Welcome to 2017

January 01, 2017

Well, shit.

All of a sudden it’s 2017. Not sure how that happened, but it’s been an eventful and busy year. We added a porch to our house, I’m much deeper into photography than I expected to be, and, most importantly, we’ve happily added our third child to our family. Our house has a constant din of running feet, cries, and laughter. It’s wonderful.

It also means that life continues to change and my personal goals change with it. Gone are the hours straight of solitary thinking I used to think were cheap. Everything at home is now shrink wrapped into neat little packages of 15 minutes or less. If I’m going to do anything of substance, it’s going to be away.

Now I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t change this for the world. But it does change how I think about my own goals. It also changes what they are. I still want to leave a mark, to do something memorable. But I’ve also realized that the people I’m fortunate enough to live with and raise are the most indelible ink I can leave on the paper of this world. I also know that I want to be around as long as possible to see what beautiful scribbles they (and I) end up capturing.

And so, here’s some goals for the year. I’ve got five.


This year is really about fitness and getting myself nice and healthy. I find too many opportunities to shovel fast food. Being 36, I forget I can’t eat like I’m 24. Coupled with kids and a fairly sedentary job that seemingly always takes precedence, I’ve somehow gained almost 30 lbs over the last couple years.

I’ve done a killer diet thing before, and I know it can work. But I’ve decided to approach this a bit differently and proxy my health goals through athletic goals. Dieting gets outrageously boring. Working towards an athletic goal doesn’t.

So here’s my first goal: compete in my first powerlifting meet. What’s that you say? Doesn’t seem compatible with a weight goal? Better go check out this dude first as an example. Powerlifters have gotten outrageously in shape (except for maybe the super heavyweights). It’s also a weight classed sport, and the weight class I’ve chosen to compete in just happens to be my previously sustained natural weight. If I can get to that weight with some strength, I’ll be in really good shape. It will also mean I’ll be eating clean and feel much healthier.

There’s a meet in my area on May 20th, so that’s what I’m currently targeting. That gives me 4+ months to get there. I’ve signed up with a powerlifting coach to help with a training and nutrition regimen. We’ll see where this goes. It will be really fun to focus on lifting heavy things, which will also make the diet easier to stomach (har).

PR Goals? Well earlier this year I hit the following: Squat: 425 Bench: 335 Deadlift: 455 Total: 1215

I don’t think my bench form will fly in a competition, so I’m not expecting a huge gain there. I think there’s a good amount of room to grow in the squat and the deadlift. But, I also need to drop weight at the same time, so I’ll be very satisfied with anything over 1200.


After May, I plan to drastically switch gears. I did the Bethany Beach Duathlon three years ago and felt quite accomplished. I’d like to do it again.

So in May I plan to take what I’ve learned about nutrition and redirect my efforts towards running and biking. That gives me another 16 weeks to get ready, which should be enough. That said, this is the one I worry the most about, mostly because I’m nervous about how into powerlifting I will be. It may be hard to switch gears.

Hopefully doing the duathlon with some other people will help.

Work/Life Balance, Family Time, and the Right Opportunities

I’ve been off for a few weeks now with the holidays and a new baby and it’s been wonderful. It’s made me think a lot about life balances and choices. It has solidified my belief that time is more important than money.

I’ve started taking a good amount of time off during the summer, so I can enjoy the beach with my family. That’s made a very positive impact. I don’t know what the right opportunity looks like to make an even bigger change in this direction.

But I know we need to be ready for it. So this year’s goal is to put our money where our mouth is and save, save, save. We need to learn how to live on less. This is intentionally vague, but it means setting a budget significantly lower than our income and sticking with it.

Just One Thing

All three of these require that I learn better how to keep a schedule. I’m naturally a night owl, which means that I steal time at night even when the kids get up at 6 AM. I need to learn better to set a schedule and stick to it. The only reliable time I will get to workout will be early in the morning before work, so that will force the issue.

I also need to learn to compartmentalize. I tend to get wrapped up in 18 things at once and then multi-task and context-switch the shit out of all of them. This often leads to less than stellar results. It’s an occupational hazard of having many interests. So I plan to consciously pick my increments of time and use them to do Just One Thing. It may be work, writing, photography, family, coding, whatever. But it will be Just One Thing.

Sell Some Prints

Damn, I love taking pictures. I might like processing them and seeing the finished product even more. The next step is to try to share some of my work, so I’m hoping to get to a point where I can sell some prints. Beyond an online shop, I’m not sure where or how just yet. I’ve got a lot to learn about quality printmaking and framing. I also tend to be a fairly rigorous judge of my own work, which should help with quality.

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