So with 2015 drawing to a close in the near future, there’s inevitably some introspection on the past year, and planning for the new year that comes along with it.
2015 started off slowly for me, but is ending with so much momentum that at this point, I never want to change course.
I started off the year with a simple resolution.
I’m not going to drink alcohol for 30 days.
I threw my plastic cup in the trash at the New Years’ party, and that was that. 30 days later, at the end of January, I had breezed through.
30 days was too easy. I’m not going to drink for all of 2015.
And so it began. Spring turned into Summer. It was barbecue season, and hard to resist a Corona with lime, or a post-ride IPA. Vacation was different this time around, sitting on the beach drinking water instead of 10+ beers.
Interestingly enough, it turned out to be a much more relaxing trip than the ones I had taken when I was drunk or hung over for the majority of the week.
Fuck it. I think I’m just done with alcohol, period.
I have yet to regret it at all. In the past 12 months, I’ve been to weddings and parties where I’ve watched rational people turn into slobbering dipshits, stumbling around and slamming into furniture before getting in their cars and driving home. I’ve witnessed 50-year old women drinking whole pitchers of Kamikazes, then being held back from voluntarily jumping from a 25-foot balcony. Ethanol-stink vomit, drunk texts, wondering if I’m too drunk to be driving, hangovers, and the feeling of “holy fuck… WHAT did I do last night?” are all a thing of the past for me, and it feels incredible. If you are on the fence, considering dropping alcohol, just do it.
In June, I decided I would move away from Pittsburgh within the next two years.
Why? Because I want to, and I can. Pittsburgh is an ugly, unpleasant town in the winter. It’s bitter cold, gray, and brown. Area Bike Parks are either small and poorly run, or too far away. I’ve lived here for 34 years. After seeing the vast majority of the country, it’s hard to justify staying. If nothing else, I want to get out of my comfort zone.
I’ve settled on Northern San Diego County, California.
- It’s been a while since I’ve been to the area, and I enjoyed it more than anywhere else I visited. The people were incredible, too.
- It has better weather than anywhere else in the country (for me, at least. I have exercise-induced asthma in cold temperatures and prefer a warm climate).
- It’s on the Pacific Ocean.
- If I want winter, I can drive two hours inland, to Big Bear.
- Snow Summit has a great Bike Park that suits my riding style, also two hours away.
- Mammoth is six hours away, Tahoe is nine. Virgin, UT is six as well, and Whistler is 24 hours straight north. Not exactly close, but closer than they are now. All do-able for road trips.
- It’s significantly less expensive than San Diego proper, or anything in the LA area.
- It’s far less crowded than LA. I like living in the city, but I don’t need it. I’d sooner take a large town.
- If I hate it, I can move to wherever I want.
I have a lot to do between now and the time I move from a business standpoint, and my girlfriend is still finishing up grad school. If I moved without a solid financial foundation and plan, I would end up flying back to Pittsburgh, broken, within a year. And as far as my girlfriend is concerned, I am happy to bring her with me. She has positively enriched my life, unlike most of my past girlfriends, who served only to chip away at my resources, finances, energy, and emotional stability. She is feminine, attractive, positive, and pleasant. As an example: I was on the go for ten hours yesterday. When I got home, did I hear bitching and complaining about how she was left home alone all day? No. Instead, she rubbed my feet for 45 minutes. I didn’t ask. She volunteered. This type of behavior happens regularly. Yes. She can come with me.
I have made astonishing progress in the related realms of mindset, discipline, and mental focus.
Credit where credit is due: This was possible due to information I absorbed from the the books, blogs, videos and podcasts of Good Looking Loser, Mike Cernovich, and Victor Pride. Their material has been an invaluable tool in becoming a better, fitter, smarter, happier, better looking, and more successful man.
I used to beat myself up, be overly critical of myself, stress out, panic, and inevitably just “give up”. For days, I would sit around the house eating junk food, being depressed, watching episode after episode of Top Gear and Seinfeld to kill time. Those days are long gone. I can’t sum it up in one paragraph, but the material produced by those guys has irreversibly changed my life for the better.
I have reversed my backslide, and re-dedicated a large portion of my energy towards my fitness, health, and physical appearance.
I went from fat to much less fat in 2012, and expanded upon that in 2013-2014, getting moderately fit. From mid-2014 until mid-2015, I took it very easy, going to the gym occasionally, and eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The results of that lifestyle were disastrous, and I re-focused my efforts in August. My nutrition, supplementation, weight training, and cardio are all in place and I’ve reached my 2015 goal of deadlifting 400 pounds. It has been a tough road, but progress is starting to become more and more apparent. I’m on the road to 10%, and won’t stop until I get there.
I have said my final goodbye to working for other people.
Right now, things are on the upswing. I’m learning how to run a business properly, and like most things that are worth the journey, it’s much harder than I expected. I still fall into the “fake it ’till you make it” category, but I’m learning more every day. I’m working hard, and taking bits of information from those who have accomplished the goals I’ve set for myself. Six months ago, I would be shocked to look this far into the future and see what I’ve managed to plow through.
I have seen Mountain Biking slide out of the limelight and further into the background.
There’s two reasons for this. First of all, my current location. Yes, there’s riding here. But I’m tired of riding the same moderate-quality trails every day. The second reason is everything else I’ve mentioned. It’s hard to fit a ride into your schedule when your days consist of:
- Going to the gym (sometimes twice a day) and sitting in traffic to and from.
- Preparing fresh, healthy food.
- Writing on this blog or working on my book for 10-14 hours at a time.
- Connecting with like-minded people on social media.
- Researching and working on my other business.
- Keeping my home, body, and mind clean and uncluttered.
- Reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos on relevant topics.
At this point, going out and riding the same 10-mile loop I’ve done twenty times would just be a time-killer. A takeaway from something more productive that wasn’t being done. For the last half of the summer, my bikes sat idle most of the time. I simply didn’t have the time to go and ride them very often. My priorities changed. Riding was fun, but improving every aspect of myself is more fun, and more rewarding. I can always re-integrate riding once I move.
2015 has been a year of growth, discovery, and momentum. It can be summed up in one sentence, the sentence I say to myself many times every day:
“Tonight, I will go to sleep a better man than the one who woke up this morning”