What a year!

Even though it can’t get much cheesier than looking back at the past year on December 31st, I am more than happy to do just that. How nice to relive all those highs! As a picture can say it all, I selected some that portray my past year.

1. BREAKING 50′ at the Vondelparkloop – January

Totally unplanned, but the Vondelparkloop proved to be the perfect place to run a 10K under 50 minutes for the very first time. I will never forget the very friendly bloke who softly pushed my shoulder at 9K and told me to just go for it. My first PR of the year!

2. First time skiing! And handing in my first thesis – February

I LOVE SKIING. Oh yes. It took a bus ride of 16 hours to get to Sauze d’Oulx in Italy with my student trip (and 24 to get back due to a broken bus in the middle of nowhere, France haha) and I had a great time. Can it get any better? A little less exciting was the pressure to hand in my thesis. So, after every amazing day, I opened my laptop and wrote as if the world would end. Handed in the thesis for my first master on the day I got back. One down, one to go this year!

3. More skiing… 😀 – March

Last minute second ski trip! Monday – my boyfriend: ‘We are going skiing this weekend. Did you want to join us?’. Thursday: leaving at 5am for Laax. As the weather was great (again) and I joined my boyfriend and his cousin who have been skiing and boarding for more than ten years, I was challenged to do my first black piste in Switzerland. It was só cool! Looking forward to next year…

4. BREAKING 2h at the half marathon in Utrecht – May

Did it! Finally able to finish a half marathon (and some more) within 2 hours. I almost never experience a runners high, but this was one of these rare moments I did. Promising, let’s hope we can do this again!

5. Visiting Essen and handing in my second thesis – June

We booked a weekend getaway with my parents in law to Essen, at the end of June. Not long after booking, I realised my thesis deadline fell on June 29th. All the more reason to hand it in early. It was a struggle, but two weeks before the official deadline, I handed in the biggest assignment of my second master. AWYEAH freedom!

6. Last day of my consultancy internship, volunteering at the NK Atletiek and celebrating our birthdays a little late – July

Had a great couple of months during my internship at BearingPoint in Amsterdam. I will definitely miss them! My first vacation day in, like, ever, so let’s volunteer at the Dutch athletics championship. I got to hand out drinks at the finish of the running finales and Churandy Martina had some time to take a picture after winning the 200m.

7. Weekend getaway with Fleur and going on summer holiday with Victor – August

Had a lovely weekend at the Dutch seaside and shortly after that we left for a three week holiday in Switzerland and Italy. Victor and I met on a camping in Italy, a little over 10 years ago and our planning resulted in us celebrating our 7 year anniversary at that very same camping.

8. Half marathon of Copenhagen, the Dam tot Damloop and registering for my very first marathon – September

A week after the half marathon in Copenhagen (which didn’t go as well as planned due to the tendon injury in my foot), I ran the very hot Dam to Dam run. This cool 10 English mile run is very famous for it’s start in the IJ-tunnel. I ran with colleagues and had a great time, hopefully next year I’ll be able to improve my time – didn’t happen this year :).

9. Graduation ceremony and the start of my traineeship – October

It was uncertain until the very moment I was handed my diploma, but I managed to graduate cum laude! Working for it the whole year, it was a great feeling to get the confirmation the hard work payed off. Something that made me even happier, was the visit of my very best friend Alex. She flew all the way from Mali to be there for my graduation. I miss her everyday, but these 15 hours together were amazing! And not to forget, I finally started my traineeship. The selection ended in May, so I had been waiting quite some time, but now it’s finally time to go for it!

10. Our Christmas tree, Albert Heijn and Cologne – December

Just before Christmas, I visited Cologne with my mom and brother. He suggested to give her a weekend getaway for her birthday and figured she would enjoy the Christmas markets that Germany is famous for. A great idea! I borrowed the car and drove us to a lovely hotel in the city center. We had two great days and the Christmas vibe totally worked! On Monday and Tuesday I visited the Albert Heijn store I used to work at as a team lead when I was 19. I am still friends with many of the colleagues and decided to help out during the busy days. I almost forgot how hard everyone works around Christmas to make it happen, and I had the best time!

It was a busy year, with many many high and of course also some significant lows. But all in all, I think it will be hard to top this one! The marathon in May 2020 will definitely be a good step in making the next year memorable as well. Looking back with joy and warmth, and looking forward with energy and maybe even some nerves. I hope your 2019 was as great as mine and wish you all the best for 2020. And my resolutions? You’ll find those later this week!

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