Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010: The Year in Review

One year ago I wrote a blog entry with a number of New Years Resolutions for the year 2010. With 2010 now on the books, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at those resolutions to see how I have done, and then re-make those resolutions or make new ones as appropriate. Here is a blow-by-blow investigation of how my resolutions fared in 2010:

2010 Sport Resolutions
  1. Redpoint a 5.13 sport climb: I didn't come all that close on this one. I did redpoint a 5.12d (Psychosomatic out at Little Si), but it was one that I had done before and I think it is a bit soft so I'm not sure if it count. I had trouble with this one for a few reasons, the biggest one being that I had some elbow problems in January, and as a result I didn't really climb much until May when we started going to Little Si. Normally I would have liked to have been getting into the gym a bunch in the spring to build strength for the outdoor season, so I think the problem was that I didn't have the base of fitness that I would have needed going into the season.
  2. Onsight a 5.11 trad climb: Oh boy, I fell even shorter of the mark on this one. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I even pulled my trad rack out of the closet, forget about pushing my limits. I think the only trad lines that I did were long alpine moderates (like Prusik Peak), which while super fun, sure don't do much for your ability to climb hard(er) trad. Part of the problem on this one is just too many fun activities and not enough leisure time, last year when I had to choose a climbing pursuit I usually chose sport climbing or bouldering for their convenience.
  3. Upgrade my road racing license to Category 3: Uh oh, not even close on this one either. I raced a bunch of the Seward Park Criteriums and at the end of the summer I was getting some good results in that a won a couple of primes (I had never won a prime there before), but the only sanctioned road races that I did were the Volunteer Park Criterium and the Skagit Flats Circuit Race. I meant to do more road racing, but when a weekend rolled around I was usually more excited to go climbing or go on a big ride than do a road race. Also affecting this area was the fact that my threshold for driving to a road race is set at 1 hour, which rules out a lot of the races that have courses which I might be more excited about (hilly courses).
  4. Do the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. I didn't do this one, but unlike the past three this was a conscious decision on my part. The entry for this event is based on a lottery system which is understandable, but in most lottery entries you can enter a group of people so that if one gets chosen in the lottery, everyone can race. This is handy because for races like this where many people travel to it, it is more fun to do it as a group rather than flying there to race by yourself. If I did this race, I would want to go and do it with some friends, so since their lottery system doesn't accommodate this I chose not to enter. It is also stinkin' expensive to enter, $290 which I think is exorbitant for an event of this nature.
  5. Do a 50km nordic ski race: Huzzah! Finally a resolution that I kept! In February Trev and I did the Gatineau Loppet, a 50 km ski race in Quebec. It was a great race, though I felt like I bonked a bit towards the end. My time ended up being 3:00:06 which was good, though it sure would have been nice to have dropped those 6 seconds!
  6. Do the Spearhead Traverse ski tour in Whistler: Another one that I did! This was probably my sporting highlight of 2010, for a few reasons. First, there were a bunch of weekends where we planned to try it, but then plans fell through usually due to weather or poor avy conditions. The weekend when we finally did it, we almost canceled again due to a marginal forecast but went ahead and tried it due to circumstance (I was already headed for Vancouver with my skis in the car) and the conditions ended up being perfect. We had an awesome team (Fras, Markezzy, and myself), and it was an amazing day out in the mountains, I highly recommend this to anyone who loves skiing, mountains, and has a modicum of fitness.
2010 Life Resolutions
  1. Weigh 160 lbs: Well, since this resolution didn't say how long I had to weigh 160 lbs I am going to claim success, since I registered at 159.8 on one morning in February. Too bad I didn't weigh 160 lbs when it really mattered, like when I was falling off my projects out at Little Si in July, or getting tailed off the back of road races on the climbs (actually I hardly did any road races, but if I had, I bet I would have been dropped like a bad habit since I was too heavy!).
  2. Only eat dessert on special occasions: I may have started out well on this one, but by the end of the year it was nowhere in sight and during the last few weeks it has not been uncommon to spot me eating dessert for breakfast. I didn't even remember I had made this resolution. Is breakfast a special occasion?
  3. Shop at the local farmers market: Darn, I blew this one too. I'm sure I'll make it to one of these eventually, but maybe only if they start holding them out in front of my house from 9-10pm when I commonly end up going grocery shopping.
  4. Only eat meat once a week: I didn't slavishly keep track of my progress on this one, but I am going to claim success since I definitely ate less meat and when there was a choice between a meat-based or meatless entree I usually chose the latter, as long as it sounded good. The same goes for cooking, almost all of the recipes that chose were meatless. Hooray for being a part-time veggie!
  5. Get a job: Great success, for almost an entire year I have been working at Synapse Product Development. At the outset I was a little unsure of how I would find the transition from integrated circuit design to embedded system design, but I have found it to be quite enjoyable. I do miss some of the technical circuit design challenges of IC design as most of the circuit design in my current role is of the "canned" variety (the IC manufacturer provides a recommended circuit configuration in their data sheet, and your role as a designer is not to screw it up), but one of the advantages of embedded system design is that it is fun to design something that you can hold in your hands and see it do something cool. I also really like the people that I work with, and have enjoyed the client interactions that can provide some of the same fulfillment that I gathered from teaching in my previous position at the University of Utah.
  6. Read one book per month: I definitely did this, though I stopped recording all of the books that I read. I wish I had kept track better, I will try to do that this year. My average was well above one per month though, with the highlight probably being "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. I have to thank my Mom for bringing this book to the forefront of my attention, it was a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone. At the moment I am midway through "The Trial" by Franz Kafka, which is a bit of a strange book up until this point.
Well, I guess my overall performance is that I was 2/6 in the sporting department, and 4/6 in the lift department, which makes an overall success rate of 50%. Not half bad (pun intended)! I guess I should be happy about doing well in the life department, but I sort of wish I could have shifted a couple of those life successes to the sporting arena! I have been giving some thought to my resolutions for the coming year, and I will detail those in my next post.

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