lives in Alaska…I see my mom every couple of months, but I don’t see my dad very often at all.  My other grandparents from my moms side lives part time near Jackson Hole, WY and the other part somewhere in Oklahoma.  The rest of my family is spread throughout Washington, Utah, Nevada and my cousin just recently moved to Chicago.  I am an only child from my parents and I have no blood related siblings (although I just thought about this last night: I guess I have 3 (?) step-sisters and 2 step-brothers now).  Anyway I believe it’s really important to be with friends, meet new people, and develop those relationships.  This year, I plan to make more of an effort to spend time with those friends that I don’t get nearly enough time with because really they are my family too.

    Dana and I at the MCF Christmas Party

    Boom Boom

    Chad is psyched for the Broncos

    Andy Mann photo

  7. Reading.  This year I want to read a lot more.  I am really into non-fiction, but can get into some fiction.  If you have book recommendations, please let me know.  I’m open to reading anything.


Here’s an Apache blessing and I really enjoy and I’d like to share:

May the sun bring you new energy everyday,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

Have the best of years in 2012!





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