It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I created the Fight and Flight Response – this is my 127th post!

I remember sitting on the sofa with E the day after Christmas, telling him how much I would love to start blogging. I was wrapping up a year filled with many running achievements, including my first two marathons, and I didn’t want to lose that sense of momentum. Between my training, the knowledge I had gained from my coach, my interest in nutrition and cooking and my various trips around the world, I felt I had some interesting experiences to share!

E had heard me talk about starting a running blog dozens of times over the course of the year. This time, his response was, “Just do it! What’s stopping you?”

I had many excuses.

I couldn’t decide on a title, and you obviously need one in order to start a blog. He helped me brainstorm and choose a name.

I was convinced I was too technologically challenged to create something that looked good. He said sites like WordPress are very easy to use, but clearly I needed a bigger push. I woke up the next morning to an email from him, subject line “Happy New Year – my gift to you.” I was so surprised! He had purchased the domain name for the Fight and Flight Response and set up a linked WordPress account.

“Now, here’s the fun part,” he said. “Start writing!”

That was actually the root of the problem. As silly as it sounds, I was kind of afraid to put my blog out there! It had been a long time since I had written anything for public consumption and I felt intimidated, particularly given the number of beautiful, well written blogs that already existed. Everyone has to start somewhere, though…

I had actually blogged once before, while traveling in South America from 2006-7. I set up a blog called “Seven countries/seven months in South America: A panacea for my quarter-life crisis” so that my family and friends could follow my whereabouts. I stopped posting shortly after I returned to the US, but I occasionally read an entry or two. I find it very amusing, not only because I was on the road and my blog was somewhat hastily written, but also because my voice has changed so dramatically in the last five years. That blog still receives a decent number of visitors (27,000 overall) despite the lack of updates – I included tons of detailed travel advice in there, so I suppose it’s still useful to some!

E helped me create the image above for my header, choose a layout (which I later changed) and then I was on my own. I had no choice but to dive in! I remember how nervous I was when I published my first post – now of course I don’t think twice about it.

The content of this blog has really evolved. I initially meant to focus solely on running, but other aspects of my life inevitably found their way into my posts too. Oh well! Once I am ready, I will set up a separate coaching site, as well as a nutrition site once I receive my RD license. I also have been meaning to completely revamp FFR…definitely a project for early 2012!

I am truly grateful to E for helping me get FFR off the ground. Sometimes you just need someone you trust to nudge you in the right direction. This blog has been an invaluable tool for me as I’ve explored changing careers, new running goals, various accomplishments and failures, travel adventures and other trivial and not so trivial things on my mind. I realize my audience may not always be interested in what I have to say, but writing has helped me work through important decisions, as well as celebrate all of the recent change in my life. In fact, starting this blog was the first step towards this change. I let go of my fear and finally made it happen, which is exactly what I had to do in order to quit my job, move back to the US and apply to grad school.

Overall, I am very happy with the progress I have made with FFR. I wish my blog were receiving a bit more traffic and regular comments, but I know I’ll get there with time. I don’t post as often as other bloggers, nor do I promote it very much beyond Twitter and Facebook, so all things considered, I’m doing fairly well. Most importantly, I’m having fun with it – and that’s the point of all this, right?

As of now, I have had about 19,500 views, with my busiest day at 976 views (a slightly freakish day due to a comment I made on a NY Times article). My average daily views for the year is around 60. Not horrible, but I have plenty of room for improvement!

Thank you all for reading FFR and for your support and encouragement throughout this past year. It’s been an eventful one, for sure! I know 2012 will be challenging, but I have faith that this next year has some wonderful things in store for me…

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2012!