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A Good Year

December 31, 2009

I got [pig smoking outside the cave]
Got a three [month] beard I don’t plan to shave
And it’s a goofy thing but I just gotta say
Hey I’m doing alright

Yeah I think I’ll make me some [caveman stew]
Feelin pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced
No I’m just doin alright

And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin when I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neigborhood
But why can’t every day be just this good?

It’s a Great Day to Be Alive, Lyrics by Darrell Scott, Sung by Travis Tritt

Here we are, the last day of 2009. It is indeed a great day to be alive. I shall spare you the soap opera recap as I did this time one year ago, because the year is past us now, but a wise man once said “How do you know where you are going if you don’t know where you are at?” And I would add “You don’t know where you’re at unless you know where you’ve been!”

So, how about just the biggest events of 2009? One of the most important events occurred right off the bat: Colleen and I discovered the Paleo Diet. This would not only drastically change the way I looked at food and base my nutrition decisions on, but it would “evolve” into a whole new way of thinking about life (adopting primal behaviors that promote positive gene expression and thus improve the quality of life in the modern world). I had slowly developed my own thoughts on the matter, but didn’t have a good way of organizing them until reading Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint in November. If you were only allowed one more book to read for the rest of your life, this would have to be it!  Seriously, it is that profound. I’ll discuss this a bit more in New Years Day post though.

Athletically, I sustained no major injury this year, unless you count a few stubbed toes and lost toenails, and set some new milestones. Swimming and running improved enough to move into the top 10 at the regional Xterras, I upgraded to a Cat 3 in road racing, won the 12 hour MTB race at Warda, unsuccessfully tried my hand at the Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race, completed my first Olympic distance road triathlon, won my biggest race of the year-24 Hours of Rocky Hill, and still had a little left in the tank to get a few more cyclocross wins on a single speed. These accomplishments were nice, and all mean something to me, but starting next year, I won’t put as much emphasis on such events and results (read tomorrow’s post!)

Life-wise, the tanking economy was probably everyone’s story of the year. It didn’t concern me too much until the architecture firm I worked for ran out of work and disbanded. The layoff came at a really interesting juncture in my life. Not only had Colleen and I planned a nice vacation to Colorado the day that would be my last at that job, but I had been busy shopping for an engagement ring to give my bride to be the same week I got news of the sinking ship. Prior to the engagement, Colleen and I had already talked pretty seriously about moving to Colorado, both of us smitten with this new place following our trip to Breckenridge that summer. Following the engagement, I went ahead and made the announcement that we would do so after getting married, although, comically, everyone somehow thought we were moving right away! The trip to Colorado was in part vacation, but also in part to search out a new town to live in. We visited a lot of cool towns, and aren’t 100% sure yet, but Durango is looking pretty good at the moment.

Also, not mentioned much, is the fact that the job was starting to get a bit stale for me. Not the firm so much, just the profession in general. I was beginning to consider taking time off and trying my hand at some other jobs, something a bit more blue collar and less time sitting at a desk. I have since been living freely and have been enjoying the time off with little intention of seeking out new work. Following Christmas, though, finances are starting to look a little tight so I will likely take up job hunting in January.

Enough about me though. I wanna thank the good Lord for all the blessings stowed upon me, my friends, and my family for this year. Yeah, times are a little tough in the neighborhood, but I’m optimistic that things will work out for the best, as they always have. I will not be setting any New Year’s Resolutions, as I advise you to.  Instead, focus on Life Resolutions. You know the things in life that bring discomfort and dissatisfaction. It might be too much time playing on video games or phones, vegging out in front of the TV excessively, eating like crap, not enjoying your job, not getting enough sleep, not getting outside enough, substance abuse, the list goes on and on. You and only you have the power to enact positive change. You can start this weekend! Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.


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