Since I’m not really a resolutions person, I decided I’d just make a top 10 of 2011 list. So, here it is in no particular order!
- Second term of first year. I started actually enjoying my classes and realizing that UW was where I’m supposed to be. Also, many adventures were had- from playing a hooker in theatre (rehearsing- or trying to- those lines with Stephan and scaring most of 5th floor) to being called a whore at the Henderson Draft House on Taylor’s bday night (I blame the dress I was wearing, it was Taylor’s) and learning those oh so valuable life lessons with Joey, hide and go seek on campus wayyy after hours- Joey and I so won that match, Stephan and Taylor you can suck it. Loving all my kinesiology classes, falling asleep in intro psych.. a lot.. and still managing to pass, movie nights at Kathryn and Jordan’s, King Ginger, surviving living with Taylor on Langside, buying about 200 chocolate bars in a desperate attempt to use up my meal card. Almost succeeded..Rediscovering my love for the gym, and every other great memory that came along with first year.
- Assistant coaching the Varsity Cougars Basketball. Although it was hard to not be able to run onto the court like I would’ve the year before, it was a great experience still being a part and helping with the best Varsity team out there. It’s definitely a completely different experience being on the coaching side of things, and I’m glad I got to do it first in a familiar environment. I learned lots about leadership, teamwork, maturity, and coaching working with the two other coaches, and I’m very grateful to them for treating me on the same level as them- as only a short time ago I was a player on their team. Oh, and who could forget rubber chicken tag?
- RMWF 2011. Not really because of any amazing results, but it was my first Gold level show with Mike and Charlene and because it was only me, Lauren, and Katie there from McMullans. It was a great chance to get to know each other better. It was also my first show competing in the adult divisions. I’ve been attending the Royal Fair for as long as I can remember, competing at it for the past 2 years. Unfortunately I won’t be there this year. 2011’s fair was definitely my favourite yet, except for the lack of cinnamon buns and food poisoning.
- Volunteering at Kaayikawow Adult Education Centre. It started out as a mandatory volunteer portion of my Learning Through Service Education course- but turned into one of my favourite experiences. The first few weeks were rough, between getting lost trying to figure out the downtown/north end bus system (do not trust the internet), and adjusting to teaching adults- most my parents age- lessons I took just a few years back; I was a nervous wreck half the time. But once I saw how happy the students were to have my help, I got less shy and from there the whole experience just got better. I really started loving it when I was asked to help with their Phys Ed program and designed/taught a fitness plan to the students. This experience really showed me the job of teaching and helping others achieve their goals- big or small. One student had a goal of getting his high school diploma and continuing on to Uni so he could get a good job to support his daughter, while another wanted to improve his fitness so that maybe he could get a girlfriend. Both were equally appreciative of any help and knowledge I shared with them- even if it was just giving them someone to talk things through with. I hope to go back and volunteer there again in 2012.
- Figuring out how to drive in downtown Winnipeg. Pretty much self explanatory. Many new curse words were invented (OSFGD, Leah?), and I know that I looked completely insane ALL the time whilst driving and talking to myself. Pep talks were usually needed to keep myself from complete and utter chaos. But hey, I now know many new routes, where all the one ways are in Osbourne, and how to get myself un-lost (usually the best bet is calling dad).
- Curry Clinics. Andrew is very similar in style to McMullans with his techniques, an during his clinics I was always challenged to take what I’ve learned and put those skills to practical use. I was always pushed to another level, and was able to see all the components of previous lessons clicking into place.
- Rance family road trip to Kelowna, BC. Who couldn’t love endless hours of CBC, 4 equally opinionated (all with a different opinion) and stubborn people crammed into a mini van arguing over everything from directions to whether we should go to Denny’s, Smitty’s, or Perkin’s for lunch, the smell of sunflower seeds, or the argument over who “gets” to drive next? Through all of that, it’s still one of my favourite memories of 2011.
- Show season 2011, especially Fall Harvest. This season was full of ups and downs. Some of the highlights for me were not directly related to competing, but more related to the time spent outside of competition. I got to know my barn mates from McMullans quite a bit better this year. I’m closer with them then I’ve ever been with fellow competitors and that I love. It’s great to have their support at shows, and to support them. I especially loved hearing how well Lauren and Katie did in Alberta, and wished I could’ve been with them even just to watch! I’ve never felt more welcome then with McMullans and I hope 2012 brings more great things for all of us! Fall Harvest gets a special mention here because it was the one show where everything just worked. It was fitting that it was my last show of the year. From warm ups to the last class we had smooth rounds and a great pace. Finally everything I’d been working on clicked!
- FHB Program. As much as I hated that job- it’s brought me some pretty incredible friends and has earned the right to be on this list. Among other things, I now know how to rate severity of fusarium head blight in my sleep, avoid sunburn, drive through mud and not get stuck (unlike the crop diagnostics crew (GARTH)), how to look like you’re working, job creation, how to get drowned gophers out of irrigation holes, how to rototill like a pro, how to play truth or dare, how to get stuck (hidden trenches suck), how to chase donkeys, how to snake up on certain organics crew members, every lyric to every top 40 song that came out between June and September, how to dig a trench, how to hoe, how to paint stakes (1-10,000), how quickly one goes insane when stuck inside a tiny room sorting seed, and the list goes on.
- New Zealand. Obviously this was going to be on here! Although the trip isn’t over yet, here are some highlights- Auckland for the RWC semis and finals, working for an international level barn, leaving said barn, going on the rodeo circuit (or part of it), and everything I did on the South Island! Definitely not done here yet! Even though next to nothing has gone to plan or worked out as I originally wanted it to, this will still be something I’ll always remember. I’ve learned a lot already and had some great experiences. The best thing for me so far has been getting somewhere (finally) with my back problems. I’m sure that being a world away from my horse and not riding is a major component of these improvements. While I still worry a lot about if it will last once I start riding again- it’s still a relief to not be in pain all the time.