Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Look Back

As 2016 comes to its conclusion, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on a pretty good year. Hope your holidays were amazing this year, mine were excellent. If I have looked forward to writing this post for some time now, you know that it has been a pretty good time. Despite writing on a regular basis sometime in May, a lot of amazing things have happened and I want to share those amazing moments with you.

New Scenery and New Outlook
In August, I made the decision to relocate to another part of New York State along with a career change. Almost four months in, the change has been nothing short of spectacular. My outlook on life has been awesome and making small changes in my life have made me the person I am right now. I kept telling myself why this did not happen sooner. Something about being in a new environment that brings out a side in you that you never knew existed. Also, my parents moved to New Jersey because my father started a new job for a new company. It was stunning leaving a place you have called home for almost twenty seven years to relocate to a new place. I'm telling you, the change in scenery is scary at first. As time passes, the feeling becomes amazing and that perfectly describes what I went through. Talking with my parents during the holidays, they are loving the new environment and their new employers have been very supportive of them. It was beautiful celebrating the holidays in a new home and most importantly, spending quality time with my family.

Drug Free
This can fall under the new outlook topic but this is a tremendous milestone in my life. I completed another milestone this year but I'll get to that momentarily. A few days prior to Christmas in 2015, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol completely. I have avoided other drugs too but struggled at first ridding myself of alcohol. As I am writing this, I have been sober for over one year and there is no going back. I have noticed small positive changes in my body physically and emotionally. Since getting rid of alcohol, I've fallen in love with two beverages: coffee (Deathwish) and water.


Sitting down with a good book
Undoubtedly, this year has been dominated by paperback books. Honestly, I can't tell you the last time I have read this many books in a year. I have read works by David Sedaris, Stieg Larsson, Augusten Burroughs, and many more. Never thought this would happen but I've started reading the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. I would say to myself, this is a series I will never read and sure enough, three books in, I'm hooked. I'm still reading on a regular basis. It is nice talking to others who give me excellent recommendations on future readings.


Running
This year has been exciting for how much running I have accomplished. Four half marathons, a team relay race, and two marathons is the most races I have participated in since I started running a few years ago. I have really come along way since running my first 5K back in 2012. I participated in my first team relay race, Seneca 7 back in April. This event was so much meeting so many competitors and teammates along the route. The course was a total of 77.7 miles around Seneca Lake with teams of seven runners. Even though our team got disqualified, it was so much participating in that event and did some of my best running. Earlier in the month, I ran in the worst conditions for a half marathon. The event took place in Syracuse where there was almost zero visibility along with sleet, hail, and snow mixed into the challenge. Along with the races, it was awesome meeting so many runners during group days. I accomplished a personal best in a half-marathon race running in under 1:40 back in July at Saratoga Springs Spa State Park.

My biggest milestone this year has to be completing my first marathon race this year. Fittingly, it was in a city I have called home for several years. I was honored to have participated in the first annual Herald of Victory event in Binghamton on Memorial Day weekend. You can read my race recap here. Six months later, I completed my second marathon in Philadelphia. Not only was this the biggest race I have been a part of but I also accomplished a personal best time of just under 3:30. I can not wait to see where my marathon running journey takes me in 2017. Thank you to everyone for giving me a reason to fall in love with running. Yes it is very difficult to complete a marathon with all the training and preparation but it was all worth it in the end.

 I have to say that it has been a great year for running


Those are the biggest moments of this year but here are some other moments from 2016:

Podcasts. I have been obsessed with podcasts lately and it has allowed me to listen with an open mind. My most played podcast is The Joe Rogan Experience, which you can subscribe to on iTunes. I love the guests he has on the program ranging from educated professors to comedians. The show is very entertaining and you might learn something too. Other podcasts I've listened to are How To Be Amazing, Total Human Optimization, and No Meat Athlete Radio. I'm always looking for new podcasts to listen to so please leave suggestions in the comments box.

Watching a game in the Green Monster section at Fenway Park
Running in Central Park
More punk and hardcore shows
Working out in a gym/training facility
Deathwish Coffee

More writing. I've enjoyed writing on this blog a lot this year and looking forward to continuing into the new year. Thank you to everyone who have viewed the blog. Please leave comments and feedback. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for making this an awesome year for me. Good luck to everyone striving for a better life in 2017.

-Matt

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