December 30, 2014 posted by

What’s Your 2015 Epic Challenge?

What’s Your 2015 Epic Challenge?

I’m a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Even if you quit they’re a great tool for motivation, since writing them down provides some level of commitment. It doesn’t matter how you do. The effort alone will lead to an improvement. To inspire you, here’s bonus and you don’t even have to bother with my drivel to earn it. My friend Reba’s having a contest. Simply post your epic goal for 2015 on Rebecca Rusch’s Twitter ‪@thequeenofpain and tag ‪#jointherusch and you can win something cool. This ain’t no Ed McMahon sweepstakes. You really can win. I got a Suunto watch a couple of years back for asking a question. So what are you gonna do?

For anyone still here, my epics for 2015 are….

Last year’s 14 for 14 resolutions were on track until they were rudely interrupted by my health. Still did a bunch of them, though I’m not sure “not get injured training” or “one-arm pull-up” count since training one-arms is how I discovered my cancer, leading to the eternal question, do one-arms cause cancer or save lives? I’m bettin’ on the latter.

Since I obviously like goals corresponding to numbers and dates, let’s roll into ‘15, my 55th year on the planet, with one massive goal, and three challenges of five to tick along the way.

 1 – Come up with one training protocol that will advance how cancer and leukemia patients recover.

I find myself in a unique position to re-build my body after a “re-birth”, since I’m about to get nuked and then brought back to life after being infused with my own stem cells and letting them regenerate. While this is a standard procedure for leukemia, and some cancers, very little is known about the best way to push your body in recovery to the greatest effect. What’s too little? What’s too much? How do you balance your energy between chemo recovery and training recovery? What’s the best style of training to stimulate stem cell production? All fascinating and, hell, who better than me to figure it out? While it might be type 2 (or 3 or 4) fun, it will be an interesting journey nonetheless.

 5 – Write five proper articles, in the traditional sense.

Social media is ruining journalism. Not only are articles getting dumbed down, it’s now commonplace for headlines to have nothing whatsoever to do with the content that follows. Ten years ago, The Huffington Post was one of the better places to find broad spectrum news on the web. Today you can barely tell it apart from The Onion.

Ten years ago I cranked out over a hundred articles per year. Not all were good, but some stirred readers. Before we measured everything in followers that communicate in 140 characters or less, I got stacks of something called email. My writing solicited emotion, as if things actually mattered. I still get to write, though much less so, but now it tends to be quick-hit advice. Nothing wrong with that. It helps a lot of people and I’m happy to have the opportunity. But it’s not what I call writing.

Five real articles will require more structure and efficiency in how I work. We are a busy, growing company. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with business. But I’m a trenches guy. I need to carve out more time to roll up my sleeves and get dirty at a visceral level. It will feel good to get back in there.

 5 – Have five proper adventures.

Given I’m in a  situation where there is no way to gauge how long my body will take to recover, and to push beyond what’s smart would mess up goal #1, I’ll define these as I go. I’ve enough experience at adventuring not to let them be too pedestrian. They may not be epic. Or they may be. The only rule is soul searching required. Otherwise, it’s only exercise.


 5 – Develop five different cliffs and/or trails.

Perhaps I’m summarizing my life’s activities in this year’s objectives. When your work matters, you’re training smart, yet you’re still getting in some adventure life is good. The missing ingredient, at least to make me happy, is some giving back on the cuff. The mountain above my house has five cliffs that could be developed for climbing or have fallen into disrepair and need some love. There’s also, perhaps, some mtb action that could be aided. My goal is to bring the mountain back to life in time for the inaugural “Grandeur 10”, which you’ll hear more about later.

So that’s it. Seems reasonable on paper but that perspective will no doubt change along the way. And that’s exactly what makes it exciting. Have an epic 2015!

pics: reba out adventuring, top. above: my house is down there somewhere. perhaps developing this cliff can double up adventure and stewardship. 

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