Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Award For Most Depressing Start To the Year...

Much of 2015 was what I have referred to with friends as 'a holding pattern'. However towards the end of the year, things had started to pick up. I entered 2016 with the feeling that this was going to be a good year. Nay, a great year.

Then there was a surfeit of celebrity deaths.

Damn you, 2016!

But before we start talking about 2016, let's backtrack a bit to 2015.

I was semi-consistent with my gym attendance in the last two months of 2015. I say semi-consistent because with her family visiting from Brazil, holidays, and her getting sick, we were consistent in changing at least one session every week. There were a lot of Saturday sessions to make up for a missed/changed session during the week. Despite that, I lost 5lbs in the month of December. Happy Dance!

At my size you don't really see 5lbs, but you definitely feel it. Clothes are loser and my energy level is increasing. I mean, nothing crazy - I still like to spend the end of the day sitting on my couch watching Netflix - but waking up is easier and I'm more likely to do something active on the weekends.

At the start of January, my trainer made a deal with me. For every 3 lbs I lose between now and when I leave for Tanzania, she will donate $15 to Jifundishe. (That's the NGO in Tanzania I work with. So it's not like she choose some random group.) As a result, I've given up booze for all of January.

I know! The only time I've really missed it was after a day of snowshoeing. My friends were drinking beer with their taco dinner. Man, how I would have loved to have consumed a cold one with them.

Speaking of snowshoeing...

It was a very foggy day. We were up in the Kludahk area (above Jordan River) which has trails which follow old logging roads and a couple of huts. We sent out a detailed email with our itinerary... and then completely ignored it because the road was too sketchy even for the 4x4. Because of that, we didn't go off the logging roads. We followed a lot of dead ends before calling it a day. Good thing too, because it started to pour with rain within 15 minutes of us getting back to the truck!

Snowshoeing season is very close to an end unless we get another cold snap.

I set a goal at the start of 2015 to improve my Swahili in preparation for my trip to Tanzania this year. I worked diligently at it for two weeks... and then did nothing. That's not totally true. I'd pick up the books from time to time and look at them.

At the end of the November, I joined the Add1Challenge as a way to motivate me to study on my own. I plan to do an entire post about the Add1Challenge (I'm aiming for after Day 60 because I just might be rapping in Swahili for my Day 60 video and I'll share that here) but it will be day 45 on Wednesday (I think) and the challenge has done exactly what I wanted it to do. In fact, it has done a lot more.

It has not only provided me the motivation to study, but it comes with its own built-in support group. We may all be learning different languages, but that doesn't mean that many of our struggles don't overlap in some way. If you need to self-study a language and are looking for a supportive group of fellow language learners, I cannot say enough good things about the Add1Challenge.

Kind of what the Add1Challenge feels like.
Inspired by what the Add1Challenge did for my language learning, I joined Karen's accountability group. Much like Add1, it's nice to have a place where we can celebrate our successes with food and working out, and virtually hug each other when we have crap days.

And that's where I stand just over half-way through the first month. Personally, 2016 is setting itself up to be a pretty awesome year.

(What ever you say, Tom Burke.)

But I'm still a little shocked that none of my Facebook statuses in the past week and a half weren't just the word

You know what he's saying. Don't pretend you don't.

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