So we're quickly wrapping up 2016 and I'm sitting here, trying to figure out where the hell it went. But when I force myself to stop and think back over the past 12 months (an effort for someone that is always antsy for the NEXT thing), I realize how incredible and FULL this year has been. I posted back in April about not being dead yet and my goals for 2016. And as I read back through that, I can say that, as of 4JAN2017, when I take AND PASS the written portion of my NREMT exam, I will have nailed 2 of those 3 goals I set for myself. Three of four, if you count getting back on deck to coach swimming. The only one I've not yet nailed was the blue belt in jiu-jitsu. But I have my 4th stripe and plan to get back on the mat as soon as my schedule will allow.

In addition to nailing those goals, I'm close to hitting another one that I set but didn't write about. Team Rubicon has a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and TR members can become Wildland Firefighters with the BLM. I heard today that TR members make up 25% of BLM's wildland firefighters. I'm not sure if that's true but it doesn't surprise me. To become WWF1 qualified, you have to be able to ruck 3 miles with a 45# pack in under 45 minutes. No running. No incline. We have a great trail just outside of town and I love to hike there. The Nature Trail is about 3 miles so I started timing myself - no pack, just hiking. It has a good solid hill at the beginning of the trail and once I was able to consistently finish the loop in under 45 minutes, I started adding weight. By the end of the summer, I could do 3.1 miles with 38# of weight in 44 minutes. I have no doubt that, should I choose to go test for WWF1 with BLM, I could handle the pack test.

In all of my adult life, I don't think I've ever owned a scale. I've never cared what my weight was. I know when I am out of shape and when I am in shape and it has nothing to do with a number on a machine. But MacGyver came home with one a while ago and, in weighing myself, I've put on somewhere between 3 and 5 pounds of muscle. I'm leaner in some areas, more muscular in others. And I feel GOOD. Or I did until winter hit. Need more vitamin D and some of those full-spectrum light bulbs we used in Alaska! I'm hoping to keep hitting the trail when the weather isn't awful. In the meantime, I have some upper body work I want to do so that I can fully operate a chainsaw for TR. Right now, I have trouble cold-starting the saw and need to build more power in my upper body. Time to start doing some rows and deltoid lifts and bicep curls.

On the Team Rubicon front, we are in the process of adjusting to a new leadership structure and I've moved from State Administrator to Program Manager over the western half of our region - kind of like a State Administrator on crack, covering two states instead of just one. Because, you know, I didn't have enough to do. The reality is that I am loving it. I get to help build our our leadership in some key cities throughout the region as well as help with training events, service projects, social activities, etc. We hashed out our 2017 training calendar and to say that I am excited about all that we have on tap would be quite an understatement. Sawyer classes, Heavy Equipment Operator courses, Chainsaw Train the Trainer courses, ASIST classes, cut days (YAY! More sawyer time for me!), and much more. My hope is that our region doesn't have too many natural disasters to respond to - that's always the hope - but if we do, we'll do it well!

I'm still working on my goals for 2017 but I will say they include the leftover blue belt goal from 2016 in addition to participating in Tough Mudder (and possibly working it as an EMT!), nailing my PM goals for TR, getting ASIST certified and attending the ASIST Train the Trainer course, being able to cold start a Stihl 261 chainsaw, getting my EMT-I (or EMT-A) certification, getting accepted in to Paramedic school...the list goes on and on!

I would write about all of the wonderful people in my life this year, but I can't do so without getting all blubbery and emotional so I'll save it for another day. We'll just leave it at the fact that I am blessed beyond measure.

Right now, I need to go study. I have my practical exam for my EMT-B in less than 12 hours. Whee!

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