I took a lovely month off from the pressures of blogs, podcasts, and poetry to enjoy the holidays and my birthday, and it was worth it. I was feeling incredibly uninspired to be creative by the end of the year and I just wanted to consume media, play games, and hunker down for the winter. So I did. But we’re back! My intent with this blog was to do a year in review of 2021 – and I probably will – but I’m (for some reason) feeling hopeful and inspired for 2022, so I also want to talk about some of my goals for the year.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions, (and I’m still not) but there are some goals that I wanted to set for myself, and the new year is a good way to measure them. I started tracking my years on a spreadsheet about three years ago and it’s been a pretty successful way to measure what my life looks like year to year. For example, a couple of years ago, I realized that I barely read anything so I set a goal to read more. Books, comics, manga, short stories, anything! And I did. It eventually led right into the other feature on this website – Comic Relief. In 2021, I was very happy with the number of comics and manga I read, but I still felt I was severely lacking in the actual books department, so the first goal I set for myself in 2022 is to read more books.
For those who are interested, here is a list of the top 10 comics I read in 2021 (in no particular order):
- Avengers: The Children’s Crusade
- Spider-Man: Blue
- World War Hulk
- Immortal Hulk
- Astonishing X-Men: Gifted
- 30 Days of Night
- Black Widow: The Name of the Rose
- Kingdom Come
But reading materials aren’t the only thing I tracked in 2021. Despite how difficult and nerve-racking it was last year to eat out (I think I only actually ate at about three or four restaurants), I was able to try some new places and partake in a lot of old favorites. Before the pandemic, I loved trying new places, but since 2020, I’ve kinda just focused on comfort foods and old reliables.
Here’s a list of the top ten places I ate at/ordered from in 2021 (in no particular order):
- Ezell’s Famous Chicken
- Lucy’s Eastside Diner
- Ramen Danbo
- Pizza Time
- Duffin’s Donuts
- Pepino’s Fresh Mexican Grill
- Pizza Dudes
- Hawaii BBQ & Noodle House
On a similar note, 2021 was the first time I’ve weighed myself in years. I’m kind of against the concept of tracking one’s weight because there’s so much socioeconomic stigma, inconsistent perceptions about weight across various cultures, and general misconceptions around it that I don’t find it helpful. I haven’t owned a scale in…maybe ever(?) and I intend to keep that streak alive, but since I had access to one at my gym, I started tracking my weight every day I worked out – for science – and it pretty much just reinforced my opinion that weight is not a reliable measure of health. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details, but my weight would often fluctuate about ten pounds or more throughout the week while my body shape would barely change. To me, that just indicates that it’s more important to focus on eating what one likes and makes one feel good while listening to one’s own body than it is to focus on a superfluous number.
Speaking of working out, I used to run a lot when I was in college. I have very fond memories of having early morning cheer practice, then heading to the campus gym to run on the treadmill for an hour, then lifting weights for an hour (I always took a one-credit weightlifting PE credit to give myself time to work out) before heading to class. Once I started wrestling, I would still run quite a bit but my preferred form of working out became weightlifting and, if I needed to do cardio, it was in-ring or on the elliptical. When the pandemic started, some fellow wrestlers started running and inspired me to do the same. This rekindled my love of this particular athletic activity and I started tracking my run times, distance, and average pace on spreadsheets. I’m happy with my stats from 2021, but I started to feel like I was hitting a wall at the one-hour mark and a lot of folks I follow on social media would post three-hour run times (or more) and I wanted that for me. So I started to look into how to increase one’s run times and was even inspired to try to run a marathon in 2022. That seems like a pretty hefty goal, so for now I’ll just say that I’m focusing on doing a half marathon. One step at a time! But I’ve already made good progress towards my goal, recently running nine miles in about an hour and forty-five minutes.
Again, for those interested, here are my 2021 running stats:
- 69 Runs (nice)
- Average distance: 4.258405797 Miles
- Average Time: 0:50:20
- Average Pace: 11:47/Mile
- Total Distance: 293.83
- Masked Runs: 25
- Unmasked Runs: 44
- Longest Run: 6.5 Miles, 1:17:30
My last goal (that I am interested in making public) is rather small and meaningless, but I want to finish watching all of the Pixar movies with my partner. There are quite a few that she hasn’t seen yet, which gives me an excuse to rewatch some while allowing us to experience some for the first time together. We’ve already checked Onward off the list! 2021 was also my first time seeing movies in an actual theater again! Once the Canada/U.S. border opened back up, my partner and I had been able to see movies at our favorite drive-in (which is honestly the ideal situation) but since they close during the winter, we saw Eternals, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in an actual theater, and I’m honestly super happy that I got to see the latter in that situation (on opening night) because hearing those audience reactions definitely added to the experience.
On that note, here’s a list of the top ten movies I watched in 2021 (in no particular order):
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Raya and the Last Dragon
- The Suicide Squad
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Trick ‘r Treat
- Spider-Man: No Way Home
- Birds of Prey
- Pokemon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle
Last year came with its challenges, but overall I’m pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish. In the latter half of the year, I took on a temporary new role at my place of employment that presented me with a lot of new struggles and new experiences, but I think it helped me grow (plus the money was nice). In March, I realized I had become pretty reliant on energy drinks – drinking at least one per day – so I stopped drinking them one weekend and just never really touched the stuff again. 2021 was also the year I got fully vaccinated (in April) – and boosted in December – which allowed me to feel comfortable returning to wrestling training again, after over a year out of the ring. It was a slow start, first just by myself getting comfortable moving around again, then training with one or two people and by the end of the year we were doing full classes! We’ve temporarily rolled that back a bit due to the Omicron variant, but that is a minor setback and I’m still training, just with one or two people again. Obviously, returning to training is just one step in a road that would ultimately lead to a return to live in-person wrestling shows and The Academy recently announced – on our brand new website – that we would be returning to shows in 2022, with dates to be announced soon! So keep an eye out!
THE WORLD IS YOUR BURRITO!
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