Thanksgiving 2019

The house is quiet. The only sounds are of the cats quietly stirring and the low hum of their water fountain pump. As I look out the window the world is covered in a fresh coat of white. The first snowstorm of the season hit yesterday morning. It’s Thanksgiving, and the world outside is quiet and still. Soon a new sound enters the air. Water heating up in my tea kettle for my morning coffee (decaf still… sigh). It’s peaceful this Thanksgiving morning.

The theme of 2019 for my blog was #livingmybestlife. Perhaps the thing that I’m most thankful for this year is that I have had the opportunities to do just that. In 2019 I’ve had opportunities to do incredible things, see beautiful places, and discover more and more of what I want my life to be about. Learning more about myself is the heart and center of my gratitude this year.

I feel like the past few years have been times of self-discovery. When I was younger I thought I knew what I wanted to be and who I was. I spent years trying to be a certain person, living a specific life, and in the end it really wasn’t me. Or at least it’s not who I was able to be now. I’m finally peeling back the layers and feel like I’m coming out of a long tunnel.

None of this self-discovery would be possible without the people I surround myself with. I’m truly grateful for the communities of people who are a part of my life now. Some are still with me from years ago, and they join new friends who are walking the same path as me. As I’ve grown I’ve been supported by friends and family who have given selflessly to encourage me and help me grow. I’ve tried to reciprocate as much as possible.

As we come to the close of another year, I want to thank everyone for their support over the past couple of years. I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t have grown, if it wasn’t for all of you. It’ s for that reason that 2019 was my #livingmybestlife year, and I hope to continue that trend. I’m excited for the future, and ready to see what the future holds.

Thank you

Fitness week recap – 11/18/2019

Week Starting 11/18/2019
Running:
12.5 miles
Biking:
 14.8 miles
Steps: 83,999
 (41.5 miles –  29.00 walking)

Impression: Pretty simple week this past week. Rode my bike to the train 4 out of 5 days, and got a few runs in. Still working back in to things, however dealing with some niggling issues. I’ve got arthritis in my right big toe that’s causing me pain after I run, as well as a ganglion cyst in my left foot. It’s inflamed a bit, which is putting pressure on my left ankle. Needless to say I’m cutting back a bit and giving my body a break, but without completely stopping activity. My doctor was adamant that I should do what I can to keep being active, as that’s one of the best way to help anything arthritic.

My long run was almost 7 miles, and I combined it with some errands. It made it a bit slower of a run, but I had fun using my two feet to get me around where I needed to go.

Fitness week recap – 11/11/2019

Week Starting 11/11/2019
Running:
9 miles
Biking:
 38.1 miles
Steps: 71,932
 (35.14 miles –  26.14 walking)

Impression: Didn’t get out an run much this week. Still dealing with some troublesome muscles and joints. Working on stretching and rolling things out, but it’s recovering slowly. It’s not that I can’t run, I got in a couple solid runs this week, but that it doesn’t feel like I want it to. It’ll come with time. I’m not too worried about it. I do have one pain in my foot though that I might get some imaging done on just to be sure.

On the biking front though this was a nice week. I got in a couple solid rides, including a 15 mile day on Saturday hitting Silverwood Park for Pokemon Go Community Day, and then over to the new Forgotten Star brewery in Fridley. Was a beautiful day out… as long as you were traveling north. There was a really cold wind coming from the south that slowed you down a LOT. Thankfully my Vaya was back from the shop and I got to ride it again before the snow gets too crazy. I might get a few more rides in with it this year, but eventually I’ll hang it up so that it doesn’t get all gross through the winter months.

Trying to be less car-dependent

When I was a kid we didn’t own a car until I was 15. We lived in a neighborhood in St. Paul and so bus service was readily accessible. As I got older though I started to dream of the day I could get my license and experience freedom. I even tried to take my driver’s test on my 16th birthday (spoiler: I didn’t pass). Once I had my license I drove everywhere. I don’t think I took a bus again for years.

A couple of years ago I waxed poetic about the freedom that cars give you. In that post I did mention the big downsides of cars as well, and recently I’ve thought more about how dependent I am on trying to get around in my own private vehicle. Partly, I think I’ve been influenced by all of the biking I’ve been doing this year, and the whole bike commuting culture. When I changed jobs this year I moved to an office that is only 9.5 miles away from home, and it meant that I had more options. The Northstar train goes through my suburb and so there’s little reason that I need to drive into the city. I can bike or train it without much difficulty.

However, I found myself driving even the 1.8 miles to the train station, which in some ways seemed silly. It’s close enough that I’ve even walked it at times. Why would I bother moving my car such a short distance when I have options that don’t use gas or pollute? Therefore, I’ve committed to trying to make a change.

I’m going to commit to getting to work by bike and public transit four days per week. One day per week I have to be in St. Paul and that commute will only happen occasionally. However, there’s very little reason why every other day when I’m in Minneapolis that I couldn’t leave the car parked. I’ve been working on doing this for the past couple weeks and have been mostly successful. I had a conference to be at a couple days last week, but otherwise I’ve tried to leave the car in the driveway.

We’ll see how well the winter goes, but even on a cold snowy day, 1.8 miles to the train station shouldn’t be too bad. Once there I have a nice bike locker where I can store my bike out of the elements, or I can bring it on the train with me in case I want to bike the whole way home, or somewhere during lunch. I’m excited to give this a try, and hope to report nothing but success over the coming weeks.

Fitness week recap – 11/4/2019

Week Starting 11/4/2019
Running:
13.7 miles
Biking:
 13.4 miles
Steps:
87,609 (42.91 miles –  29.21 walking)

Impression: Low mileage week. Was at a conference for a couple days which disrupted my routine, so I wasn’t even biking as much. Plus, my beer and bikes group did a volunteer event that we drove too, so I didn’t have that ride either. Hopefully, next week will be more of a return to normal.