The 13 Best Things of 2013

I’m DOOOONE finals! (No that’s not one of the best things). And I am HOME for the first time since mid-July, so this homecoming has been so so far overdue. This semester has been good, not my favorite but not my hardest, but 2013 has without a doubt been one of the coolest years of my entire life. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, but the following are in NO particular order. If anyone has a similar list, I’d love to read it! (And keep an eye out for the 14 things I’m looking forward to the most for the next year…)

1. My trip to Tallahassee with my coach and best friend for a little self imposed training camp. Florida State was hosting the World Championship Trials, which my qualified for(!!), and with my nationals the week after I tagged along! Training outside was a treat, along with the weather and inspiration from some incredible diving.

2. The finishes I posted at the Big Ten Championships. To be clear, the finishes at the time felt like failures. I was upset, and angry. My goal for the year was to come Top 8 on 1m and 3m and I came 9th. Twice. By a combined total of a single point. Yet, as my coach pointed out, those finishes were WAY higher than I had achieved my previous two years I was coming 18th, 28th, 30th… Today I can reflect and feel proud, and still work my ass off to make sure it never happens again.

3. Attending my first MLB games in Chicago! Go Cubs go! Labor Day weekend we got to spend the days at Wrigley Field, wandering downtown Chicago, and getting to not only see the games from the iconic bleachers but from right behind home plate and the Cubs dugout.

4. Being a part of the Inaugural Iowa Diving Camp. Not only did I get to live in the dorms with our first group of campers, as a team we got to coach some amazing kids from all over the state and the Midwest. It was one of the busiest weeks of all time, but the most fun I have ever had coaching. The atmosphere was unlike any other I had experienced, and I can’t wait to see it grow.

5. Experienced my first Fourth of July. This was a goal of mine when I moved to the States three and a half years ago, and I finally got the chance to be around that week! David and I spent the day out in the Amanas, where were treated to one of the most spectacular (and by far the longest!) fireworks shows I’ve ever seen. Makes me wonder what I’ll be doing next year, being in Indiana (more to come on that soon :) )

6. Spring break in the BAHAMAS. The trip of a lifetime occurred this March, and it. was. unreal. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to travel down there with David and his family. We spent a week touring the Exumas on a yacht, doing nothing but fishing, snorkeling, exploring epic beaches, and living off the grid for a week. It was probably one of the best vacations I have ever gone on (considered I only really travel for diving related stuff anyways!)

7. Finally seeing Quebec,and being able to go with my Dad and Stepmom. Quebec was the only major province I had not seen, and directly after my week in Tallahassee I flew to Laval for a week. To be clear, the competition there was maybe one of my worst meets ever recorded, but seeing able to see Quebec City, old and new, was a great way to make the best of the week!

8. Buying a car. My first car that I bought with my own money, registered in my name, all that jazz. It was the ultimate feeling of independence, and my first big real adult purchase (besides apartment leases and such). It seems like such a little thing, but it’s given me much in the sense that I can travel out of Iowa City whenever I want to, I can look at opportunities a state or two over, I can drive to see David and his family and my Hawks at away meets. The first week after I bought it I would just go look at the registration to remind myself that it was, in fact, mine all mine!

9. I got to spend the whole freaking year with this guy, and I could not be happier or feel luckier.

10. The YOGA Opportunity. No, this point has nothing to do with yoga. In the fall I applied to be the Youth Olympic Games Young Ambassador with the Canadian Olympic Team. I would have traveled with the Canadian Olympic Committee as a member of their delegation to China for a week in March and for all of August for the Youth Olympic Games. the position was to promote the educational and cultural opportunities for the Canadian athletes. And no, I didn’t get it. So why was this a highlight? 1. Because I wanted it sooo bad, it really helped me clarify what I want to go into in my future career and really showed me the opportunities that are out there. And 2. I came so close to actually getting it. After over 100 people applied, they interviewed the top 9 candidates (which I was fortunate enough to be!) and a week later I received news that while they were extremely impressed by my application and interview, I was not selected. However they told me I was their second choice, so all in all the experience for me was a win.

11. Fergus. Okay, so I just found out about him yesterday, but he still makes the list! Best housewarming ever was the sweet little 12 week old labradoodle that my mom and sister had kept quiet for a WEEK to surprise me at the airport. My heart was stolen instantly.

12. Rediscovering my love for writing. Mostly through this blog, to be honest. I used to keep a journal that I would write in on such a regular basis, and I kept up those journals for years. I loved to go back and read through them, every time I came home or if I had one with me in Iowa. I kept a journal from the age of 9 to college, and it slowly fading out after that. I missed it. I tried again and again, but it felt like a chore. It felt like something I had to do, to record my life and my thoughts and my feelings. Starting a blog allowed me to write and feel more grounded. While it’s obviously not as personal as a journal,

13. Alberta. Every single day I got in Alberta this year I cherished, going back to Iowa January 2nd, coming home for the shortest summer break yet, and home now means the fewest days ever in a year I have spent in Calgary. Coming home right after the Southern Alberta floods was an incredible experience, and I felt for my city. I was proud of my city. I got to see the mountains, and the Stampede, and my family. Every, every day in Alberta was a gift, that I plan to take better advantage of in 2014.

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