2017 Review

January 04, 2018

This has been an interesting year. Filled with way more ups and downs than I expected. After what has happened and what I’ve learned, I’m really excited for 2018. But before I get there, we need to go over this year first.

My original focus list for the year was:

  • Powerlifting
  • Duathlon
  • Work/life balance
  • Just One Thing
  • Sell Some Prints

So how’d I do? Pretty good overall, but there were definitely a few changes in focus over time.

First things first, I get dinged with some pretty high blood pressure early in the year. While it was overall a pretty minor scare, it woke me up to some changes that needed to be made. I practiced a strict ketogenic diet for 3-4 months, lost 35 lbs. and got myself in a lot better shape. There’s still more to do, but things are looking up.

I wrote two posts that relate to this strongly, here:


Even while losing weight, I made huge strides in powerlifting. I had a great coach (Whitney SP), and increased all of my lifts and overall strength. Highlights included:

  • 1265 Total
  • 455 Squat PR (425 double, 405 triple)
  • 475 Deadlift PR (445 triple)
  • 335 Bench (315 double)
  • 21 reps on 225 for Bench (NFL Combine, two less than Gronkowski)

To hit those numbers while in a calorie deficit and dropping 35 lbs.. yeah, I’m pretty proud of that. I bailed on powerlifting hardcore in August. There were a few reasons, but at the end of the day it came down to fear. The weights were getting heavy, and I could feel things creaking. I was loading 400+ on my back or in my hands weekly. I also (still) need to make room for good cardio for general and heart health, and there’s only so much time in the day. I’ve started running and biking again and it feels good. I’ve since learned to cycle the heavy lifts more, and once my back feels better (that’s a different story), I’ll get back into some lighter weights with more reps.


In the meantime, I didn’t do the BB Duathlon. But my wife did! Not only did she do it, she killed it. She was incredible, training all summer and conquering the bike (she’d never ridden a road bike), all with a baby! Come race day, she smiled the whole time, finished in 2:02 and placed third in her age group. I’m super proud of her, and can’t wait to do the race together next year.


We nailed this. We spent a ton of time at the beach, working when it made sense to work, and relaxing when it made sense to relax. It felt good. I was rarely harried, and kept stress in check by focusing on the causes and managing them. I hope to carry this focus forward as much as possible.

In the meantime, we did something else this year that will continue to further the work/life goals. We bought a beach house! Bethany Beach has been my wife’s happy place for generations, and it’s become mine too, so we’re super happy to consider ourselves residents now. While we originally considered doing some limited renting, we decided instead to use it strictly as a family house. My wife and kids will live there all summer, and I’ll be down as much as possible. It is incredibly exciting.

Just One Thing

This was a mixed bag. The idea here was to stop being so scatterbrained and trying to do ten things at once and instead to just the one thing. It went ok. I did less, which resulted in more. But some of the things I did still felt passive. Reading is fine, but not if your goal is writing. Research on some project is fine, but at some point you have to execute too. There was too little execution for my taste.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and have some metaphors that are helping me to execute this. I’ll have them written down shortly.

Sell some prints!

I did sell some prints, but not in a meaningful, profitable way. I gave two away for an auction at the Holy Cross Gala in January. I’m happy to say they both sold (for $120 and $180!) I also sold a couple to family/friends near Christmas. I also did a lot of test printing, found the papers and printers I like, and learned how to print and frame well. But I haven’t setup a store or tried to sell beyond that. Hopefully that’s coming soon..

And that is 2017 in a nutshell. I’ve never felt better about the future, and I’m really excited for 2018.

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