2011: a retrospective (part II)

Here is part II of my 2011: a retrospective series. I think that the first half of 2011 could be characterized as intensely focused on career-building and relationship-building (with M, my beautiful niece Isabel), while the second half of 2011 could be characterized as physical- and emotional-building with career and relationships shifting more towards ‘refinement’ (for lack of a better word!).

So, here you have it – 2011: a retrospective (part II):


July was an exciting time for me for a few reasons: I decided to run my second half-marathon ‘officially’ and was deep in training for it (as the half-marathon was in August) with M by my side, and at the same time, the barre n9ne challenge was also going strong, as I reached my first milestone at the tail-end of June: 8.25″ lost since starting the challenge 30 days prior. Also? M and I decided to officially move in together and found our fantastic apartment after looking at just a few (and now, as I sit here, I am amazed at just how much I LOVE it here and how much it feels like home)

July also featured several ‘lakations’ upta camp in Maine, with M, my sisters and niece and some friends. Truly one of the best months of the year. Insanely good weather, some fantastic long runs (including a sunrise run with my friend Steph that was stunning, and several awesome ones with M…even if we did get lost on one of them, and also saw a turtle!), and some beach days thrown in for good measure.

And…and…and? The barre n9ne 60 day challenge officially ended and in total, I lost 14.25′ and regained my self esteem, body image and confidence in myself…I felt WORTH it again. I OWNED the changes and still do, to this day, as I continue seeing progress and change.


August. Pivotal again for a couple of reasons. First, running my second half marathon…and feeling like I failed. This was a case of my rushing to run a race that I knew would be a difficult course due to hills (oh holy hills…) and humidity. Looking back now, I truly wished I waited and ran the Green Strides Half in October instead, but hindsight is 20/20, right?I declared that I am a runner but not a racer. And honestly, I still feel this way, for the most part, even though I am debating on running another half marathon this year. Something is pulling me…and for once, it is not overthinking or doing something because I have to…it’s because I want to.

August also featured…moving in with M!!! It was bittersweet, my last night alone in my apartment, but now? I can’t imagine *not* living with M. And then this happened. Still one of my favorite moments of the summer, and perhaps even the year. *swoon*

My Nonno also passed away in August…and I didn’t know how I felt about it. I sort of forget sometimes that he has, just given the lack of relationship we really had. I still wish my Nonna was still here, more than anything. She’d truly have loved M. And knowing she would…warms my heart.

One thing I did struggle with, beginning in earnest in August, would rear up several times in the coming months…comparing myself to others, running frustrations and a pretty lengthy bout of overthinking…


My niece turned 1 in September! And marveling at how much she has grown in a year, and how much personality she has, and even, how with every time I see her, she remembers me more, she comes to me, and she trusts me…I just smile thinking about her. I love her more than I ever thought I could…more with each day. **kisses beautiful Isabel!**

…and I went to wine country…and with M by my side, it was even more amazing than the prior two years (even though I really missed having my sis and Scott there!). We ran amid vineyards, we drank a lot of wine and brought home even more wine (a shitton, in fact.). My mecca. Firmly believe!

I also kicked off another series, on learning to live together. And really worked through some initial kinks as M and I adjusted to living together.


October featured a freak snow storm that knocked out power in my complex for 4 days…and for weeks in other areas of the state. I exited October not a happy camper 😉

I hit my overthinking breaking point in October…to the point that I simply snapped out of it. And to this day, I feel freer of that overthinking feeling than I ever have. I don’t overthink running, work, relationship (with M, my sisters, friends etc), nothing. It just works. I might think, but don’t overthink. And that is huge for me! My freedom from overthinking could be evidenced by the day I just ran…almost an entire half marathon without even planning on it. A very proud moment for me 🙂

(I also took my last work trip of 2011 in October…hallelujah!)


I started taking my blog in a bit of a new direction in November (and am still planning to adjust it even more in 2012…all in the name of refinement!), starting a new series on stories that define me…and writing less about my relationship with M, as I feel as though we are at a point where much of that adjusting and learning to each other has become more straight and narrow, and I don’t feel as compelled to divulge as much. I also started the 6-month running challenge and so far, it is one of the best things I’ve done for myself, aside from the barre n9ne challenge, as I feel like I am completely transforming my running, already, and can’t imagine where I’ll be come May 2012! Sky’s the limit?


Funny, even though we are still in December, I don’t feel like much has happened. But it has. I’ve continued my run-challenge and learning so much with each week’s runs. Barre n9ne continues to kick ass and I have successfully stayed on my ‘lifestyle change’ for more than 7 months and the results are showing…to ME, most importantly. I feel good, fit, happy, strong. And cannot wait to continue this journey in 2012, in every sense of the word. So much more to come…trust me 🙂


So there you have it…my 2011 retrospective. Going through these posts was so interesting to me. The first half of the year truly featured work challenges and relationship learnings and challenges, while the second half really did shift towards personal and physical challenges. So interesting.

Did you have any sort of ‘seachange’ moments in 2011? Where things in your life just shifted focus or direction somewhat dramatically? Do share!

I wish you all a wonderful New Year’s Eve, whatever you may be doing. I am so excited for NYE, even more than I was last year. It’s going to be epic, of course, and I personally cannot wait to put on some sparkles and ring in the new year in style.

Happy New Year, friends, and back atcha in 2012!!

22 thoughts on “2011: a retrospective (part II)

  1. First of all – the inches that you lost are insane!!! BIG HUGE CONGRATS!!! But it’s so much more than inches…as you lose inches you become so much more of the person you were mean to be both inside and out.

    For me, my biggest turning point was similar to one of yours – stop over thinking. Making the decision to run for fun vs. run to race has made a huge difference in so many aspects of my life. Also, the decision to forgive was huge for me emotionally. The power of forgiveness is highly under-rated in my book.

    1. Thank you!! Yes, it goes well beyond inches and the physical, but damn, the loss and changes to my body are so incredible to me, but moreso, my mindset. Completely changed, in every way! No more overthinking!!! Don’t you feel so much better NOT overthinking? It’s a huge weight lifted. Same with the running, absolutely agree!!

  2. I have to say – I’m incredibly proud of how you got to the point you did in October. Ever since you gave up your overthinking ways and just believed in yourself again? You’re like a new woman. A happier, less anxious, more centered woman. And I dig her, a wicked lot. And I know she will be going far in 2012!! *clink*

    1. I dig you a wicked lot too sis, except when you make me do farklets ;-P Seriously though, I am SO glad I snapped out of that overthinking haze I was in. It was getting to be so awful!! 2012 is going to rock our socks 🙂

  3. As I keep reading all these recaps of 2011 on a bunch of blogs, it really sort of solidifies the fact that not much happened to me in 2011! Aside from losing my job, nothing really big happened. I am confident that that means that big things are in store for me in 2012!

    I am sucking at the 6 month running challenge. I still think you should sign up for the GA Half though. I have a spare bedroom.. (does that sound totally creepy? It does, doesn’t it?)

    1. Well then hey, 2012 is the year that stuff happens, am I right?! 🙂 You aren’t sucking at the challenge, you just signed up for a half!! And I totally giggled at your creepy comment, not at all!! I am seriously considering it 😉

  4. I hadn’t found your blog yet in the beginning of the year…but from the time I’ve “known” you, Jo, you’ve hit some really amazing goals and turning points in your life, and the happiness you’re feeling has been apparent for some time now. I love it. 🙂 I know that as the year came to a close, I really found my strength. The beginning of the year seemed to be full of sadness, anger (from losing my job to my parents’ divorce), and disappointment (in how hard I worked…just to get laid off). The middle of the year brought some great runs, but then all of my hard work went out the door when I let the difficulty of the holidays get me down. Now? I think you can tell I’ve lit a fire under my ass. 😉

    I can’t wait to ring in the New Year with a friend like you in my life.

    1. You always have such heartfelt comments, I love you for that and for many more reasons!! I am so glad to have reconnected and I kind of forget we haven’t read each other’s blogs from the beginning of the year! I love the fire under your ass, you are gonna BRING IT in 2012! I can feel it. XOXO!

  5. love reading your recap and following along! I had some major changes happen this year within myself – confidence, trust, communication, growth, friendship…and I really do have my job with lululemon to thank for a lot of it. I am so grateful for what I’ve learned about integrity and the kind of person I want to be/the kind of life I want to live. Very excited for 2012!

    1. I am so glad you worked through all of that, Dorry, and that your job at lululemon was a huge part of that. That is incredible. It’s awesome to love our jobs, isn’t it? Though I’m pretty sure I’d love yours even more 😉 Excited for 2012 too!!

  6. Wow! You’ve had just an amazing year and grown in so many parts of your life. What a great way place to be in starting 2012.

    For me, I think the last four months have been a significant seachange and I feel so much more self-confident now; I know who I am and I like who I am 🙂 I just have a sense that so many parts of my life are lining up that 2012 is going to be very exciting.

    1. It has been a big year! And for you as well, I love seeing this self-confidence rising in you and I think 2012 will definitely be a great year for you too!!

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