Just getting back into that social media thing after a week completely off followed by a week of limited use and I've got to say friends, it feels damn good. I highly recommend you taking a look at the handy screen time function on your phone, take a deep breath and set some boundaries for yourself in the new decade—I think you'll find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do than you actually think you do. And time people, is our most valuable asset in life.
Everyone's posting their top nine from the year, but I've been thinking more about the past 10 years with the new decade and all coming tomorrow and it's actually made this New Years more special.
I realized the other day that 10 years is a really long time (nearly a third of my life) while simultaneously also being a really short time and although that might sound like a really naive statement (time just ‘is’), it all depends on my perspective and how I choose to warp it. When I think of where I was ten years ago in life there is no way in hell I would have guessed that I'd be exactly here. It's impossible, no one can predict the future. But instead of jumping to conclusions and thinking long term when I try really hard and focus on all the details of the last 10 years it's also completely impossible to think of all of them because there have been so many. And that makes ten years feel like a really long time; 5.256e+6 is a lot of minutes for a huge amount of things to happen. And you know what, I've decided all of things have actually been really good. Even the ones that crushed me in the moment or for a few weeks, even a couple months, where precisely the right thing that I needed at that juncture to bring me to this day. I could think about it completely the other way, with lots of 'coulda woulda shoulda what if regret' type thoughts and that would flip a coin on the last 3,650 days, but that would clearly do me no good. Truthfully, I think perspective is everything in life. Shitty things happen to everyone, but it's the ones that focus on said shit that seem to always be having crappy things happen to them—all the time. I digress...
I'd like to think I'm a Grand optimist. I want to see the good in everyone, but sometimes I still just don't get people. So, instead of trying to figure people out in the new year and beyond, I'm going to keep trying to figure out myself because I don't know about y'all but I learned an incredible amount in the last decade and I can only imagine absorbing more in the next one.
But first, my year-by-year top highlight, because conveniently Instagram gives us 10 photos so it's a natural fit.
'10 - Watching my childhood team win their first World Championship in 56 years live and in the flesh and going onto the field to celebrate with all my friends in Arlington.
'11 - Finishing the Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race, my 2nd bike race ever. Absolutely destroyed and 100% addicted to endurance sports from this point forward.
'12 - The last year that I worked a "real" job; I've made the freelance thing work for the last 7 years and for that I'm incredibly proud of my drive to pave my own path regardless of what society tells me I should be doing.
'13 - My Golden birthday year, I grabbed it by the horns in the most disoriented moment during my mid-20s and traveled the world, filled it with adventures I had only dreamed of (and also had my only near death experience).
'14 - The year I went on two, 220-mile 20k+ feet of climb self-supported rides with my best friend both starting and ending on the Mesa, in the dark—the feeling that I can accomplish anything in the world is empowering, yet no matter how many times I experience it it can still be so fleeting in the day-to-day.
'15 - My first byline in the now defunct Road Magazine about a trip to Mallorca and Switzerland to test ride stupid expensive carbon fiber race bikes—ridiculous that this is how marketing budgets get spent, but so insanely fun. I’ve been privileged to write for so many other fantastic publications in the outdoor industry since.
'16 - Earned my UCI professional mountain bike license and achieved a half-decade long pursuit of the silly cat 1 road upgrade (with no broken bones) while fully realizing my new passion in sport, MUT running, after a devastating crash on Gibraltar (that could have been much much worse).
'17 - Got Leonidas from Monterey Bay Lab Rescue! A year later, I got Luna from there too. Easily the two most spontaneous decisions I've ever made.
'18 - Raced my 10th Consecutive Dipsea (consistency is one of my greatest strengths), an event that as a Mill Valley born/raised kid means so much more to me than just a race and finally trained hard enough to get my first coveted Black Shirt (in 2020 I'll go for my third).
'19 - Spent 24+ hours over the course of 5 months on the table overcoming a fierce fear of needles and getting some serious ink, completely redefining my pain cave.
How am I kicking off January? By making another lifelong dream come true. Floored to announced something pretty cool in 2020. Here's to continued pure enjoyment of the ride! I have no clue where it’s going, but I’m all aboard.