Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Letter to My Future Self - Year End Recap and Goals for 2016

Last month, I attended a networking event with a professional event planner as the guest speaker. She seemed knowleable when it comes to goal setting. She suggested that we try writing one to our future selves.

Here's a selfie letter addressed to future me a year from today...

Dearest Future Me,

Looking back, I don't think I quite pictured so much travelling opportunities for Year 2015. I can certainly put some of the blame to my friends for instigating. As a result of some ambitious planning, I was rewarded with some amazing adventures that I'll cherish for a very long time.

A 4-day trip to Maui turned into a jammed packed schedule when I blindly added more itinaries to it. From running in a local race, biking around the west volcano (note to future self, the size of it is a lot bigger than it looks on a map), and climbing up the famous Haleakala, I wanted to do it all. Future me, can you blame me? The secret to make this possible were picking up a full box of Gatoraid from Costco and practically getting no sleep during those 4 days. Brian and the rest of the engineering gang had to put with my extra-curricular cardio sheninagans.

A double red-eye flight to Sweden via Iceland doesn't sound very pleasant but we were on a budget and luckily got to see a 'corner' of Iceland during the 19 hours or so layover (another note to future self, Iceland is also much larger than it appears on a map). Jen and I checked out the boiling hot Geysers that had water bursts every 10 minutes and Gullfoss, one of most famous waterfalls in Europe. We didn't see much darkness for 50 hours as we flew above the darkness circle. We were fortunate to explore both east and west coasts of Sweden with the help of locals and to tact on that World Championships Long Distance in cute little town Motala. By absolute dumb luck, we flew in on Sweden's biggest holiday called Midsummer and enjoyed the local festivities. We made some friends with other Team Canada athletes. We took on so many modes of transportation from renting a car in Iceland, taking a ferry to Sandhamn Island east of Stockholm, embarking on a double-decker bus which had free ferry service to nearby Islands near Goteburg, not the mention the countless trains and busses. This summary blurb doesn't do justice, remind me to read Jen's full travel race recap. 

A road trip to Oregon with Derrick wouldn't be complete had we not visited Nathaniel and Sophie in Portland. We had tacted on a race in Eugene and stayed in a house transformed into a hostel. We enjoyed some food truck and voodoo doughnuts.

A trip to the land of cottage country and floating barges with motorized engines was next. Lise was able to trick me into signing up for the inaugural Ironman in Muskoka. It was more of an adequeate excuse to meet up with several other friends along the trip including Vince, Hector, Claire and Andrew.

Some highlights this year are definitely breaking most of my running PBs (ie. 5k,8k,10k,half,full marathon), qualifying for a Duathlon Worlds AG spot, cracking top 100 in an Ironman for the first time (50th without the pros in Muskoka), and finishing as 2nd top Canadian in the Worlds Long Distance Triathlon in Sweden. 

Despite all these adventures and many personal acomplishments, I know, future me, you see this large monkey on my back still. I've been told by one or two local professional athletes particularly that they see potential in me, but I smile way too much in races. I apparently should be pushing harder. The fitness is there, it's a question of will power and determination. I think for 2016, I'll need to crank out (pun intended there) a few solid local performances. I.e less travelling and more local races and more painful suffering. 

Realistically, I want to aim to:
A - qualify for 2017 Worlds in Penticton.
B - get those sub 3 hour marathon and sub 10 hour ironman monkeys off my back.

The time has come. No more sandbagging and soft pedalling.

PS - Two exciting things on the 2016 calendar is Boston Marathon and I'll be an ambassdor for TRS Racing Team next year. TRS Racing team is an international amateur triathlon team. I'm also signed up for Great White North and know I'll be competing against some friends for those coveted qualifier spots!

In the meantime, I'll be keeping busy learning and networking as always. My career is certainly left a little idle these days, but I know there will be many opportunities for 2016. It's time to chase them, which is both scary and exciting.

Wish me luck! 

Winston (me!)