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Year in Review 2016: Five Categories of Life


It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a true year in review, right? Taking a look at 2016 from the lenses of the five major categories of my life.

2016 Year in Review

Professional Year in Review

I just got hired as the new Member Experience Manager and Head of Personal Training for Anytime Fitness Chicago North! @Suzlyfe

I had some great opportunities this year. I was in Thrillist, I acted as a Cottonelle Ambassador. I was on a podcast. I lost my job and gained another, then shifted my responsibilities there. But my greatest professional achievements have been as a coach, both in person at the gym and with Team Challenge and virtually. Nothing gives me more self-value and sense of achievement than helping others to see positive change in themselves. Empowering others empowers me.

I don’t make a ton of money as a running coach or as a personal trainer, but I love what I do. Sure, I could make more money, take on 500 clients a month like I saw one health coach boast about… but that wouldn’t fulfill me because I would loose the one on one interaction. And that one on one interaction is what I so crave.

Blogging Year in Review

Lifetime Fitness did a great job of hosting the Now Foods and Fitfluential Bloggers! What a great workout!

The blog has seen some growth this year in some ways and some tightening up in others. I go through spurts of ambition with the blog. Ultimately, I return to a sort of “happy weight” as it were, where I am still bringing people in via my content but also some marketing, but I am able to have a life. I have periods where I get caught up in the numbers of the blog–my page views? They are really pretty standard. Why isn’t my blog taking off?? But I also know that I am only putting in so much effort and money, and if I really wanted to, I could find a way. 

Blogging has been a major source of support for me this year, as always, but particularly while I was dealing with losing my job, surviving unemployment, battling anxiety and depression, returning to running, and now, dealing with IVF. Thank YOU for being there. For reaching out. For sending those virtual hugs and for setting up meetings.

I have, once again, been incredibly fortunate to meet so many blogging friends in real life through the NOW Foods Immersion and Blogfest, as well as dinners and otherwise.

I started the Running Coaches Corner Link up with Debbie, Lora, and Rachel, and I celebrated my third year of blogging with a look back and a survey. At the end of the day, I started blogging for two reasons: to tell my story and to find myself by finding my community. Check, and check. I count myself successful.

Running Year in Review

There is nothing so glorious as a perfect run! @suzlyfe

Running. Oh, running. I went from not running a full mile until just shy of April to a 50 (I added 2 miles to make it even, lol) mile week to end the year. I have no clue my total miles for the year, and I don’t care. Running is a passion, a love, a joy, a release, but it is not my life. That is why my blog is Suzlyfe. Running is a component of my life, as is coaching, and thus why I loved starting Running Coaches Corner with my cohosts,  We have covered so many topics, and there are always more to cover (see my “best of” from our 2016 posts).

This year, after all the lessons that I learned from my injury and triumphs and reflections on those times, running for speed was left at the door in favor of just running. I got a taste of some of my old speed at the Mag Mile Half Marathon, but really, that race meant so much more to me. I covered that and other highlights in my 2016 Year in Running.

The biggest change in running this year has been the opportunity to run with Alex. If you have read for any amount of time, you know that prior to this year, I got him to run with me once, maybe twice a year. This year, we became running buddies in between coaching gigs. Unfortunately, he is currently dealing with a recurring calf injury, but it has been a pleasure and a source of great, great joy to be able to share this with him.

Health Year in Review

It has been a bit of year for me, healthwise. I started the year in pain and on crutches. I was declared in remission for Crohn’s Disease in February and taken off birth control. I started having the odd anxiety attack in March, then ran my first mile after 5 months (exactly 5 months between pain free runs, actually). We decided to wait to start Clomid until my job settled. April, I had my first complete month of running.

May, I fell apart: anxiety, situational depression, aches and pains in my back and my feet. June and July were more of the same, but this time, I started to have digestion issues. Finally, in July and August, as we started our first rounds of Clomid, it all got too much, and my body gave. We stopped the fertility treatments, my doctor found active Crohn’s Disease, and we decided to regroup before trying any more fertility treatments. We focused on my mental health (which had good days and VERY bad days), putting on weight (lost due to stress and malabsorption), and I changed my responsibilities at work. 

September, my health got back on track with a shorter interval between my treatments, I started feeling better, but I continued to have migraines and the odd anxiety/depression episode, which I started to treat by seeing a psychiatrist, who I am continuing to see. We also got a four legged friend, who I will get to in a minute. October and November were pretty solid healthwise. 

Finally, December. We started our IVF Protocol, and while I’ve felt ok overall, in the middle of December I got a weird virus which my body has reacted to by a full body skin rash called pityriasis rosea. Such is the life of an immunosuppressed patient. I had a week where I felt terrible, but I am feeling back to myself again, and we start IVF with our first shots on the last night of the year!

Personal Year in Review

She actually has no problem with her coat.

Where to even begin. This year has been a true roller coaster. I have dealt with mental peaks and valleys throughout–one moment I would be living the proverbial dream and the next I would be hanging on for dear life, and even wondering if I could live in the mental state that I was in. But I made proactive and reactive strides to better my mental and physical health, and that is something that I am quite proud of. 

I am also so proud of Alex, who graduated from residency, is acting Chief Resident, and has been matched to stay at Northwestern for GI Fellowship. He has worked so hard, and he is truly my rock. Through everything.

Moving was stressful and anxiety attack inducing (also because I was having a bad back week, which didn’t help), but both Alex and I adore our current apartment (so much so that we are staying even after the flood and construction). 

Another stressful but happiest yet moment? Getting Ridley. She is a handful, she is so much responsibility, but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I adore Zoe, but Ridley is my first true fur child. She is my “payback” but she is also helping me love myself more. I need to do some major work on her trainingwise, but that will come with time. 

Right now, I am working on myself and getting myself ready in more ways than one to start a family. I am getting my head shrunk and talking about the thoughts that arise, and I am obviously changing my body in a big way for IVF. Get more on my thoughts from what the year has meant for me mentally and physically here, where I talk about my year end thoughts and look forward to 2017.

What major developments happened in your life in 2016? Suz shares hers #life #infertility #fitfluential Click To Tweet

Thank you all for being there, for challenging me, supporting me, and interacting. YOU are the reason that I blog. No one likes to talk to an empty room.

Here is to a healthy, happy, positive year for all of us!

What has been a major development in your life this year, if you care to share?

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