2021: aka, an Ever-So-Slightly Improved 2020

I’ve procrastinated on writing my yearly recap post simply because 2021 felt like 2020 in many ways, didn’t it? That said, I’m thrilled to be vaccinated and boosted (as I had hoped in my 2020 post), and the world is starting to ever so slowly return to a pre-pandemic normal even if COVID continues to ravage onward.

My 2021 started off cautiously, but by April we decided to get out of Washington state and head down along the Oregon coast. While Tym and I had been to Portland a few years ago, it was our first time to the coast and I enjoyed exploring Pacific City and sightseeing areas such as Thor’s Well and the Devil’s Punchbowl.

A picture of Thor's Well along the Oregon Coast
Thor’s Well

After we were finally fully vaccinated, I flew back to Pennsylvania in July 2021 to see my family for the first time in over a year and a half. It was a bit of an emotional reunion, and I was pleased to be able to travel back in the fall as well. I hope to never go that long without seeing my family again!

In addition to our east coast trips, Tym and I spent a week in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and also traveled on a short getaway to Colorado. In California, we rode roller coasters at Six Flags, spent a day at Universal Studios, and also got a lot of sun — it was over 100 degrees in Palm Springs! While Joshua Tree National Park was a great experience, we didn’t do a lot of walking because of the heat. Our trip to Colorado was Tym’s first time in Colorado and my fourth, so I enjoyed showing him around my favorite areas of Denver and Colorado Springs.

A picture of Joshua trees taken in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Of course, there was also a lot of non-travel downtime in 2021. After over a year of running in solitude, I joined the Seattle Frontrunners group in the summer and finally got back into weekly group runs. I even participated as a member of the Run and Walk with Pride Committee, which (spoiler alert for my 2022 recap post) raised over $24,000 for local LGBTQIA+ charities in 2022!

In addition to running, my gym re-opened in 2021 and I transitioned from virtual classes back to in-person classes. I also kayaked a few times on Green Lake, something that I hadn’t done in almost a decade.

A picture of the front section of a kayak and water from kayaking on Green Lake in Seattle, WA.
Kayaking on Green Lake in Seattle, WA

After the weather turned colder and outdoor activities were a little less desirable, Tym and I had the opportunity to watch a handful of Seattle Kraken hockey games, our new NHL team. I’m excited about the 2022-2023 season, as we just recently learned that we’ll have half-season tickets for the upcoming season.

Work was busy, as it always is, and I was proud to help build Education Cloud’s first Slack app. Though it was a whirlwind of a year, I continue to be grateful for all of the great benefits of working for a larger tech company. Salesforce gave many of its full-time employees one extra Friday off every month after the pandemic began, and they’ve continued this practice in 2021 and into 2022. We also receive 12 free therapy sessions per year, so I finally took the initiative to find a therapist in the fall to help manage my stress and anxiety, something that I plan to dive into in more detail in an upcoming blog post.

Looking Ahead

So, what does the next year have in store for me? Since we’re already more than halfway through the year I basically know how the year is shaping up, but I’ll leave some things as a surprise for my recap post next year. However, my primary fitness and personal goals for 2022 include:

  • Racing my second Tiger Claw
  • Running 500 miles, biking 500 miles, and logging over 60 hours of boxing and other workouts
  • Continuing to run with the Seattle Frontrunners
  • Serving as the volunteer coordinator for the Run and Walk with Pride
  • Taking ice skating lessons!
  • Traveling out of the country for the first time since 2019

Tym and I also have other goals and projects that I’m not quite ready to share yet, including a few possible house projects. We’ve even welcomed a second kitty into our home, Jaws, in April 2022, who has provided us with hours and hours of entertainment and sometimes, exasperation at his antics.

A picture of Jaws, our new orange and white kitty
Jaws settling into a nice nap

I hope you all have had a good 2022 thus far. I have a few more blog posts in mind for this year, so I hopefully won’t be as silent as I was last year. Look out for more from me soon!

— Robert

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