The coaches at Nerd Fitness asked the clients to look back at 2017 in order to shape their goals for 2018.

I decided to look back at my fitness journey here, because a lot of it has to do with what this blog is about.

I plan to add a post early in 2018 with my goals and plans for the new year.


I kicked off the new year with a walk with Team Red White and Blue . I also began training for the Hillraiser Challenge, which was held in February. I originally signed up to do just the day run, but as the event drew closer, I signed up for both days.

I also became a Skirt Sports ambassador. The ambassadors and brand are amazing and helped me a lot throughout the year.

The Hillraiser Challenge was like the GORUCK event in 2016 and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2015 — epic. It opened my eyes to the possibilities and how I can do more if I just change my attitude.

I was the last finisher of the night race and second to last of the day race. It didn’t matter. What mattered to me was getting help from my friends throughout the course, pushing myself through the cold and mud, and doing something that scared the pants off me.

It took a while to recover, but around this time I started playing volleyball with a team we created at Team RWB. I also learned how to Geocache.

In March, we decided to move. I ended up moving earlier than I had wanted, but in retrospect, timing was perfect.


I spent a month being unemployed. The stress of finding a job, and getting acclimated to a new area and new people took a toll on my health that I saw but didn’t acknowledge.

Our first stop at our new home was the beach. Appalachia and the coast are nothing a like except the beautiful natural beauty. The kids couldn’t stand how flat everything was.

I celebrated my fifth runversary — the anniversary of my first race — on April 28. I also started training with Mountain Kid 1 to get her ready for cross country season.

I signed us up for a virtual race in July. I did many virtual races this year.


MK1 and I participated in the Eagle Charge in July. She won an age group award for or four-mile run.

In July, I joined We Do Hard Stuff, a group dedicated to getting fit and raising money for charity. This group added some focus that I was lacking in my fitness game since I moved. It also reintroduced plyometrics into my fitness routine.

I was doing the physical components of my training program through Nerd Fitness but wasn’t at the point where I committed to the nutritional aspects. I did delve into the mental aspects, looking at why I sabotage myself when working toward something and setting realistic goals. Getting my mental game in order helped plot a smoother course for the rest of 2017. It helped me climb out of the funk caused by the upheaval we had earlier this year. I was tired of being sick and tired again. I knew it was my fault and I had to rescue myself.

Around this time, I joined Move More Fitness as an ambassador. Since then, I’ve been exposed to a lot more fitness-minded people who have a lot of knowledge and insight.


School started back up, so MK1 was competing in her first season of cross-country.

I became an ambassador for Just Strong, a clothing company based in the UK.

I participated in my first local race in Ahoskie, NC. It came at a time when I was struggling with keeping outside criticism from affecting my running. I felt accomplished, but hurt at the same time. This race made me want to buckle down on the other aspects of my fitness journey — mental and nutrition. I went to my first annual physical exam in about six years. I’m healthy, but overweight. No surprise there.

I was training for the Sub 30 Club’s Virtual Grand Slam, an offshoot of the Runner’s World Festival Grand Slam. It was 26.2 miles of running in late October. While others questioned why I would run a virtual race, I saw it as a test of my commitment to my journey. I completed the distances, some with the help of the Mountain Kids.

In November, I went to San Francisco after winning a contest hosted by Charity Miles. It was a great trip and made me rethink several aspects of my life. I meet a great group of teenagers who have bright futures ahead of them. I had helped some local kids learn how to swim about a month before the trip. The visit to the West Coast solidified my quest to help kids and adult find affordable ways to stay healthy.

I participated in my first WOD — workout of the day. It was held by Team RWB during Veterans Day weekend. It was just 11 minutes, but it was challenging and fun.

In November, I signed up for my first race of 2018, the Krispy Kreme Challenge. I have always wanted to run this race. I have a lot of work to do, but I’ve really enjoyed training for it so far.

In December, I ran the Jingle Dash, a virtual 5k hosted by Move More Fitness. I set my December benchmark for the 5k, averaging under 12 minutes per mile. That was a new record for the year.

To move forward, sometimes you have to look at where you’ve been. Thanks for the memories, 2017. Let’s do this, 2018!!