It seems like a lot has changed for me in the last 12 months, which is funny because post-grad “depression” had me thinking that my life was pretty much done for once I had a big-girl job. Not so much… I’m embracing my life as a 20-something in the real world, and thought it would be fun to list out all of the things I never would have foreseen one year ago.
1. I started CrossFit. Okay, please don’t stop reading, I’m not going to push this down anyone’s throats. I think it’s very interesting though… I came out of college a die-hard cyclist and runner. I had lifted some weights in high school, but I also weighed 100lbs so it’s not like I was moving much of anything in terms of lifting. So when my boyfriend joined CrossFit (as did the rest of the world), I blew it off as an expensive, clique-y fad. But I gave it a try in February 2013 as a supplement to my cycling, and I actually really love it. I’ve seen a lot of differences in my body composition, and it’s cool to be able to see progress in terms of qualitative metrics like PRs and timed workouts. I must say, CrossFit is a part of my life now, and I think it’s good. However, it HAS taken away from my cycling 😦 I want to change that in 2014.
2. I learned how to cook and eat right. Real food. In my kitchen. Pinterest helped. So did my boyfriend (again). It is seriously so empowering to be able to branch out of the grilled-cheese box (seriously, I used to “cook” grilled cheese and feel good about it) and know what to do with a slab of meat. And veggies galore. I can’t wait to continue to expand my little menu next year 🙂 Hoping to branch out to using a crock pot!
3. I’m a better mountain biker. I didn’t pick up a mountain bike until September 2012 (previously only a road and track rider) when I randomly borrowed a bike, entered a race, and got my ass kicked (I had also raced the two days previous on the road). Since then, I bought a Scott Scale 30, ridden all over Texas and Colorado, and I LOVE it. Mountain biking is awesome because you really do get better with practice (not just in terms of athletic ability, but also your SKILLS). And the terrain really changes from place to place – dirt, rocks, roots, sand, etc. Also, I feel like a badass and have a great time even when I crash. It’s just fun and the races are way chiller than road cycling (it can get pretty fierce in the road scene)! MTB FTW.
4. I’ve taken hold of my finances. Coming out of college with a lot of school debt, I was feeling pretty helpless even with my fairly competitive job salary. However, I used a lot of Dave Ramsey’s debt-free rantings to make a plan and take control of my debt. And it’s going really well 🙂 It’s not always about simply living below your means… I can do that. It’s about really knowing where you are (calculating all of your debt, wages, and expenses) and making the right decisions at the right time. I’m happy to say that I have a full emergency fund, my 401K yielded 23% this past year, and I’m not living paycheck to paycheck. So much stress off my back!
5. I changed jobs. Same company, but very different job. I really hated my first position because it was really easy, no one was my age, and I felt disconnected from my team and manager, all of which were in different states and I never once met them. Not at all the right atmosphere for me! So I was proactive and took the steps toward seeking another position that I could excel in, and changed positions at my 1-year mark with the company. Now, I get to travel, work with people face to face, and feel like I am making a difference! Although it’s still not my dream job, I am definitely happier at work now than I was one year ago. This coming year, I will be studying for a pretty rigorous certification, the CIA, so that will be a goal for 2014.
Overall, I would say that 2013 was pretty good to me! I can’t wait for another great year and more change that I probably can’t even imagine yet! 🙂