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Off-Topic The Best Year of Your Life

Adam R Mundorf

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello StrongFirst,

I know it's not always useful to live in the past or to always dwell there because nostalgia often clouds the true feelings of the past.

But what was the best year/years of your life and why?

For me, it was 2015 through 2018. I started becoming more productive, changed my eating habits, loved my job/career and began a healthier outlook on life. Doors seemed to open and I attracted exactly what I needed or wanted. Sometimes I look back and when I really delve into it, there were certainly some negative times back then as well. Nostalgia just has a habit of making me forget.

Thank you and I look forward to your replies. We have so much to learn from one another. -


Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
what was the best year/years of your life and why?
I would be disappointed if my answer wasn't, "this year" - but I'm not disappointed. I continue to learn, I continue to improve at my craft(s), my children continue to move into adulthood as my wife and I continue to enjoy each other's company, my volunteer work continues to bear fruit, and I continue to set PR's in powerlifting. I have, I hope, a long way to go still - much to learn, much to improve about myself.



Level 5 Valued Member
In 08/09 I had my first deployment and it set the standard for all before it. A bit like an addict chasing that first high.

Some people hate that sort of stuff. I was encouraged by my teachers to compete in wrestling and had an opportunity to train out of the training centre in Cardiff but 08/09 confirmed that this was right for me.

I have progressed in many aspects of my life since then. Performance and financials have improved but I still look back at 08/09 with fondness.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Great question... @Adam R Mundorf you are good at asking those.

Some years are impactful... Some years are enjoyable... The best years are both.

For me, I would have to say, those years that were both were:
  • 1995, the year I was pregnant and my son was born
  • 2008, two big career changes that brought me good things, and also started cycling (road bike riding)
  • 2014-2015, views on fitness transformed; found kettlebell training, earned SFG I, immersed in StrongFirst
  • 2019, the year I donated a kidney.


Level 6 Valued Member
I dont have years that I look back at as really great. I more have years that I look back at as not great at all. Luckily not that many years. I learnt much from those years, so they were useful, but not pleasant. In general for me it is more about areas in life at a certain point that experienced pain, and then other areas at the same time that were successful/pleasant.

Even though I can try to say that year was beautiful and pleasant, and that year sucked, it will often come back to decisions. That decision that I made back then really sucked. It was expensive and did not lead to any great stuff, but well, maybe it was kind of useful after all...


Level 6 Valued Member
2012-15: I was in law school. I studied in Switzerland for a semester. I made great friends. And I lived in Chicago for three years.

2016-18: lived just outside of Tokyo. Was a real adult doing cool things for the first time. Had a really tight knit community. These were the formative years of my JAG career. I miss these years terribly.

2021: proposed to and married the poor girl who is now my wife. Finally achieved timed Simple. Bought my first house. Had my first fully litigated “win” at trial. Found out we were having a baby (which is as much terrifying as it is good).


Level 6 Valued Member
@Anders the hardest years of my life undoubtedly were the ones that made me the best version of myself as I am today. I once had a friend ask me, “why does it seem like life always gives you the things that you find difficult?” The best answer I had was, “because that’s where you have room to grow.” That’s where you’re “not free” to sound a little spiritual about it.

I guess I can’t think of a particular year off the top of my head, but to add to what I wrote above: for me it’s about the times I overcame obstacles and became a better, happier and freer version of myself. I can only hope the best are yet to come and that I will always greet new years and new challenges with a smile.

To paraphrase a line from Carlos Castaneda, “a warrior does not see obstacles or hardships, a warrior only sees challenges.” Whether or not one thinks of themselves as a “warrior “ (however you might define that) I like that line of thinking. It’s not always easy, but it never fails to pay off.
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