Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Long, Hard Year

Here we are at the end of another year, staring 2012 in the face. Much has happened since January and all of it has made me grow in every aspect of my life. While not all of it has been the best time ever, I know that I am better for it. A better trainer, a better person.

In January, I hurt my back. Doing deadlifts. Because I made a tiny mistake with very heavy weight. It took me the better part of the year to get my lifts back up to where they were. It was a good practice in patience, of which I have very little. Not only did this injury affect all my lifts, but it made me take a step back on things like box jumps and KB swings. I simply could not tolerate heavy weights and pounding movements. Quite humbling. I also started classes towards earning my Bachelor's in Kinesiology. 

Learning to deadlift again....

February passed in blur, where I really tried hard not to hate myself too much for not being able to do much at the gym. I did finally go to the doctor to try to fix my back, but the process was long and slow and only started here. The good news was that I couldn't lift anything heavy, like a laundry basket. So, you know, I got out of doing laundry...

March brought about the birth of my wonderful nephew. He is such a joy and I don't see him enough!

One of my most favoritist people ever.
April brought the challenge of hanging in there with school. I went into the semester not really worried about whether school would be too hard, because I knew I could do it. I already earned a History (re: mostly worthless) degree and even though I was tackling a science degree, I knew I could do it. What I didn't know is that I no longer have any sort of tolerance for stupid teenagers, unprepared people, and time wasting of any kind. Duly noted. This observation would come in handy later on in the year. It was also around this time that I was accepted into George Mason University's Kinesiology Program, thanks to the help of my friends.

May brought with it a 5k race. I had vowed never to run in a race again because I absolutely hate running, but I could not pass up this opportunity. It was to raise awareness and funds for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. I got to run it with some wonderful friends. My goal was to finish in under 30 minutes and I did just that. 29:21. DTM and I also visited his mom in Florida and we all went to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which may have been the best thing all summer.

Butterbeer: Delicious and nutritious.
At the end of May, I took the next step towards earning my CrossFit Level 2 certification. I took the Coaches Prep Course, which turned out to be fantastic. I learned so much there and had the honor of meeting Chris Spealler, Adrian Bozeman, and Miranda Oldroyd. They are some of the nicest people I have met, with a gift for training trainers and a genuine passion for helping us become better.

June brought about the Spartan Race. This was a super fun obstacle course that was infinitely harder than the Warrior Dash DTM and I did last year. Again, I got to run it with friends, which made it even better. Sadly, DTM didn't participate in this one, but I know he will do it next year.
This might be my fave picture from the whole day. Terrible.
July brought about a new opportunity. I started an internship program with CrossFit Bethesda in hopes of becoming a better teacher. I had already learned a ton by coaching for a year and a half at Tysons, but it was the only box I really had ever been at and I wanted to expand my experiences in hopes of building on my own knowledge. It was then that the idea of becoming a full time CrossFit trainer entered the periphery of my consciousness. The start of my time at Bethesda was marked by frustration, mostly because I was shown my weaknesses not to just myself but in front of everybody else. While this has made me better in the long run, it was highly uncomfortable. 

August is our anniversary and this year we celebrated 6 years of marriage. While our life together has not always been easy, there is no one else in the world I would rather face it with than DTM. Even when things are crashing down around us, he is there helping me rebuild. Slightly less exciting is that I finally mastered double unders. You're jealous, I know. Also, my father had knee replacement surgery and I was able to visit him shortly afterward. The amount he has progressed since then is absolutely amazing! I am so proud of him.

September was my final month of interning at Bethesda. Also, I ran yet another 5k. I have no idea what was wrong with me. This one was for 9/11, so it was kind of a big deal. I also started school. I took two classes my first semester at Mason: Nutrition and Kinesiology 101. I thought both were going to be awesome. I was only half right. DTM and I also tried playing polo. On horses. It was fun!

Our bike helmets make the outfit.
October brought about many things for me. As with many things in life, not everything worked out the way I had envisioned. I started as the newest full time trainer at CrossFit Bethesda mid October and it has been great! I have enjoyed getting to know the members and have become more and more confident in myself as a trainer. There are still many things I need to work on, but overall my life has taken a turn for the better. DTM and I also ran with our homies in the Tough Mudder in Wintergreen, VA. That was a huge challenge! We all made it through relatively unscathed, though DTM sliced his hand open pretty well and we had to visit the ER. Here we are in our finish line glory:

I love these people. Except the guy on the right in the jeans. I have no idea who he is.
November was a whirlwind of classes, work, and holiday fun. My family came down to visit for Thanksgiving and I had a ton of fun cooking them food and taking them to the National Zoo. It was my nephew's first zoo visit. He is adorable and I am so glad they could all make it down!

Gramps/dad is taking the photo! Yes, Miles is wearing a lion hat.
And December. What a month. I finished my first semester at Mason. We had a funeral and a wedding, Christmas and work in between. It will be over in a couple of days and while I enjoyed the time with my family and friends, it will be a relief when we start the new year.

Overall, DTM and I had a good year. We got to experience many new things together, some joyous, some harsh. Much of what we had to deal with taught me patience, both with my body and its ability/inability to heal and with life planning. I spent great times with family and friends and I am lucky to be a part of their lives. This year was very hard, but good and I can't wait to see what the new one brings!


  1. =) thanks so much for sharing, Alison! What a great recap. Very happy for you, and inspired by all you have accomplished. I checked out the Cross Fit gym in Iowa City last night, and am excited about starting my own Cross Fit adventure in 2012. All the best to you in the New Year! -Samantha

  2. Full year, indeed! I'm so glad I got to see you at Christmas. Enjoy the last few days of 2011 and here's to a less challenging but even more fulfilling 2012.

  3. My good friend Chuck and his beautiful wife Kerry...aka your parents, have raised a beautiful and very driven and successful girl. Congrats. Enjoyed your post. Lou Fish

  4. Samantha: I am so glad you are starting to do CrossFit. You'll love it!

    Sarah: I am glad we got to visit too! It was nice to see you:-)

    Lou: Thanks so much, I was blessed with the best parents a girl cold ask for! Thanks for reading!

    Have a great new year everyone!