Just like last year, I’m still not Oprah and you’re still not going to get anything out of this blog post… sorry y’all. However, it is that time of year where everyone starts looking back on the past year as well as looking forward to the the future. Once again, 2012 has been a year to remember, and I have been fortunate to have dozens of spectacular memories to look back upon.
Without further adieu….my favorite memories of 2012!
1. Ouray Ice Climbing Festival
Ice climbing had been on my to-do list for a very long time, so when Craig and Cindy suggested heading down to Ouray for the annual ice climbing festival, I jumped on the opportunity. We spent a few days in the tiny mountain town and signed up for two different clinics: beginning ice climbing and intermediate ice climbing.
The view of Ouray from the ice park
My mad skillz in the beginner class
Was it as hard as I was expecting? Hell yes. I remember trying to use my scrawny chicken arms to get the ice pick into an overhead hold and sighing because I didn’t have the strength to get the tip into the axe! However, it was a lot of fun and I’d love to give it a try again in the near future!
2. Hut Trip 2k12: Benedict Huts
If you’ve read my blog for any period of time, you may remember that I go on a backcountry hut trip every year. Last year was no exception, and 16 of trekked our way into the mountains of Colorado to spend a few days at the Benedict Huts.
It took the boys awhile to dig out the fire pit but it was so worth it!
We began our hut trip tradition back in 2009, so we are pretty experienced with these trips. However, the Benedict Huts were different for me because my snowshoe broke on the trek in. Usually, this would be no big deal, but trekking 7-10 miles through knee-deep snow while wearing a pack isn’t easy….let alone with broken snowshoes! However, we all (finally) made it to the hut and had a wonderful time! The views were epic, the food was delicious, the sledding was filled with adrenaline, and the company was the best part of the experience. Can’t wait for our 2013 trip in February!
3. Columbia’s OmniTen
It was all lit up on the grass…. I though it looked cool!
Back in March, I was absolutely shocked to learn that I had been chosen to be a member of Columbia Sportswear’s inaugural OmniTen. For those of you who weren’t around in the spring, the OmniTen is a group of 10 individuals that Columbia chooses based on their love of the outdoors and their social media influence. This was a total surprise since Columbia did the entire thing all sneaky-like and kept the program under the radar until we all arrived home to a box of wonderful Columbia gear.
Columbia hooked us up with gear!
Through my affiliation with Columbia, I was fortunate to go to Sedona, Arizona for a press trip. While there, I was introduced to their new Omni-Freeze Zero technology (coming this spring!). We were then afforded the opportunity to test all of our new gear via mountain biking in Sedona and a 3-day backpacking trip into Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. The trip was epic, the folks at Columbia were the nicest I’ve ever worked with, and I established lifelong friendships. In fact, a group of us are meeting this weekend in Park City to celebrate the new year together!
4. I Graduated With My Master’s Degree!
This one is pretty self explanatory, but nevertheless, it belongs on this list. Back in August, I finally completed my 3.5 year endeavor to acquire my M.Ed. My thesis focused on outdoor education for special needs populations, so this degree brings me one step closer to my life goal of opening my own adaptive outdoor program. One day!
For years, I have been a cardio queen and an outdoor junky. However, in September I decided to branch into some new areas of fitness and began Crossfit at Big Horn Crossfit. My first day was an eye-opening experience that left me sore for approximately 17 days. However, I really grew to love it over the past few months, and even participated in my gym’s small local competition.
Unfortunately, I am currently on the injured list because of my back, so I’ve been out of the Crossfit box for almost a month now. I’m hoping to get back in there in January, so keep your fingers crossed!
6. Visiting Reebok HQ & Crossfit One
Through my affiliation with FitFluential, I was lucky enough to get sent to Boston last month for a visit to Reebok Headquarters. While there, we all got to do a WOD at Crossfit One alongside several pros. DID I MENTION MY TEAMMATE WAS JULIE FOUCHER??
Wasn’t sure if I had stressed that enough last time I wrote about this 😉
In addition the WOD, we spent an interesting day with the Reebok marketing peeps, learning about upcoming products and features. Naturally, a lot of that stuff is still under wraps, but I can say that I am very excited to see of their 2013 products in stores…and y’all should be too!
7. Mission 29.2 & Haiti
Although this one is a little premature since I don’t leave for Haiti till January, I still feel like it belongs on this list! Back in August, I stumbled upon the non-profit called Mission 29.2. Since then, both Angel and I have signed up for the 2013 trip and will be heading down to Haiti in a few short weeks. Originally, both of us were going to be running the 29.2 mile race along with the locals. However, my back currently dictates zero running, and Angel will be using her medical degrees to help with course support, so that aspect has changed for us. However, I am still incredibly excited for this trip and can’t wait to share the experience with y’all!
PS I am still collecting any used running shoes that you may have! If you would like to mail them to me, please shoot me an email so I can provide you with my address. As long as I receive them by January 10, it should still work!
Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer and author with a focus on outdoor adventure, travel, and fitness. Colorado born and bred, she loves backpacking, trail running, backcountry skiing, and packrafting, especially with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and lovable rescue mutt Tally.