A year ago

One of the things I always find myself doing over the holidays is thinking about where I was the year before, because it’s always different.

4 years ago, it was our first Christmas in Valdosta, where I ended up meeting some of my closest friends.


It was my first year of squadron holiday parties,

decorating our condo together

house (3)

(I always loved that kitchen)

and I was working as a department store manager. While fitness was a huge part of my life, I hadn’t even considered teaching or becoming a personal trainer.

3 years ago, the Pilot was deployed for Christmas, so I came home to celebrate with the family.


That’s a perfect snippet of my mom’s house on Christmas morning (minus my bros, who were probably playing video games and my Tata, who was probably sitting on the other recliner). Everyone has mugs in hand, present chaos occurs, and bows end up in random places (like on my head and my stepdad’s shirt).

Running was what helped me deal with the loneliness of the deployment, and that was the year I enjoyed races and training the most.

2 years ago, we were in Gatlinburg with the Pilot’s family


and it’s funny because I wasn’t originally stoked about going. Something about being in a cabin in the wilderness freaked me out –I’ve seen Red Dragon too many times- and ever since then, I’ve been begging the Pilot to take me back.


(probably still won’t ride the Sky Tour, though)

and last year, I was here in Tucson and had just driven across the country with the madre- the Pilot was deployed for his third time.


At exactly this day, last year, I had macaroons in the dehydrator, just like I do right now 😉

I had no idea we’d be living in Tucson for this holiday season, let alone in our first house with a little one on the way. Last year, I was working at lululemon, starting to teach Dance Trance –which I miss terribly but there was no way I could teach at the resort on top of all of the Dance Trance classes. That’s about 24 classes a week- and a little bit of a mess.

It was a rough deployment for me, and moving here when I had no idea if we’d end up living here, all of our belongings still in storage, was a gamble that I was glad I ended up making <3

What were you doing this time last year? Were you out-of-town? Living the same place you are now?

I’m off to take Bell to the groomer, and then running errands before Zumba.

Have a wonderful day! <3



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  1. Raya on December 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Remember last November at Foodbuzz when we were talking about how I *may* be moving to Phoenix and how ou *might* ask me to drive Viesa out with me? And now we’re both in AZ! So crazy-who knows what the next year can bring! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      yes i totally remember! so crazy 🙂

  2. [New Balance] Nicole on December 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    You are so beautiful inside and out, girl! Enjoy your Christmas, you deserve it!

  3. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on December 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Ah! This makes me happy. I couldn’t help but think over our last couple of Christmas’s and where we were in life. It seems like you two and me and my husband move a lot and are always in a different place at this time of year.

  4. Kim on December 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    You are so right, things are always so different. Last Christmas I was dating the man I thought I would marry, and planning on going to medical school. This year, I am single, in nursing school, and no longer coaching figure skating…I never would have believed it someone had told me that is where I would be right now. Just think – next year you will have your sweet little one with you!!

  5. April on December 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Last year, we had just moved to Honolulu! It was a far cry from the cold, snowy Christmases I always had growing up with my family. It was our son’s first Christmas, and we spent it on the beach with some new friends, and they’ve all moved since then. The only friends we have now are couples without kids, so I think it will end up just being kind of a quiet, warm Christmas. Kind of nice, but kind of lonely without our families to celebrate with. But it’s probably our last year on the island, so I can’t complain too much 🙂 Gotta live it up while we can! Merry Christmas!

  6. Moni'sMeals on December 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I liked this recap. I have been reading your blog for almost that entire time… I missed that first year. 🙂
    I have been in Santa Monica the past 4 years…..I am boring no stories like you! 😉

  7. Christa Stan on December 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Hey, If you dont mind me asking, what store did you work at in Valdosta?? I went to school there at the same time and worked at The Children’s Place 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

      i was manager of the juniors and lingerie departments at belk. i probably saw you at some point- we’d go into the children’s place and get change sometimes, hahah

      • Christa Stan on December 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

        It really is a small world

  8. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on December 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I was still in graduate school and had no idea where I would be working or living in a year. We’ve moved and I have started an amazing new job! Oh the things that can happen in a year!

  9. Koko @ Koko Likes on December 23, 2011 at 12:29 am

    LOVE this post also. Amazing to see what the past Christmases have brought right? This is the first one I’ve experience while my man is deployed. I’m trying to get in the spirit, but it’s a little hard when you don’t have them around you know? Spending time with fam instead and eating LOTS of cookies 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 23, 2011 at 11:32 am

      sending love to you <3 holiday deployments are the worst, but i hope it goes by quickly for you

  10. Brooke on December 23, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I LOVED this post. It actually inspired me to write a similar couple of posts on my blog 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  11. Kristi @ Hiding in Honduras on December 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    2 years ago my husband and I were enjoying Christmas at home in NC, preparing to leave for Peace Corps in Feb 2010. Last year we flew home to visit our families after being in Honduras for 10 months. This year we are nearing the end of our Peace Corps service and will be spending our first Christmas away from our families in our adopted Hondu town. It will be crazy different but tamales and fireworks will be enjoyed 🙂

  12. Yolie @ Practising Wellness on December 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I was in New Zealand, where my boyfriend is from, spending Christmas with his family – it was my first time visiting, and it was SO much fun! 🙂 Love reading about your Christmases, and I so admire your strength and independence during deployments, you’re an inspiration 🙂 xyx

  13. Katy Widrick on December 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Wasn’t it about this time last year that you, Meghann and I sat and talked over cupcakes? I miss you so much girl, but love seeing how happy you are. BTW, all of DTO is on baby Gina watch!

  14. Lindsay on December 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Gina, I thought that y ou had opened up your own Dance Trance Dance Studio. Did that not end up working out? I hope it did. Do you think you will ever leave the “resort” and go back to teaching dance trance again?

    • Fitnessista on December 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      yeah i ran it for a few months before we were considering moving to a bigger studio, and then i got pregnant 🙂 we still own the tucson dance trance license and i was renting a studio, so it was easy to stop teaching for this break. i’m hoping to start it up again in the future, but for now i’m really happy teaching where i work

  15. jacqueline on July 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    OK, so I am totally bopping around your old blog posts during my down time this afternoon, and came across this one. The photo of you and your family at your mom’s house… I was looking for you but thought you were Livi instead!!! I know she’s not that old yet but… crazy!

    • Fitnessista on July 21, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      haha no way!!

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