in january of 2015 i decided to launch a blog. i did so with a brief post, and some photos of the destination that inspired me to finally go live – Lake Tahoe. in the past year my blog has molded into a healthy living blog that encourages others to be active, to be outside, and to be themselves. in celebrating the one year anniversary of thefirst2hours, i thought i would share some of my favorite posts from 2015.
You can find a list and links to each of them here, or read the brief summary of each of those posts below:
- My Microfracture Posts
- Morning Persons
- When Life Gives You Lemons… Wake up at 4am and Meet at the Trailhead
- How to Get Fit and Stay in Shape
- The Benefit of Hiking with Dogs
- Surround Yourself with Positivity
- Loading up on “Vitamin G”
- The Bliss of Being Uncomfortable
My Microfracture Posts
without a doubt, the posts that have been the most rewarding for me, and the most meaningful for the greatest number of my readers, are those regarding my microfracture knee surgery. i discovered long ago that there was a large population of knee-troubled individuals facing the decision to have this operation. i also discovered that there is an insufficient amount of information available for those individuals to truly understand microfracture and cartilage defects. a friend of mine came to me for advice regarding this procedure when she was told it was the next step with her knee, and after a great conversation, i was inspired to share my experience.
i love these posts not only because of the content, but because of what i received in return of sharing them. both friends and strangers from far and wide, somehow came upon these microfracture posts on my blog. they shared their stories. we all commiserated together. they expressed their gratitude to me for providing them these “resources.” and in summation, everyone walked away feeling more content. the four posts below make up the microfracture “series” thus far at thefirst2hours:
- Microfracture, and the One Orthopedic Issue There Isn’t a Real Solution For
- How I Discovered I Needed Knee Microfracture Surgery
- My Knee Microfracture Recovery Timeline
- Good Exercise for Bad Knees
“thefirst2hours, are the favorite two hours of my days. i love stepping outside before the sun rises, and being surrounded by silence. those moments of solitude are the most beautiful moments i know, and they are precious to my being.
thefirst2hours are also the most important two hours of my days. life in this day and age is busy, and it has become far too easy to compromise our health for all of our obligations. but ultimately, it is our decision to make. it is within those first2hours, that i vow i will wake up early, get outside, raise my heart rate, see the world, and not waste those precious moments. i choose to make myself a priority.”
to further demonstrate my belief in “thefirst2hours,” in “rising and shining,” in “upandatem,” i provided a case in point in this post. while traveling to Colorado on a work trip, i managed to squeeze in a dreamy, rocky mountain hike, into an already full work calendar. it required a very early morning, and some planning ahead, but it yielded one of my favorite Colorado mountain memories.
it was impossible to think that a day that began with such an invigorating adventure, would soon be taken over with meetings. but it put a smile on my face to know that most people were starting their thursday morning off with a coffee and a commute. most didn’t take advantage of their day and thefirst2hours. most didn’t get exercise or get lost in nature. most didn’t spend time getting to know more about a colleague and friend. most didn’t make lemonade.
my blog as a whole is about living a healthy lifestyle, a balanced, healthy lifestyle. balance is the key word, as often times what we see in the public is an extreme example of “health.” what i suggest to people who are looking to get fit and stay in shape, is to make that mission something they are passionate about, rather than another obligation. a great way to do so is by finding an activity that you love: snowshoeing, running, surfing, skiing, soccer, and in my case, volleyball. more details here:
if you have not yet realized, i love dogs. my two pups (and my joefish) are my best adventure partners. with them, everything is more fun. in this post i combined my love for my furbabies, with another one of my biggest loves in life – hiking. the 6 benefits of hiking with dogs are outlined below and are further explained in the post
- a dog’s enthusiasm is contagious
- a dog allows you to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding nature
- a dog will inspire you to clear your mind of the clutter and be more carefree.
- a dog will warn and/or protect you against unwanted guests.
- a dog will encourage you to hike further and faster.
- a dog is excited to share the outdoor experience with you, but will also be very independent.
this post was short and sweet, but it delivered a powerful message regarding the influence of our surroundings. good people, are a must. in addition, a positive environment in our surroundings drastically impacts our lives. for different people that may mean different things. but for me, that means nature.
in a quest to learn more about why nature makes me the best version of myself, i did some research, and discovered a little thing some experts refer to as “Vitamin G.” the Green Space Vitamin. it is no secret that i love to be outside. getting my outdoor fix, means getting my sanity; and in this post, i did just that.
to finish my list of favorites, (which was very difficult to do) i chose a post that is about challenging ourselves to get out of our comfort zone, try something new, and take life by the horns. this post was influenced by a work trip i took to New Orleans, and a conversation i had on a plane with a fellow traveler who was upset about having to be in New Orleans. i couldn’t quite relate to his sentiments.
when i travel for work, i want to be as fully integrated into a community as possible. i want to feel the pulse of each town, and discover the quirks that make each destination unique. i want to get away from where all the businessmen stay, and find myself a little apartment nestled into a walkable neighborhood. i want to familiarize myself with my surroundings. i want to start my days at the independent coffee shop up the street. and end my days at the local yoga studio. i want to blend in with the locals. i want to learn the running routes of my neighborhood. i want to talk to strangers. and i want to open my eyes to all that destination has to offer so that i can soak in every bit of it.
it has been an exciting year indeed.
i love looking back on the things i have done, the lessons i have learned, and the people who have crossed my path in these adventures. my first year as a blogger surpassed all of my expectations. nothing thrills me more than when a friend or (in many cases) a complete stranger, contacts me to thank me for a recent post that somehow influenced them and their life. those conversations motivate me to continue contributing more great content, and to be a better version of myself.
thank you to all of my readers, and i look forward to being in touch with more people in 2016!