Happy New Year!

How is everybody feeling? I know I crawled to the finish line of 2021, dazed and punch drunk and not ready to face what’s next – anyone else feeling that? 

New Year’s Eve found me in my pajamas, grumpily and halfheartedly researching other career possibilities. I had been trying to come up with something inspiring to say about the new year, in the grand tradition of fitness trainers when the calendar turns over, and I was drawing a complete blank. Which meant that obviously I was too old and irrelevant and curmudgeonly to continue as a fitness professional – any moment Tracy Anderson was going to knock on my door and revoke my certifications for not coming out with some trashy, self-aggrandizing here’s-how-to-live-your-life listicle on social media. 

There were no knocks at the door that evening, though (and I’m pretty sure if Tracy Anderson were to come to my house looking for a fight I could take her anyway) and on January 1 the sun came up and I got over myself; I don’t have any other skills anyway so y’all are stuck with me. I’ve even sort of come up with something to say about the new year. Sort of. But first, let me tell you about how a glass of whiskey tried to kill me. 

It was December 23rd, the night before the night before Christmas. My husband and I were home together for the first evening in ages – school was done, work was done, the battery of Christmas concerts was done, shopping, wrapping, planning, decorating – done, done, done, and done…we made it! We sat down on the couch with our nightcaps to toast the Christmas break. I took a sip, aspirated, and then shot the whole mouthful of whiskey out through my nose. Unsure of what had just happened and unable to breathe, I got up and stumbled to the kitchen for a glass of water and a tissue. “Dear? What happened?” Joel asked, wide-eyed. I couldn’t answer him. “Talk to me!” His voice rose. 

“Gggh-ggaaahh” I croaked. 

“Did you just snort your whiskey?” It took about a second for him to first realize what had happened and then see the hilarity of the situation. So there was me, doubled over in pain and clutching the fireball where my head used to be, and Joel, doubled over with laughter and clutching his stomach (but also feeling a little guilty). I wish I could tell you that it ended there, but after a day of feeling like my throat and sinuses had been sandblasted, the fever and infection set in…and to make a long boring story short I was sick AF for the rest of the break. 

At the time I didn’t think it was that funny, but as time passes and my sense of humour slowly trickles back, I can appreciate the ridiculousness – it was like the final grandiose “fuck y’all” from 2021 as it sashayed out into the -40C night, leaving the door hanging open.

I went back to work to start 2022, a day behind schedule, brand-new planner in hand for maximal effectiveness and full of ambition to get on top of my shit and stay there. Train my clients, grow the barbell club, play music gigs, finish courses, lift heavier, get sleep, eat vegetables, do cardio, write articles, develop courses, practice music every day, be a good mom/wife/role model for my kids, and get a bench press that I don’t have to be embarrassed about – bring it, 2022! 

I kicked ass at all those goals for three days, and on the fourth day I tested positive for Covid-19. 

I’m having trouble getting my head around 2021. Seems like the central theme of the year was burnout: I drove too hard and too fast, never taking more than one day off at a time, always wondering when the rug was going to go flying out from under my feet. Then again, I was looking back through the photo gallery in my phone a few days ago (I needed a picture of one of our barbell club athletes so that I could post about her birthday) and I was struck – brought to tears, if I’m 100% honest – by all the awesome and amazing things that happened. There’s something really poignant about the positive things that stand out against the backdrop of pandemic fear and grief and darkness: the unexpected friendships, the strength and perseverance, the tiny steps forward against all odds…it was the year that kinda felt like a lifetime but also kinda felt like five minutes. 

So where does that leave us going into 2022? For my part I’m taking a mulligan on (re)starting this year until I’m legally allowed to leave my house again. When that happens, I’m gonna go back to trying to do everything better, with the following caveat: it’s going to be a slow process. Keeping one foot on the brake when you’re excited about making changes is hecking hard, but it might be THE most important piece of making a change that’s sustainable. Baby steps. Schedule it in. 

And there I might be starting to sound like a personal trainer at New Year’s Resolution season so I’m gonna stop…right after I say one more thing: I couldn’t help but notice that last year I only posted twice on this blog, and I have really, really missed writing for fun. That will be remedied this year. 

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