There’s no way to sugar coat it: 2013 was not one of my better years. Bottom line is that losing my job and having my career practically derailed after 29 years has really turned the world upside down. Not to harp on my situation, since this is a biking blog, but I’m fortunate to be working for now, although my job search has been pretty disappointing.
So while I try to stay focused and upbeat, I have to confess that I periodically find myself in a mental panic. Looking ahead, I have my current job – a good job – at least until April. After that depends on whether my boss gets re-appointed to her position; and that is just not something easily predicted at this point.
Given that situation which developed in September, it really shot to hell what was turning out to be a rather good year. Yes, we had a rainy spring; but that seems to be normal lately. We had two graduations, some college visits, a lot of volleyball travel, and a lot of other life events that suck up time, but all were good.
Speaking of good, we had a great week of riding in Cape May, one S24O to Pinchot, and a nice day ride out to Kings Gap and back. In late summer I found time for several longer evening rides, where my new Luxos U lit up the road while also powering the Garmin, where I finally figured out all of the bells and whistles for programming it via a computer and keeping me headed in the right direction when I’m traveling into parts unknown.
Following the 5:2 Diet, I’ve managed to lose 15 pounds, give or take; and my getting back into weight lifting has helped both my overall fitness and self-esteem.
So the year hasn’t been a complete waste despite not riding and camping nearly enough.
Let’s hope 2014 is a little less stressful.
With the job hunt, a lot of doors have closed; so I’m regrouping and going outside of state government to look. The whole Linkedin world is new for me, but I’ve committed to figuring it all out and getting relevant again. I’ve also begun a self directed intensive study on managerial trends in general, both for interviewing purposes and just to get on top of my game. I think, out of all this mess, this will be the best part.
Hopefully this will all bare fruit and I’ll have time to get back to longer rides and camping. I have a list of goals from last year that I’m just going to change the date for: a bunch of day rides, and handful of S24O’s, and a tour or two.
I’m really happy with the bikes. I’m mentally toying with the idea of getting a rando bag for the front of the LHT, but it’s not a priority. I’m keeping an eye on some possible maintenance issues, so a few days in the shop might be in order. I’m half hoping that the Paselas wear down more, since I’ve had my eye on some brown Little Bens that would look perfect on this bike.
The X bike is a good bike, but I worry about not riding it enough. I waffle between letting it like it is, converting it to an upright cockpit, converting it to a rough road machine, or selling it outright. I’d love to get something with really big tires, but I don’t know if I’d ride it any more than I do the bike now. So no drastic changes on the horizon until I figure this out.
I’m also looking at winter sleeping bags – either another Montbell, a WM, or even a Feathered Friends Wren; but again, not a priority. I’m going to spend more time testing layering with my sleep set up to determine if I even need a warmer bag.
The weight lifting will continue, although I really need to expand my workouts to include some leg stuff. In a perfect world, I’d spring for a family membership at the local gym. That may still happen.
I’m also going to continue with the diet, although I’m going to overcome what I’ve diagnosed as an addiction to sugar. If I can get past that, it will be a big accomplishment. I know I can lose another 15 pounds and not look like a POW.
Michael Mosley is also coming out with a book for HIT (High Intensity Training) this spring, and I’m on the wait list.
Finally, my current job demands that I relent and carry a Blackberry. Only we’re moving away from them and into the world of smart phones, so I got one of the new demos. On top of that, my wife won a Samsung tablet in a raffle and gave it to me; so I am immersed in the world of apps and syncing to the cloud and GPS and you name it. More on that later.
I hope you had a good year, and that the year ahead will be even better. I’ve learned that from adversity comes strength, but no matter how strong we get, we can’t do it alone. ‘see you out there!