Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Year In Review

Wow, I can’t believe that 2009 is almost in the books. As I think back on the year there are so many memories. I’m sure I’ll miss something along the way but here are some highlights.

January – Great trip to Disney with the family. Dad & I finished our 2nd Marathon and beat our previous time by more than 30 minutes. That being said we still didn’t train as well as we should have, maybe one of these days we’ll give it our full attention and see how it goes. For now we’ll stick to ½ Marathons and Bike riding.

March- My first Walk event in my position as Development Coordinator was the Zoo walk on March 28th. It went great and I was glad to have it under my belt. I have great committees for both of my walk sites & excellent staff support that helped make this first event go great. Thanks to everyone for your help on that.

April- My other 2 walks were in April and both went very well. There was a monumental accomplishment for me personally in April. I rode up Pilot Mountain for the first time. Since I had just started biking when I was in middle school I had always wanted to be able to do that. My dad has done it hundreds of time but after starting back riding in 2007/2008, I was riding a lot more in 2009. We set out to try it and just see how far I could make it and I think it surprised both of us when it went better than expected and I climbed the whole thing(on a bicycle for those wondering). After doing that I knew that although it goes slowly that I’d be able to make it up most any mountain in the area. The most important thing that happened in April was that I asked Tara to marry me and she said yes. I asked her right before Easter Sunday lunch and we were able to share the day with both of our families. Again, it seems like just yesterday that happened and we had over 14 months before our wedding (June 26th 2010) and now we’re less than six months away.

May- My classes in may weren’t to bad and it helped turn may into my busiest cycling month. I rode over 650 miles in may including the Lewisville Metric Century and the 75 mile route at the Tour de Lions.

Summer – did some good biking, one great ride that Started out at Mars Hill called the Devils Fork Metric Century. It climbed 4 mountains and was 63 miles long. It was a great ride, I believe I’ll try to make it back out for that one again this summer. We spent a great week at the beach and with Tara being off work for the summer we spent as much time as possible at the pool. I had a very touch second summer session of school but it was worth it because I graduated! I was done as of July 31st but didn’t get to walk until December 17th. I was super excited both days to finally be done with my undergrad. It “only” took 9 years but at least it was finally done. It was also nice being back on a bike a lot because it helped me loose some more weight. I’d gained some weight back over last winter, not back to the 250 I used to be but up to about 225. I got back down to 195 and would like to be lower than that in 2010.

August- My parents surprised me with a graduation gift in August, truthfully I didn’t expect anything from anyone. I was happy enough just to be done. That being said my new Nikon d60 is amazing. I’ve always liked taking pictures and as soon as I got this camera I got a crazy idea of making a little money while doing something I loved. Hill Event Photography was born. I started researching sites where I could host my pictures that used 3 party printers. All I would have to do is take great photos, upload them and price them. Event participants could go look at them and if they purchased them I would get most of the sell price in a check from the site. My first event was the Tour de Gaps in Mount Airy. It’s a really tough ride and I was set up on a really steep hill, those cyclist that were able to talk as they went past me and weren’t gasping for air told me how mean I was for being at that spot. It turned out to be a great spot and I sold a lot of pictures.

Fall- I booked several more events in the fall, a triathlon out side of Boone, the Hawg Run, Tour de Pig, RHABA 10K, Great Pumpkin Run, Go Far 5K, Ridgewood Turkey Trot & New Balance Reindeer Romp. My dad is probably the better photographer(where do you think I learned and got the passion from) and he was more than willing to help with the larger events. We both shot the RHABA 10K, Go Far 5K & Ridgewood Turkey Trot(3000 participants). Things are going great with the side business, it’s a lot of fun.

After working all weekend with the Bike MS Tour to Tanglewood the next weekend it was off to be a participant in a Bike MS event. We rode 100 miles from Rock Hill to Greenville SC on day one and took it easy with a 35 mile ride the second day. It was a great weekend to ride, the weather turned out really nice, I’d like to request we get that kind of weather for the 2010 Tour to Tanglewood(I mean, they won’t let me ride, but it’d be nice to be dry while working 16 hours.)

Holidays – I love the holidays because I have such a great family to spend them with. It doesn’t hurt being engaged to a wonderful girl with an equally wonderful family! Some people dread having to spend time with their in-laws (or in-laws to be) but I can speak for both Tara & myself and say that isn’t the case. We feel equally as at home either place and they are both a lot of fun. Thanksgiving was great and since I did most of my Christmas shopping online that wasn’t too painful either. Christmas was great as it has been for the past 3 years now. Being able to be relaxed and enjoy Christmas is truly a blessing. I am so lucky to be surrounded by all the amazing people I have in my life. I participated in the December commencement ceremony at UNCG and I was glad to be there. It was long but afterwards I went to lunch with mine and Tara’s parents(she was busy enriching the lives of 23 second graders J ) I started running again in November. Although Dad & I ran 2 ½’s and 2 full marathons I never really enjoyed running until November. I started out running shorter distances and started building up, I’m still slow at it and presumably will stay that way but I’m enjoying it. I believe the fact that I started to enjoy running again is why I decided to jump in and pursue a goal I’ve toyed with the thought of for some time now. I’ve always be intrigued by triathlons and decided to take the plunge(see previous blog post) and sign up for the Beach to Battleship ½ Iron Distance Tri. To accomplish this I have sought out my friend and tri coach Suzanne Duncan to be my coach for the year. My training starts with a 2 month group training on January 3rd and then its one on one training from March-July, Group training from July-October for the Pinehurst International Distance Tri and one on one again for the last month leading into B2B. (My next blog will lay out my events and goals that I have in mind for 2010)

2009 was the first year that I’ve had a full time job that was outside of a restaurant. The National MS Society is a dream place to work. Great staff, great hours, and I don’t have to work every weekend and holiday. Its priceless getting to spend holidays with friends and family. I’ll never(you should never say never), so lets say, I hope to never spend another Mothers or Fathers Day working, Easter, Christmas, New Years Day, etc. After working all of those days for years and years I don’t take them for granted and they are even more special than in years past.

In 2010 I hope to do a better job of updating my Picasa albums with pictures to share and when that happens I’ll post the link and let you know when there are new pictures. I’m off the next four days so maybe I’ll get 2009’s pictures up so I can get 2010 started with a clean slate.

2009 was an amazing year and I’m sure that I missed a ton of things that I’d like to include, but if you have thoughts on some of those feel free to leave a comment and let me know what I missed.

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