As I chased Evan and Ryan on new-to-me trails in Bald Eagle State Forest yesterday, cutting fresh tracks into powder under a perfectly clear sky, I began to review this past year in my head. While it’s seen it’s fair share of challenges and tough times, I find myself focusing on the positive, and being thankful for all the great things I have right now. All in all, 2016 was a good year for me.

I rode my bike more than ever. I completed my first solo century ride and my first mountain bike race in a long time. I have seen a lot of progress in my strength, endurance, and technical ability. I rode in a lot of new places, with new people. I am no longer as scared to ride with people I don’t know for fear of being too slow.

snow
Surprise snowfall in Shingletown Gap.

I started running regularly again after stepping away from it for a couple years due to knee issues, and while my knee is still funky, I’ve been able to consistently run several times a week for 3-6ish miles without it bothering me except for a couple rare occasions. This fall, I did some speed work and considerably quickened my average pace.

I have been much more diligent about stretching, and I’ve started doing yoga with some amount of regularity, something I’ve been trying to do for years and just never committed to. I also started doing core exercises, and I think it’s helped both my biking and running.

I finally conquered my fear of rock climbing with people watching me, and this fall, I spent more time than ever bouldering with friends.

bouldering
Boulding at Martin Gap.
dandevan
Hiking on the Standing Stone Trail with Evan & Dinah.

My relationship with Evan is better than ever, and as we continue to get to know each other and grow together, our love grows as well. In him, I have a wonderful adventure and life partner.

While I’ve grown apart from some people this year, I’ve grown closer to others. One thing I’ve come to learn is that nothing is meant to be the same forever. People change, circumstances change, and sometimes it’sΒ best to move on. I am so happy with the friend group I have at the moment. Truly opening up to people is not my strong suite, but I feel like I’ve been able to bare my soul a lot this year, and I’m gradually starting to become more okay with people seeing something other than my best.

hawkwatch
Sunset & supermoon at the hawkwatch.

Professionally, I’ve made serious strides in 2016. I went to my first press camp and bike shows with Singletracks, giving me valuable experience and teaching me that even when sometimes I think I don’t know what I’m doing, the reality is, I do, and I’m pretty decent at it.

In the final days of 2016, I accepted a job offer from Rotating Mass Media (Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times magazines), and next week, I will start full-time as their Social Media and Web Coordinator. While I am sad to have to leave Singletracks, I am beyond excited for this opportunity.

For me, 2016 has been a year of personal progress. I feel like I’m finally growing into myself, becoming more accepting of who I am, and realizing that my dreams and goals are attainable. I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into 2017.

fattie
The first day of 2017 was great!

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