Before this past year, it had been virtually impossible for any year to live up to the gold standard of the 2005-2006 school year: during that year I lived in Leeds, a place which fit me so well that it still feels like home, I shared a house with a good friend and had many other good friends living nearby, and almost every day I took advantage of the perfect climbing and running that was on my doorstep. Since then I've had many good things happen to me but no continuously excellent year like that one.
Until 2014. All of the following happened over the past 12 months:
- Divesh and I were able to spend the entire year in our new house in Georgia, free from weekly commuting, the long harsh Midwestern winter (mostly...), and the intense DIY period of the first few months after we bought the house
- All but one of my races went well, with Arrowhead especially being one of the best races I've ever had
- I was able to make longer visits to the UK and Duluth, keeping the visits to friends and family from being quite as rushed as they normally are (though I was admittedly still guilty of trying to pack too much in on several occasions)
- Maria and I had a fantastic trip to the Balkans, which became one of my favorite places I've ever visited
- My running fitness steadily progressed throughout the year, ending with a "growth spurt" of improvement just before JFK
- in the last two months of the year I've been on a sudden climbing upswing, thoroughly enjoying it and finally getting back to the level I was at before I quit climbing on any kind of regular basis back in 2009.
The only real hitch to the year was a potentially serious Achilles/calf injury back in April, but with the help of a radiologist friend, I got on the path to rehab quickly and was only out for about 4 weeks.
I'll start 2015 remembering how lucky I've been the past 12 months and do what I can to continue everything that was good about 2014.
Divesh and I watched the last sunset of 2014 from the top of Coosa Bald, then camped and started off 2015 with a run on the Duncan Ridge Trail. So far I'm liking this new year...