Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 recap

2013 was easily one of the best years of my life.

In February, together with one of my students, I won a charity dance competition at my high school for which we'd been rehearsing for months.

April was an action-packed month.  Over three days of spring break, I completed a 50 mile trail through the Pine Barrens of NJ.

I also won a long term bet with a co-worker about riding my bike to school for 100 days out of the year.

At the end of April, months of planning came together for Stevie's and my wedding at Camp Ockanickon.  Friends and family came from far and wide for an unforgettable weekend of campfires, capture-the-flag, running in the woods, dancing, plenty of drinking, and of course a gorgeous outdoor ceremony led by my uncle.

Directly after the ceremony on Chapel Island.

June was another epic month.  I ran my first Tough Mudder, two half marathons on consecutive weekends, and my first 10k trail run.

Like the wedding, months of planning came together when I then chaperoned a group of students for the first time, taking seven of them on a ten day trip to Germany which I designed and organized myself.  We visited Berlin and Munich, stayed in youth hostels, visited more museums than you can count, and sampled the culinary delights of the Vaterland at all turns.

With my students at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

In July Stevie and I headed west for our honeymoon: Alaska and the Yukon Territory.  We spent time on a cruise ship, and on buses and trains taking in the scenery and imbibing at every brewery available.

In August my sister and her family flew in from Minnesota and spent time with us in Ocean City, NJ.  Together with my stepsister and her family, and my dad and stepmother, we spent a week at a beach house together.

Using my nephew Oliver for strength training at the Jersey Shore

In September Stevie gave me an introductory flying lesson for my 32nd birthday, and in November I flew a plane for the first time.

My focus for the majority of the fall was on the 2013 Philadelphia Marathon and attempting to qualify for Boston.  I threw myself headlong into a training regimen I made up myself.  With amazing support from Stevie, I managed to balance starting my third year of teaching with the rigors of training, and prevailed with a time of 3:03:05 in November.

December brought with it more changes and projects that will carry over into 2014, such as a roadtrip with Stevie during spring break, a year long documentary that I began filming over Christmas, the setting of some very ambitious running goals, and the decision to move out of our current apartment this summer.

As cheesy and clich├ęd as year-end recaps can be, I like them because they give me an excuse to reflect and remember just how blessed I truly am.

I have no doubt that 2014 will be even bigger than 2013.  Here's to it.

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