It seems to be a common trend on the internet to celebrate the ending of 2016. Just because people have replaced their calendars with new ones that have different numbers they think everything that happened last year would magically disappear. Luckily, I had a great 2016.
For the past two years I have set out with a list of goals to accomplish and these have worked out pretty well! I have yet to meet 100% of the goals that I put down, but have managed to reach the percentage set out for myself both years. Here is a very brief rundown of my 2016:
I spent 18 days paddling this year, which doesn’t sound like much, but for someone who lives in the Piedmont of North Carolina where paddling opportunities can be limited is actually a huge deal. During that time I paddled five Personal First Descents (PFDs):
- Toilet Bowl / Hammer Factor [Green River Narrows]
- Deep River [Cedar Falls Section]
- Middle Ocoee River
- Upper Ocoee River
- Haw River
|Gabriel's Bend Rapid (Haw River)|
Each trip was an amazing experience and I learned a lot from each one. While I am super stoked to have run the last two rapids on the Green River Narrows, which included my first Class V, the weekend I spent on the Ocoee River with my friend Meryl stands out as one of, if not the funnest river I have ever paddled.
I guided three people on their first kayaking trips. Watching each of them have a blast as they embraced the sport was super exciting for me and I realized I still have a lot to give when it comes to the sport. (I also have a lot to learn too.) My roommate and I also entered our first kayaking race at Tuck Fest, which is where I realized that Kayak races might not be my cup of tea.
For years I have wanted to get into climbing and this year I finally did. In less than I year I have managed to meet a great group of friends through my University’s climbing community and have worked hard to improve. I entered my first two Climbing Competitions and even began to Sport Climb outdoors. I got the chance to make my first climbing trips to New River Gorge, Lake Summersville, and Pilot Mountain.
|Pole Dancing (Pilot Mountain)|
Recently I finished climbing the hardest climb I’ve ever sent at our University’s wall which was an amazing experience. I will likely write a post about this soon.
Backpacking / Hiking
I spent three days of my Spring Break completing the last 30 miles I had left to hike in the Nantahala National Forest. It was great getting back out on the Appalachian Trail with my dad and I was super stoked that we got to share that experience with my little sister.
|Cheoah Bald (Nantahala National Forest)|
I also got to hike the Perimeter Trail at Camp Grimes for the first time in years, and loved every second of it.
I played eleven disc golf courses this year, six of those were new courses for me. In that time I got to play my first Doubles Tournament with a friend I met from school where we did decently well for as out of practice as we were!
Fitness and Leisure
I managed to lose enough weight this year to get to 188.6 lbs but have struggled to keep it off. I have been bouncing between 190 and 200 all year, and am currently back at 200. I plan to get back down below 190 and to keep the weight off this year. Evan and I also managed to increase the amount of content that we were posting to the various outlets of Creeks & Crags.
This year I managed to have a combined GPA of 3.72 at UNCG which is probably my best accomplishment of 2016. Not because I don’t think I couldn’t have done better, but because I have finally managed to learn how to balance my school work with all the other things I want to do.