The Year In Retrospect: 1 of 3

The Year of Becoming: Exceed, Explore Enrich – my 2016 theme, written on a brown paper bag, with a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish. I wrote about this during the early part of this year, in another post, to share and put into writing what I hope my year will be. They say that it is good to have goals, something to aspire for. Though not all of them may always be met, it gives us direction.

It did give me something to look back on, every now and then, to see if I do get to tick off something from the list. It was never a strict routine, as I still allowed life to happen on its own. I always wondered if I’ll be able to write about the list again but here I am, back in my humble abode. I am back to share my list, and will do so in three parts. Each part will highlight some of those goals and stories on whether I was able to achieve them or not.

So, I begin.

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Incorporate more exercise in my life:
I knew it would be good if I can include more healthy activities in my life when I can. I am not exactly the sporty kind of girl, and even if I can play a few sports, I preferred the ones that didn’t involve balls. I liked running and yoga and so these were the things I did more. During weekends, most especially during the non-rainy season and when I wasn’t out for a hike or any other trip, I would wake up earlier and go for a jog at a park near our home. I was also able to join a fun run and some hikes that were also quite linked to my goal of more physical activities. I also got to do yoga on some weekends and weeknights as we had yoga sessions available at my workplace, held after work hours. Though still a beginner, I just relish in the practice and allow each session to add good vibes and subtract whatever must be released. I got a shot on other fitness programs such as F45, a series of workouts done 45 seconds each, with 15 second breaks in-between, and boxing with a trainer, all done with some workmates.

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Later this year, I got chicken pox and I had to really stop physical activities for two weeks till I was well. I realized that it is also better if this isn’t overdone as it may also affect my overall health. After all, balance is still key.

Timeline: Weekends, Weeknights (for yoga)

Join a fun run:
I have joined runs before back in school and even had it as my final exam in one PE class, but I wanted to give it a go on a legit fun run. As my way of taking baby steps, I was initially thinking of joining a 3km course. In the end, I joined a 5km run, sponsored and with a few workmates. We started just as the sun was about to rise, which I thought is the best time to start a run. I particularly enjoyed the cool morning air hitting my face as I made my way and then shortly separated from the people I was with. As I got into the zone, I was just letting my legs take me in the pace I was most comfortable with. After finishing at a steady stride, I felt really good probably because of the endorphins and that mini achievement of completing the race, and all the things that it symbolized for me. We topped it off with a Zumba session and finally erasing all the calories we burned by eating a hefty meal at iHop.

Timeline: January

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Opt for healthier food choices and bring more home-cooked meals:
Those home-cooked meals only meant I would buy less outside and bring more food from home whenever I can. It was a way to lessen to eating out and ingesting processed food. Ever since I started enjoying vegetables and other healthy food, I started to eat more of those knowing that they do good to my body. Perhaps on this, I would say I achieved this somehow because I do bring baon, opt for fit bars, oats, et al for my snacks, drink Jamba (a new favorite with a shout-out to Kale-ribbean Breeze), other juices, milk, and tea, but I don’t exactly stick to a diet. I still do like to enjoy a delectable-not-always-healthy kind of meal, from ala carte to buffet, from appetizers to desserts. Remember iHop?

Timeline: Weekdays (whenever possible)

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Go on at least two hikes within the year:
The first time I went hiking up a mountain was back in Taiwan, during my junior-term abroad, where we went on a cultural field trip to see the Smangus Tribe and see the Yaya Q’parung, century-old trees that need at least 25 people to enclose it in a hug. Being autumn, it was a cool hike which made it an enjoyable experience despite the length of the trek. Afterward, my first hike in my country was in Mt. Maculot, a truly unforgettable day because I didn’t know how I would find it. The hot weather in the middle of summer was quite a test to my endurance but even then, I particularly enjoyed the experience because it told me a lot about myself when I got to the peak and back. From then on, I knew I wanted to hike again.

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And hike again I did, not twice but four times this year, to multiple peaks – unexpectedly, amazingly so. As a safety precaution, I hiked only during the sunnier months of the year as I knew that the rain can prove to be a slippery hike. I experienced bits of rain still, as we hold no control over the weather. Up to Mt. Talamitam, Mt. Ulap (a favorite), Hungduan & Ifugao, and Mt. Maynoba – Mt. Cayabu, I went. Each hike holds a wonderful story on its own, mine and the mountains’ already intertwined as I left my invisible mark through each traverse.

Timeline: April, May, July

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