January 8, 2013 posted by

The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

The Year of the Van turned into the year of work. Whattayergonna do? Life happens. Instead of numerous van weekends and holidays exploring unknown lands of the USA I took a total of zero days off and flew 40-something times for my job. What this means, fair readers, is that the year’s recap will be short and, in fact, so will the coming year’s plans.

An entertaining upside is the I finally stopped yappin’ about proper health and fitness topics and instead turned to the stylings of Stevie Haston. His site just kills me, for both it’s training psyche and its audacity. And it’s madness–ah, so much for “both”. Anyway, I think even non-climbers would enjoy his work. It’s crazy inspiring. Not one to mince words Stevie’s year-end summary went like this:

Winter solstice today, I’m looking at the last 12 months and I had a great year, about 60 new routes in Gozo, all on interesting rock and of high quality….King of Kings is certainly my favorite roof….a project done in Ariège….a new kitten…lots of new projects….

I’ve lost a little bit of muscles and become more flexible which make me a better climber….and I will get stronger slowly but surely…

Climbing is getting more important to me as the world seems to implode with stupidity. Wars to bolster the economy of the West, make me ashamed. That’s it, I’m going bouldering today, to lazy to go climbing.

Short and to the point. And before you blame such focus and carefree mindedness on youth, consider Stevie’s in his mid-50s. So I will paraphrase inserting my own measely existence.

Though they didn’t go as expected that last 12 months have been a full year of adventures of different sorts. I can’t complain about work when I’m able to affect so many people. It’s any educator’s dream. At home we rescued another maniac. Cattle dogs are not for the faint of heart or those not committed to exercise, especially those who’ve already been rejected. Our dogs are a challenge but one I wouldn’t trade, even when they’re doing their best impression of Mitt Romney and absconding us for their own adventures.

Athletically, I never got injured and learned a lot. Not many notches on the old scorecard. Made my one race count, as it appears on many “hardest of” lists, ticked off a handful of epic rides and 11 new routes to boot. Became less ripped but hopefully more functional. Also have been dealing with an illness that’s hung around since doing a long ride in smokey air. Don’t try that at home–heed air pollution warnings. The upside, always, is that the trickier the illness the more there is to learn. I’m lucky enough to be in the position to pass on newfound knowledge.

For the coming year it’s work and all things Yak Attack. After which, we’ll see where my psyche takes me. There are new cliffs to be developed, and odd interest in off-widths, and many strange adventures to be concocted that push us into the realm of the unknown.

As for the blog, I’m going to attempt to bring it back towards cutting through the BS that is our health and fitness media. I have a stack of stories to deconstruct, which I’ll pick on as time permits. And, of course, there are plenty of training and nutritional theories that bare testing. It shouldn’t be boring.

This year’s going to be the best one yet. Always.


  • Steve, a quick note of thanks for your excellent Blog. Keep riding the crest, we'll stay tuned and learn! I for one have tried quite a few of your notions, and as always the Psyche is there! Sorry to hear about the respiratory issues… if you've never tried breathing exercises I'm a big fan of kundalini yoga. Some breath of fire could help kick-start the new year.

  • Thanks! I do a lot of breathing exercises, including breath of fire (or BoF-like) exercises. Experimenting currently with Alto Lab altitude simulation and it seems to be very effective indeed. I will report more on it.

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