My 2018 – A Look Back

The last week of the year is when everyone seems to be writing and publishing their own year in review posts and it seems like a great opportunity for me to spend a few minutes looking back on my year.

Biking

I started out 2018 doing a mountain bike race in January called the Whole Enchilada, which is basically riding all the trails at the USNWC, about 25 miles. My goal was to finish the race but I failed. I didn’t have the legs nor the energy to do the last trail. From this I decided I was going to step up my riding so I could complete it in 2019.

I felt like I was on track but then I crashed last month and broke my hand. I’ll be out of commission for at least another two months so it’s quit unfortunate that I will not even get to enter the one thing I was pushing myself toward.

Outside of the mountain biking I bought a gravel bike and did my first half century and also rode it to the lake a few days and worked from a hammock.

I plan to do more of that once the weather warms back up and my hand heals.

Blogging

At the end of 2017 I decided I wanted to get back into blogging and made an internal goal to maintain a streak of blogging everyday for the month of January.

I continued that streak until March and then really slacked off June through September, then picked up again October.

Publishing Schedule

Publishing everyday was a challenge but the one nice side effect is it forced me to look around at everything for content ideas. Of course, the downside is by posting so often I never had time to really sit down and write in depth pieces, but that is never my style. I like to be a curator which fits perfectly with quick posts.

For 2019 I do want to continue blogging and try to force myself out of just tweeting when I have something to say.

Work

In 2018 I had a busy year making things. First I work full time for UserScape and then run Laravel News on the side. Those two take up many hours a week. Outside of these I helped run Laracon Online, LaraJobs, I created Laravel Events, and of course published the Laravel Newsletter almost every Sunday.

Personal

Outside of biking and breaking my hand I also had Lasik at the end of November and it’s the best thing I’ve done for myself. It’s hard for me to describe going from always wearing glasses to not even thinking about them. It’s really amazing laying in bed and not having the frames dig into your head, or exercising and not having to worry about them slipping off.

I also kept a daily log book for the first time ever and looking back through it is pretty cool. I like being able to flip through the pages and remember the day. That’s not something I’ve been able to duplicate digitally. Yeah

Farewell 2018

That about sums up my year and I’m looking forward to 2019. I have a few big plans that I hope to accomplish and a lot of little things. Hopefully, I’ll keep myself accountable and focused on the positive things.

Best of luck to you in 2019!

My Strava Stats 2018

I always love the end of the year stats that companies send out based on your data. The video above is from Strava condensing all my workouts this year into a sub 2 minute video. Love it.

If you are also into tracking workouts with Strava give me a follow and once I’m over my broken hand I’ll be logging my 2019 rides. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put in even more miles.

Boxer’s Fracture

Every November there is a local mountain bike race that I enjoy competing in called a Ride-n-seek race. The goal is you and a partner have four hours to complete as many checkpoints as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.

Today was the day of the event and I got up super early to head to the race and arrived early enough to get some cool fog photos and a sunrise through the trees.

It’s been raining in my area fir weeks now and I knew it was going to muddy going into the race and indeed it was. On about the mile we hit our first little wooden bridge and I crashed. The mixture of water and leaves made it like black ice. I was on the ground in an instant.

While getting up my wrist and hand was hurting but I didn’t think it was broken until I pulled my glove off and seen a huge bulge. At that point I tried to squeeze my hand. No luck.

Swollen hand

Knowing it was bad my team mate and I pushed back to the truck, loaded up my bike, and I headed to the emergency room.

After x-rays they told me my hand was broken and that I had done something called a boxers fracture.

X-ray of my hand

According to Wikipedia A boxer’s fracture is the break of the 5th metacarpal bones of the hand near the knuckle. Occasionally it is used to refer to fractures of the 4th metacarpal as well.

They said it would require surgery and they couldn’t do it today but they did need to set it. I had no idea on the pain that I was about endure.

First they stuck my fingers in a Japanese handcuffs contraption and used gravity to start the process of pulling the bones straight. Next they set it by hand by pulling and pushing my fingers. It hurt.

Making the best of it.

At this point it was time to head home and get some rest and tomorrow I get to schedule a survey.

All this reminds me that I need to check on disability insurance. I know I’m not in an industry where we are prone to danger but you just never know.

First Night Mountain Bike Ride

Last night, after work I hit the local trails with the goal of riding until dark so I could try out the pair of Lezyne lights I bought. According to this mountain bike light review, the Lezyne seemed to do a good enough job and was the cheaper of the lights tested so I went with it. I was not disappointed.

On my ride, I rode right up until dusk and then turned both lights on (handlebar mounted and helmet mounted) and it instantly made a world of difference. As it continued to get darker the lights really impressed me. The only thing I didn’t expect was the number of bugs flying at your face. I guess I should have thought of this because it’s no different than a car, but it’s much worst when your heart rate is 180 and you are breathing with your mouth open.

I am curious to see if after it’s fully dark if the bugs are less crazy, but I’ll find out soon enough. This is definitely something I want to continue doing through the winter and I’m a little disappointed it has taking me this long to try night riding. I’ve been really missing out.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

In my family, we are not big gamers. We have an old WII and then just iOS games. The main reason for this is because one of my family members has slight cerebral palsy that affects their entire left side. Going through life with this has its challenges and playing has always been pretty much out of the question. The only controller they could use one-handed​ was the original Nintendo and of course the WII.

AdptvCntlr_Top_Alt_RGB.jpgThis week, Xbox announced a new Adaptive Controller that aims to help those with disabilities:

For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging. The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.

Joining the Xbox family of controllers and devices, the Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs.

You can find out more information about this controller on the Xbox site and sign up to be notified as soon as it’s available.

Photos from DuPont State Forest

A couple of weeks ago I went mountain biking in DuPont and had a blast. After coming home and telling my family about it we decided to rent a VRBO in the area and spend mother’s day weekend hiking and exploring the area. Below is a bunch of photos from the three waterfalls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls. All within a 2 mile out and back walk.

Photos from the cabin

Photos from the waterfalls:

Photos from the iconic covered bridge

Finally, here is the Strava segment showing the path we walked. Keep in mind we were walking with two kids that had to look at every tree on the way so it took way longer than it should. haha

dupont-hike.png

 

Thirty-Nine​

Today is my thirty-ninth birthday and what better way to celebrate than sharing thirty-nine things I’ve learned over the years:

  1. If it’s out of your control you shouldn’t worry about it.
  2. People can’t take emotion out of the law or contacts.
  3. Every night reflect on your day
  4. Pen and paper will outlast digital
  5. When dating look for their flaws, when married ignore them.
  6. Don’t be afraid to say no more often
  7. Always return your shopping cart to its rightful place.
  8. Avoid angry people and those that throw tantrums
  9. Don’t caricature an entire group based on the fringes.
  10. Read, listen, and try to understand various points of view.
  11. Turn off the tv and read.
  12. We are made to worship. Be mindful of what you are worshipping.
  13. Character matters more than skill.
  14. Being Prudent in Personal finance will remove tons of stress.
  15. If you can’t sleep write it down.
  16. Everyone is just a person. Some are famous, some are good at sports, but they are no better than you.
  17. If you say you’ll do something, do it.
  18. Make five and ten-year goals.
  19. Stop focusing on the now.
  20. The past is meant for learning, not dwelling.
  21. You can only change yourself.
  22. Make yourself get out of your comfort zone.
  23. You don’t have to share everything.
  24. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  25. Be comfortable with yourself.
  26. If you can’t understand someone’s point of view dig deeper and ask questions with an open mind.
  27. Your choice of coding language, framework, or IDE does not matter.
  28. There are only 24 hours in a day when reflecting, focus on the good parts.
  29. You don’t have to be great at something to love and enjoy it.
  30. Try to help people but don’t be upset if they choose to ignore your advice.
  31. Stuff is temporary.
  32. When in doubt ask.
  33. Make todo lists and stick to them.
  34. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.
  35. Get your kids outside so they embrace an active lifestyle.
  36. Kids will remember the day to day over huge lavish gifts or vacations.
  37. Embrace change.
  38. Simplicity saves headaches
  39. If you die tomorrow is there anything you would want to change in his others see you? If so make the change now.

This post is inspired by the birthday lists Noah Stokes used to make.