There is no better time than the end of December to do a recap of the year. While trying to find a comfortable position for my feet on the sofa, sipping on some coffee from my favorite mug I will share with you some of the vivid moments I had throughout the year. I know it is not a fitness related post but I was itching to take you back with me to some of my past year experiences. Few of them are kinda fitness oriented, most are not, but they all blend together in the perfect mix to compose my best year thus far.
While doing a morning hike today to get my thoughts together I got an inspiration to drill down and make my brain work little harder than usual to load all the precious moments, I had this year, in my head.
It took my memory a while to get me all the way back to January and, at first, it seemed so distant. So many things happened that I don’t know where to start. Probably I should label 2015, and the best suiting title would be “The year of firsts” – first time snowboarding, first time trying different sea foods (lobster, crab, and clams), first time getting on top of a wave, surfing (at least I thought I was on top of the wave), my first time in Vegas, my first blog post went live and many more first time experiences that I hope I never forget. So to make sure my memory doesn’t give up on me in the upcoming years I will put the highlights of 2015 on paper.
“Let’s go snowboarding”
That were the exact words my colleague Georgi said to me, one evening, as we were about to close the gym. I gave him a look, best described as “How the hell did you come up with that?”.
At first, I was skeptical but my adventurous spirit has led me to do a little bit of research on what it takes to snowboard, and during the search, I stumbled upon this video (I wish I was snowboarding like them) that got me hooked. That’s all I needed, a little buzz and I was all in. The following weekend I had my feet tied to a board for the first time.
Even though I was going downhill with the speed of a crawling baby (probably not the best reference as they are fast, way faster than I was), I felt an awesome rush going through my head. It was pure adrenaline, no thoughts, no worries, nothing…….. just nature, me and my effort to get up for the 20th time. Anyway, fast forward a little bit I now have 5 snowboarding trips under my belt and can proudly say that I’m snowboarding on kids’ slopes pain-free.
The most vivid memory of soreness this year.
No, it wasn’t a leg day. After the winter season was over and I could no longer enjoy the weekend snowboard trips I had to find a new activity to fill up my schedule and keep me sane. At the time I had a lot of worries and pressure juggling with school, work, relationships and training so I thought something that allows me to relax and clear my head would be a perfect fit. And that’s how I got introduced to Yoga. With the very little information I had on the topic back then, so little, that I had no idea there are different types of yoga, I ended up doing the toughest one (I claim it is the hardest, I haven’t actually tried any other but take my word for it, it is tough as hell) Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Sadly I’ve googled that after being sore for 2 days after the “deep relaxation and meditation”.
A class consisting of 6 people – 4 girls (lucky me), one more guy and my persona. So far so good. “Take your shoes off” the teacher whispers, “Alright!”. Approaching the yoga math with confidence thinking “I’m working out 6 times a week, benching 245lbs for reps, a little stretching isn’t going to scare me”…. We start with Vinyasa (meaning “breathing system”). It meets my expectations so far, slow movements, deep relaxation breaths, with a smile on my face I’m glad I’ve signed up. That lasted for about 5 minutes until we started the “real” session. Unimaginable movements performed so fast that I’ve counted 7 different pose switches in 20 seconds. And to TOP all of that the teacher wanted me to breathe deeply while trying to stay on my head.
10 minutes in and my t-shirt is dripping in sweat, 20 minutes in…. my muscles are aching, 30 minutes in and the only thing that keeps me going are the 4 girls in front me that are effortlessly performing what that devil of an instructor is showing, 40 minutes in back to Vinyasa again, best part of the session. “Phew, it’s done. Finally!” I thought there is nothing longer lasting than the mathematics exam I had the previous semester.
Anyway, after the soreness was gone I felt great and went there again ( just to point, it was voluntary), and actually enjoyed it, now that I knew what to expect. So, guys, every beginning is hard whether it’s fitness, yoga or rugby, give it time and do a little research so you don’t get surprised as I did when you dive head first.
“We got a crab”
“We got a what?” was my response, after the 2 am announcement my roommate Zlati made. Proudly waving a steamed crab in front of my sleepy face with a grin on her face, she tried to wake me up, to give it a try. I’m a foodie and all that but I love my pillow more than food so I went back to dreamland. Before I closed my eyes for the next 8 hours I reassured her that we will do “crab tasting” in the morning.
Crab for breakfast isn’t how I normally roll, but heck what. After struggling for 5 minutes with the cracker to get to the meat, I finally had a bite. Didn’t taste like the oatmeal with maple and brown sugar I usually have for breakfast but it was not bad at all. While I’m still chewing on it, Zlati screams, “It tastes like crab rolls”, “Sure it does”, I answer with tears of laughter in my eyes, “It is crab meat after all”.
I won’t bore you with the other seafood experiences I had but I couldn’t pass this one.
Surfing shouldn’t be any different than snowboarding
That was the thought rushing through my head while I was hugging the board like a koala while trying to get on top of a wave. About 20 waves passed through before I finally decided that I’ve got a winner, rigorous waving with my arms, just like Mitch from Baywatch, I was moving with the speed of the wave, it picks me up, I’m on top……..
Nearly knocked out I get my head out of the water with 2 huge bruises. The board hits me on the back of my head while I was trying to be like Kelly Slater and then while being tossed around by the wave I hit my forehead on the sandy bottom.
Well, I figured it out the hard way but surfing isn’t that close to snowboarding. I got stuck with body surfing until the end of the day but at least, we took a photo with the boards with my friend Daniel that got over a 100 likes on facebook. So we can call it a success. Ignore the tan difference we have. We love wearing socks during the summer. No, I’m kidding we just had to.
“What should be the headline ?”
That was the question I’ve been asking myself for 3 hours after I’ve spent 3 days writing my first blog post. I was anxious, “What would be the most catchy title?”, “How to best describe to my readers what’s the article going to be about?”. It doesn’t matter now, very few people will go all the way back to my first post and read it at least not until I get famous, but until that time arrives I will be able to change the title to something more eye-grabbing.
I’ve had the idea of creating a blog where I can share my input on fitness and nutrition topics, with the idea of helping people make positive changes in their lifestyles. But it took me years to act upon it and after months of the creation of the website, font switching, color picking, head-banging over little design issues, I finally had my first post going live. November 20th, 2015! I used to find it really hard to write the first few posts but after a month in, it gets more exciting and I’m not as anxious.
The biggest struggle I had was shaking off the idea that I have to write like in school. This is my blog and I don’t have to worry about grades. I don’t care about “A’s” no more.
I could go on and on with moments that left a mark in my memory but the chances to lose you as a reader are increasing tremendously so I will put an end to the “highlight list”. There are still tons of other great memories I had during the year but if people are keen on reading about it, I might do a part 2.
My goal for 2016 would be to keep up with the blog posts, trying to post once a week, getting better and better, providing you with valuable, yet easy to read information.
And as a gift from Santa this year I want a professional editor because I’m not a grammar person. It will take a huge burden off my shoulders and will allow me to worry less and sleep better.
Now that we are entering 2016, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m ready to learn, read, do yoga, snowboard, surf(body surf) and most importantly upgrade my life. I want to experience twice as many things as I did this year and reach even more people. And while I’m on this journey myself I want to bring my friends and family with me to share the precious moments.
What are the highlights of your 2015, and what are you looking forward to doing in 2016?
About Simeon Krastev
Simeon is a fitness coach with a unique perspective on training and nutrition. For the past six years, he’s been helping busy people achieve an impactful fit look without putting their life on hold. Stay in touch by connecting with him on LinkedIn.