I can’t believe that I am approaching my 7th year of neuroblogging. This year was so so. There were some good parts in the middle but it started and ended on crappier moments. However, I’m looking forward to some promising moments in 2015, including the publishing of Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain–a book that I have been working on for a few years–as well as competing in the 2015 Reebok Crossfit Games with #pandanation.

January: I went to an awesome workshop on visual presentation of scientific data taught by Edward Tufte. The bottom line is less is more.

I also presented an article in journal club about the athletic consequences of game day travel across time zones. The bottom line is that if you have Vegas stakes on the line and a West Coast team is playing an East Coast team in Sunday, Monday, or Thursday night football at home, bet on the West Coast team even if it is the San Diego Chargers. Trust me.

February: The “road to the fittest on earth” (i.e., Crossfit season) began once again. Our very own #pandanation at Crossfit Terminus made an appearance in the commercial. And I got to begin participating in an exercise physiology study at Kennesaw State University that focused on cardiorespiratory fitness in elite Crossfitters.

I also blogged about the very disturbing research field of plant neurobiology. It is true that plants experience adapt and respond to stressors, but to say they have an intact nervous system is a bit too much.

Finally, the world record in men’s pole vault set by Sergei Bubka of the Ukraine was broken by Renaud Lavillenie of France in Bubka’s home country of Ukraine. Unbelievable.

March: March was cool. I attended the first Gordon Research Conference on Sleep Regulation in Galveston, TX and met some cool dudes and peeps who will be lifelong friends and colleagues. I also worked my ass off to qualify as an individual in the Reebok Crossfit Regionals after a very disappointing opener workout. With Montegraphia’s vast, statistical knowledge, I was able to figure out what I needed to place in each week’s workouts to be in the top 48. And I did it! I crawled back from 292nd to 43rd in the Southeast (FL, GA, SC, AL) region with the final two workouts clutching this spot.

April: April was a month of grueling training in preparation for the Southeast Crossfit Regionals. In the blogging world, this infographic went viral in regards to the pathetic, academic job market for newly minted PhDs in science. I also presented this article in our quarterly journal club with the cardiovascular institute that finally did an impressive empirical investigation on risks for cardiovascular events around Daylight Savings.

May: The first half of the month was spent preparing for the Reebok Crossfit Regionals while the second half was spent recovering from the “shoulder annihilation” of Regionals. Check out 3:07:00 onward in this video:

But the greatest part of the weekend was seeing my long-time training partner qualify for the 2014 Reebok Crossfit Games after years of hard work and patience. Also, my most popular post of the year was in response to this egotistical, conceited fitness brat.

June: I spent most of the month on the road traveling to professional society meetings. The first half of the month was spent in Minneapolis attending SLEEP. From there, I went to Big Sky, Montana for SRBR which was absolutely stunning in scenery and science. We saw moose trek into our yard every day, snow-capped mountains, and lots of Glass lab shenanigans, mostly involving “Turn Down for What.”

After Montana, I traveled to Berkeley to give a talk and to spend a week in Napa with the in-laws. It started out beautifully and ended poorly when I got my most sentimental shit stolen, including my wedding ring, Crossfit Games gear and general Crossfit gear as well as my most sentimental possession which was my four-year varsity jacket from Brown track and field.

July: This was the month of the World Cup as well as Em’s debut in the Crossfit Games. To address the former, I re-blogged about a research article that first appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience. I also went to a phenomenal grant writing workshop on writing R grants. But I’m not about to publicly reveal those secrets ; ) Lastly, I went home to Ohio for the funeral of my younger cousin who tragically died from a motorcycle accident. It had been a very stressful two years for our family.

August: Blood made a comeback in neuroscience research. From genomic screens of blood to how donating blood taken from one mouse affects the brain of another, it looks like we are back to where we started hundreds of years ago.

September: This month I attended one of the most enlightening conferences in research ever. It was basically a science camp for grant writing, research ethics, and new technologies at the edge of the San Bernardino mountain range in Lake Arrowhead, California. I also competed in a grueling three-day Crossfit competition in Pensacola, FL.

October: Blood control of brain function continued to make an appearance in peer-reviewed journals. I also griped about gender inequality in academia in regards to respect for women scientists, not representation of women scientists. This post was my second most popular post aside from the Erin Simmons one. Also, my young adult fictional book that I wrote ten years ago was re-released in a second edition and became an e-book! Buy it NOW for $1.99.

OCR by AB

November: This month was busy prepping for upcoming job interviews as well as for the annual neuroscience meeting which was held in DC this year. For the sixth year in a row I was selected as a neuroblogger. I also traveled to Southern Mexico at the end of the month but came back with Montezuma’s revenge a few days before some on-campus interviews.

December:  I spent a good portion of the month interviewing (unsuccessfully) for jobs but gained some important insight for future job prospects (hopefully).

Happy New Year and blogging in 2015!