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2011 In Review: The Top 10

I am not even sure what to think about 2011. I have said this at least 100 times but it has been a year of complete transformation. When I look back at January 1, 2011 I was working full-time in advertising, teaching two BodyPump classes per week and had just made the decision to go through yoga teacher training. Over the course of the year the direction of my life totally changed. I finally found the courage to go after a dream and with determination and commitment that I did not know I possessed, made it happen.

Fast forward to December 30, 2011 and many things have changed. I completed yoga teacher training in April, received my personal training certification in August and left my career in advertising in September. I have found myself stopping to ask, “Is this my real life?” on more than a few occasions.

While 2011 was the year of transformation, the start of 2012 will be a period of reevaluation. Kind of, “I’ve arrived here. Now what?” Mainly, in finding the right balance and determining what is important to me in regards to career and family values.

So to wrap up 2011, I want to review the 10 posts that received the most page views from my readers. I think it’s a pretty telling story. Counting down from 10…here we go.

10. PBR – Certified Personal Trainer

In August I announced that I had passed the NASM personal training exam. I didn’t share on the blog that I was studying for it prior to taking the exam due to not wanting added pressure. Getting my NASM certification was the final step I needed to take to prepare myself to transition to fitness full-time. I have been training clients ever since and love it more and more every day!

9. Ashtanga 101 + Backbend Video

I promised this video of me performing the ashtanga backbend series for months before actually getting around to posting it. The post includes an overview of what ashtanga is since I talk about it all the time! Thank you so much for all of your kind comments about my practice! 🙂

8. Yoga Teacher Training: My Final Thoughts

I completed yoga teacher training in April but did not write my “final thoughts” post until six weeks later in May. The experience was life-changing and impacted me deeply. It continues to stay with me and every day I am learning, changing and evolving…myself, the way that I look at things, the way I see and treat others…

7. The Reasons I No Longer Wear High Heels

In this post I explained the multitude of reasons that led me to quit wearing high heels to work every day (when I worked in advertising…it is easier now. Always in sneakers or barefoot!). Go back and read this if you have not…especially if you’re a runner!

6. Born To Run? 

I was completely blown away by the comments on this post. I discussed my history with running and injures and shared my frustration over whether my body was “born for” running long distances.

5. Face Matters

I vented that I was struggling with hormonal acne (so lovely) and again…blown away by the responses I received with all kinds of sympathy, suggestions and advice on what had worked for others. Be sure to also check out Face Matters: Part Two where I put together an overview of some of the most popular suggestions.

4. BodyPump: What It Is And Why I Love It 

I have been participating in BodyPump for almost five years and teaching for three and a half. Although I do a lot of strength workouts on my own these days, BodyPump is still my favorite way to strength train. I also have so much fun teaching it and credit it for changing the shape of my body!

3. Foam Rolling 101 

My first video post! I reviewed the benefits of foam rolling and provided video tutorials for foam rolling both the lower and upper body.

2. The ABCs of Jen

Just a fun little “get to know me” post that I’m surprised was so well-read! 😛

1. Decide What To Be And Go Be It

(photo credit – wanda koch)

Also known as the one where I announced that I was leaving my job to pursue fitness full-time. It makes complete sense that the most popular post of the year was the one that served as the culmination of all my hard work and dedication to my career change. It was the biggest day of the year for me. I cannot even tell you how much I appreciate all of your amazing comments and support.

Well, there is a look at 2011 in 10 pretty posts. Of course there were many other important events and good posts sprinkled in throughout the year but I think this provides a realistic picture of what was the biggest year of my life to date.

What was the biggest thing that you achieved or that happened in your life in 2011? 

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Sherry December 30, 2011, 6:42 am

    I always say this when I comment but…..you’re amazing and such an inspiration to me. 2011 was a tough year for us. We are stuggling financially and in May I had to go back to work full time due to my husbands real estate business not doing well. We are still struggling but have faith things will turn around for us in 2012. We have 4 beautiful children and I have an amazing husband so that keeps me going. However, I do not like my job and would love to be able to follow my dreams and do something I’m passionate about. I’m still young, I’ll be 28 in Janruary, so I know I have plenty of time to make a career change. For now, we’re in survival mode and taking it one day at a time. You are an inpsiration and seeing you follow your dreams really gives me hope that one day I can do the same. Thank you for all you do!!

  • 2
    Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) December 30, 2011, 6:47 am

    You have gone through a lot of changes this year! Congrats! Excited to follow you into 2012. While I am not the biggest and best athlete or workout guru, I always enjoy reading your blog and finding inspiration that works for me and my fitness level. Thanks!

    Biggest thing that happened to me during 2011 – I also quit my career as an adoption social worker (to reduce stress to aid in our fertility treatments) and in early September I overcame infertility and learned that I was PREGNANT (with the help of IVF). Such an exciting year and I cannot wait to meet my daughter in 2012! Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. 🙂

    All the best to you as you close out this year, Jen!

  • 3
    Holly December 30, 2011, 7:53 am

    I am going to read the heels post, somehow I missed that one! I stopped wearing them mostly too — except for the occassional special work affair or girls night out.

    I love the backbend video. I think everyone would love to see more yoga videos in 2012!

    Best wishes for the new year!

  • 4
    lelia December 30, 2011, 9:33 am

    So proud of all you’ve accomplished this year, Jen! I have loved following your journey. Hopefully 2012 will bring even more time with friends 🙂

    • 5
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:48 am

      thank you so much! i also hope that 2012 brings more time for friends! 😉

  • 6
    Wade Leaphart / @Leaphart3 December 30, 2011, 9:38 am

    Congrats on a big year. We’ve enjoyed our yoga sessions.

    • 7
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:47 am

      thanks wade! it’s been great getting to know you guys!

  • 8
    kat December 30, 2011, 9:41 am

    I hope to have a 2012 similar to your 2011. 😉 I need some transformation in my life!! Happy New Year to you and Brandon! Hope to see you soon!

  • 9
    Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 30, 2011, 10:29 am

    That backbend video of you is craaazyyy!! You rock! Great year for you, Jen. I’ve loved following your blog! 😀

    • 10
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:46 am

      thank you for the kind words and for reading!!! 🙂

  • 11
    Rachel December 30, 2011, 10:33 am

    I couldn’t stop watching the Ashtanga Backbend video when you originally posted it. Very inspiring and amazing!!!!

    • 12
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:46 am

      thanks rachel! 😀

  • 13
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad December 30, 2011, 10:35 am

    i love the foam rolling 101 video! i refer my clients to it all the time!

    your year of transformation has been a complete inspiration to me! some day i will be able to leave my job and coach FT, i know i can do it!

    BQing was the best thing that happened to me this year. i call it my “dream realized”.

    happy new year!

    • 14
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:46 am

      oh, thanks for referring people to my video! 😉

      i loved following your BQing journey! can’t wait follow along with your training and race day!

  • 15
    She Rocks Fitness December 30, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Leaving the corporate gym to start my own personal training business! It’s scary, exciting, stressful, exhausting, but I love it, because I love fitness, and seeing my clients become stronger, healthier, and most importantly, they feel better about themselves. This is a great career and couldn’t be more happy. Here’s to another great year…Have a wonderful weekend!

    • 16
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:45 am

      that is such an amazing accomplishment and i can only imagine the hours, dedication and passion it takes. congratulations on a successful 2011 and wishing you continued success in 2012! 🙂

  • 17
    Robin December 31, 2011, 10:25 am

    When I click on the link for #10, becoming a certified personal trainer, it takes me to Annie’s Eats for a recipe for mac and cheese! Haha, I do love some mac and cheese though. 🙂

    Congratulations on a wonderful year. I hope the next has even MORE to offer you!!

    • 18
      Jen December 31, 2011, 10:44 am

      oops…fixed! it was 1 a.m. when i was writing this post. i’ve had to correct sooo many mistakes! on a side note, that mac and cheese recipe is to die for! 🙂

  • 19
    sklep z jedwabiem October 8, 2013, 1:52 am

    Informative article, exactly what I was looking

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