2016 Reflections and 2017 Intentions

2016 Reflections and 2017 Intentions. In as few words as possible. [After re-reading this post, few words is not a strength].

So, we have said see ya later [I never say goodbye] to 2016 and we are on our way into 2017. And, I’m almost a week late with this post, but it’s here. Without being too wordy, I’ll wrap up 2016 and we will get right into this year. Let’s just start with a lot of life can be lived in a very short amount of time – 12 months to be exact.

To understand the full picture of 2016, the best place to start is in the very last months of 2015. In those months, I transitioned from the corporate world [Hasbro] to turning passion into a career [finding a somewhat lonely but exciting world in my home office], we moved from Rhode Island to Maine [oh, we bought a house too!], and, to be completely honest, we had no idea what would come next. Somehow the pieces were going to fall in place and work themselves out. Your goals should always scare you a little bit right..? Right…that’s until they become really scary [and, induce ultimate breakdowns – I’m just being honest].

Last year was an adventure, an every day adventure. It was challenging, it was great, it was horrible, it was exciting, it was way too freakin’ hard, it was trying and it required a whole lot of living in the now. But, in the end, it was a year of growth and embracing change, and with a big sigh of relief, I can say we made it.

So among the crazy, here are some highlights:

We moved to Maine. Actually, only I moved to Maine. Jesse didn’t officially upgrade from weekend visits until June. We said this would be okay – and, it was. But, it was hard.

1 cup of coffee, the every day except Saturday&Sunday way

We ran a lot of miles solo and tried to find our groove during all of those cross training workouts. [This transition was harder than anticipated – we are admittedly each others biggest sources of inspiration and accountability].


We started a business [without a great plan] and, well, we somehow made it work. It’s still a work in progress. That’s what 2017 is for.


I went from 1 client to a number I can no longer count on my fingers all because I took passion [a so called, “hobby”] and turned it into a career. You have to do the things that you love.


We found our place in the community [or communities] and met some amazing people along the way. So many amazing people!

lululemon ambassador

We ran 70ish miles through the Georgia Mountains and another 75 [combined] in Vermont.




I traveled to Toronto for a Wreck Bag photoshoot with Strong Fitness Magazine. On this same day of travel, Summit decided to protect me from a porcupine during an early morning trail run. I barely made it to Toronto and arrived at 1:00 AM for a few hours of sleep.


We started to build something we can call home and learned the meaning of family. Becoming step is a far from easy transition. Side note: Transitions are always worth it.


I ran 30 miles with a friend I had never met and had the BEST time. There is something incredible about running through a summer thunderstorm circa 2:00 AM. Thank you Square World for connection. Said friend went on to finish the Grand Slam. Remember when I said we met amazing people?


I traveled to the middle of nowhere Kentucky to teach, be inspired and learn what it truly means to be empowered. And, yes, I ran 400m in a tutu too. Oh, I also found myself on the front of GORGO Magazine.


I coached Girls on the Run. For the first time ever, I was in a position to give my time. This is when some finish lines become a lot more memorable than others.


We traveled to Las Vegas, Jesse stood on stage in front of thousands displaying his muscles for all to see, and we officially decided that city life is definitely not for us.


We became Lululemon Ambassadors and found our people. We also grew our Lululemon wardrobe exponentially.

img_6132Photo Credit: Courtney Elizabeth

I ran more miles on the treadmill and in the cold rain than I have ever run in my entire life. Thank you, Mother Nature.


I traveled to Vermont to talk strength training and running and walked away with a network of new and inspiring women and friends.


Jesse traveled to Georgia and North Carolina taking on new business ventures and found himself back in school, studying through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.


I not so gracefully fell down the mountain on a training run and took myself out of the running game for the last part of 2016.


I travelled to Mexico, to run with the Tarahumara and learn about sustainable collaboration initiatives.


Just a few of the highlights. Remember, I’m trying to avoid the longest post ever here. But, the part that is really important is that in between all the big picture things [highlights], the simple little things really started to add up. There were amazing days, amazing runs and amazing chats with the best of [new] friends. There were days that nothing seemed to be going right and I questioned every choice I have ever made. There were countless sunrises and days I lacked zero motivation to drag myself out of bed for sunrise. There were smiles and there were tears [yes, there were a lot of tears]. And, melt downs — the kind that can only be depicted by really bad reality TV. There were family days and date nights and there were days I felt like family and my relationship were falling entirely apart and I didn’t fit [Guess what? I did.] There were those moments that a hug said it all and eye contact reminded me why I [and, we] do all we do. You see, these moments, all of them – they add up, the little bits of happiness, the little bits of hard, the little bits of life – they matter. That’s what 2016 was really about.





And, now we are on our way into 2017. There is definitely that expectation that resolutions will be set. Then there is the expectation that come February, they will be broken.

But, why…? Why do we expect and accept this?

I’ve never really set resolutions. That’s probably why I’m 5 – 7 days late on this post. But, don’t get me wrong, I always have intentions and I follow that with action. Truth be told, sometimes my actions fall short – but, when they do, I’ve learned to brush it off and get up with a smile. Sometimes I kick and scream too, but I eventually smile. Because, the ups and downs and the plans of action — right now — this is how goals manifest.

So, really, I don’t need resolutions at all. Maybe you don’t either. I’m not crazy, I just don’t need to jump on the bandwagon and fall off. So after a little heartfelt self-to-self talk, I realized this. Actions need to be intentional [all the time, not just in January] and they have to be above fear and in a place of acceptance. You know why? Because if you don’t first accept that intentions mean changing habits, then it’s never going to work. You will resist it, your actions will resist it, and then you will deem it a failure. This is not how I want to start off 2017.

So in place of resolutions, taking [things] away and the bandwagon approach, I’m being real with myself this year. That means taking the big goals and dreams and breaking them down into little intentions. So, little intentions it is. These are the things that will add to my life [if I implement strategy].

Are you with me? Without strategy and being intentional year round, the so-called resolutions always tend to fade with time. Some may make it through, but the others fall short. So why not resolve to do the one thing you know you can do? Make little intentions, strategize, and act – in the now.

So, here are my intentions, publically:

  1. Set little intentions weekly and monthly.
  1. Blog more frequently [at least, 1 – 2 times month].
  1. Keep nutrition on track. I will boast that I am pretty good at this, but we can always be better right. Like eat all of your meals every day, not just some of them.
  1. Finish Georgia Death Race and Endurance Society 100. This requires commitment to the training plan.
  1. Run for fun. On snowshoes and with friends.
  1. Make Wednesday mornings official.
  1. Write an e-book. Side note: On January 6th, this one is already underway.
  1. Make coffee dates a priority, weekly. [My substitute for date night].
  1. Embrace quality versus quantity. [Our life is not normal, we spend a lot of time apart – so do a lot of other people. This year we will embrace it and make the most of it].
  1. Read 1 book each month. And, catch up on all those magazines in the basket.
  1. Spend time outside every day. [Remind me of this when it’s cold and raining!]
  1. Find a workplace groove that adds to life. [Yes, it’s true. I may be going outside of the home office for awhile. And, the home office will still exist. Balance.]
  1. Be present, look up more and practice gratitude – daily.
  1. Stick to the yoga plan. [Hips don’t lie.]
  1. Work on all the parts of life that aren’t quite Square World worthy – relationships, home building, worklife, and balance.

So, here we have it, the reflections and intentions. The intentions will need constant revisiting and strategy, all year long. I’m probably not quite ready for another year yet, but are we ever 100% ready for anything? Probably not. But, I’ll embrace it, because at the end of this year, I’ll be looking back once again to realize that all the little intentions and little things are the pieces that really made the year.

Before we end this, thank you for following along this year and for being constant sources of inspiration and motivation. Big hug and happiest 2017 wishes. -Crystal 

PS – Did you set your intentions [goals, resolutions, dreams, schemes]?



4 Responses
  • Sandra Laflamme
    January 9, 2017

    Love hearing all about your year! Your determination and strength truly inspired me after meeting you at Rise. Run. Retreat! I look forward to following your fitness and running journeys and hope our paths will cross! NH isn’t too far from Maine!

    • Muscles & Miles
      January 10, 2017

      Thank you for the sweet words. I think we all left Rise. Run. Retreat with a renewed sense of determination and all the inspiration we needed. I love following along with your winter adventures too – 0 degree treadmill running. Oh, let’s just call this winter training – fun…? Our paths must cross soon.

  • Steve K.
    January 10, 2017

    Love it. I tell teenagers “Live life like you mean it.”

    • Muscles & Miles
      January 10, 2017

      I love this. A statement with purpose. Adding this to my favorite mantras.

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