I am one of the lucky ones. While politically and internationally, 2016 was somewhat of a shit show, inside my own small circle it was a great year. I learned how to climb up cliff faces and how to be a little less afraid of the woods. I got my purple belt in jiu-jitsu. I taught another wonderful session of Kindergarten karate at PS84 in Brooklyn, along with all of my normal classes at the dojo. I finally got my drivers license, and leased a new car.

On top of these cool accomplishments, I trained a lot. I learned a lot. I hugged my daughter a lot. I spent 365 days basically living my life and I am fortunate that that life is pretty damn good.

Also, there was coffee. Lots of delicious coffee.

But I know that I am one of the lucky ones. Close friends of mine suffered greatly this year. There was illness and injury, personal and financial stresses. There were unmet goals and disappointing outcomes.

Lots of celebrities died this year.
And then of course, there was Trump.

I am going to be honest with you here. It doesn't really bother me all that much when celebrities die. I mean I feel terrible for their families of course. But personally, nothing. I didn't know George Michael. Or Carrie Fisher. I am thankful to have been able to enjoy Star Wars and to sing along to "I Want Your Sex" in the shower, but I didn't KNOW these people. It is hard to get too worked up about the death of someone I have never even had a conversation with.

As for Donald Trump, I will admit to having moments in between BJJ classes and bike rides, where I am concerned for our country.  Deeply concerned. But then I have a 3 year old to teach. And a heel hook to defend. And my kid needs dinner.

I guess my point is that I don't spend too much time obsessing over these big world things that I have very little control over. Does that make me selfish?  Insensitive? Maybe. Privileged? Certainly. But what is the alternative? I have my own life to live. Am I wrong for putting most of my energy into making it the best it can be? I am not trying to be happy at the expense of anyone else. I am not trying to step on anyone on my way upwards. I am just limiting my reach to those people that I can actually touch with my fingertips.

It is January 1st, 2017. A new year.

This year, if I get on your back you will be in trouble. I will attach myself to you like a barnacle. I will be the most annoying backpack ever.

Also watch your ankles people. I'm coming for them too.

And little ones, you are going to do SO many pushups this year. It will be awesome! Also you are going to have some pretty fantastic roundhouse kicks. And some fierce punches.  But your confidence, that is what is really going to blow them away. How amazingly awesome you are. How you can do anything. Even the stuff that scares you. Especially the stuff that scares you. You will become Superman this year. All of you. Even the whiny ones.

My little bunny is going to become a junior black belt this year.
So I plan on doing a lot of crying some time in mid-March. Get the tissues ready.

Our dojo has BJJ white belts who roll with technique and compassion. Do you have any idea how rare that is? Matthew did that. So yeah, more of that in 2017.

Also, you have no idea how much BJJ tape my husband watches. Seriously, no idea. He is going to become the most brilliant mind in jiu-jitsu this year. But that's for his blog post.

I do plan on hugging him a lot.
Gross, I know.

More walls and cliff faces.
More trees and rivers.


The smell of Maya's hair. While she still lets me in there.

More coffee.

That bar on 106th and Amsterdam, on Fridays after sparring. With my Kenshikai family. Ya'll know who you are.

No drama, just training.

Just in case you missed that.
No drama, just training.

My mom, my dad, my brother. Spaghetti.
Lots of cheese.
My brother really likes cheese.

Also I'm gonna write more. Feel free to block me or something.

Did I mention the coffee?

Happy New Year Everyone!
Make it a great one!


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