2019 Year in Review from a recovering CEO

Like airing out the laundry, we must critically analyze our year.

Before I review the year as an athlete, I need to go public with the best parts of 2019. I am grateful that I am not an IT executive anymore. In retrospect, it wasn’t fun. I had lots of stressors that I was average, at best, at managing. I kept a great work/life balance, but I didn’t make much of a difference in people’s lives. Indeed, I made a greater impact as a schoolteacher in one year than I did in 20 years in IT. I am reminded that more than half of Jesus’ disciples returned to fishing after he died and left them.

That said, I love writing and podcasting, and coaching gets me back to my roots as a teacher. I am more in my element now than when I handled HR, finances and vision setting that creates profit.

This article focuses on accountability for my health and fitness goals. Call it health etiquette to review the past to the present and plan for the future. Call it accountability with worship. It is time to measure outcomes against goals. After all, how can you get better if you don’t know what you have done and review your outcomes against your goals?

And, if you can’t recall what your goals were, you REALLY need to get a coach.

I started the year wanting to race all three duathlon National Championships (sprint, standard and long), and do well at all of them. “Well” meant more than finish the races with a sense of gratitude that I could finish. “Well” meant better than my peers and good enough to qualify to compete internationally.

Other specific goals included doing lot of events with my youngest son, before he moved on to college and my wife and I became empty nesters. That meant finding stuff that I could do with him.

Before I jump into the outcomes, I need to make sure that people get the Faith aspect.

I am following God’s example. Numbers and measurement are BIG TIME important to God. He measures the time it took for creation (in days), the height of Goliath, the dimensions of the temple and the numbers of people present during intimate events. Our culture’s current, “just do your best, Honey,” attitude is not preparing us for eternity nor teaching us that God cares about our ability to objectively evaluate with honest scales.  He uses numbers to do this.  We should, too.

I am looking at my numbers in 2019 with honest scales, not just opinion. I have two distinctly different units of measure: time and distance. I pick the one that is more appropriate.

I ran a little less than 600 miles in the first 11 months. Down 68 miles YTD. I might make those miles up in December, as December is a great month for running because it is a bad month for cycling outdoors.

I biked about 2800 miles in the first 11 months. Down 250 miles YTD. Same argument is above. All these miles will be indoor on the trainer, though. I am not a fan of outdoor riding in the winter.

I had 51 hours of focused strength training in those 48 weeks. This is more than double YTD. It shows in my clothing and my strength doing yard tasks. I am bigger in the arms and chest, and I have more lean muscle mass.

I cross country skied about 8 miles-totally exhausting! 8 miles more than last year. 8 miles more than next year….I don’t like Cross Country Skiing.

I hiked about 48 miles. About the same as the previous year. Hiking as a stand-alone event is nearly always a group activity, for when I am by myself in the woods, I trail run.

Goals met in 2019:

-transition to a new life and new career. Still in process, but the trading in the keys to someone else is done.

-race fast and qualify for TeamUSA. Did it in all three distances! Yes!

-lots of activities with Alex.  I watched him win lots of events and he can beat me at every discipline, now.

Goals NOT met in 2019:

-I stopped getting on the scale and getting my body fat checked. I stopped logging my food intake and ate based on what I thought I wanted/needed. Even though I only did this for 6 weeks, I gained 15 pounds. I weigh more than I should, as an endurance athlete with my goals.

-I wanted to transition to have more fitness activities that I can do with my wife. We bought her an ebike, but it hasn’t arrived yet. She and I go to the gym 3 days a week. This goal still doesn’t have the desired outcome of it being a routine for us, but we start each week by picking the days and times we will go the gym, and that is part of good outcomes.

-I haven’t finished my book.

NEXT YEAR:

Next year, my calendar has several events on it that require greater fitness than I had this year. As such, I need to make plans now to prepare for them.

In January, I have an Ultra Marathon early in the month and am cycling in and around Tempe, AZ, as I travel for a coaching summit.

Cycling in Spain

In March, I am doing several hundred miles out out and back loops in Southeast Spain where the pros train. Whether you’re a recreational cyclist or a serious athlete, we’ve got the right group level for you. There are already 4 people signed up. All the routes are on Strava. Links can be found here.

In May, I have back to back National Championship/World Qualifiers in Alabama.

In August, I am cycling in France, doing the Haute Pyrenees before heading to the World Championships (W/C) where I will be doing back to back W/C in both Sprint and Standard Duathlon. Join me on that, too! We start at the Atlantic Coast of France and end at the Mediterranean. Takes about 5 days.  Link can be found here.

In October of 2019, I will do back to back Ultra Marathons on consecutive weekends.

I November, I am leading a trek to Annapurna base camp then down to Dang for Nepali holidays. You can join me on that one, too. Sunrise over Annapurna is an unrivaled experience on planet earth.  Link for that can be found here.

Jeff and Linda Gaura

Jeff and Linda Gaura

Based on these events and goals, I need great cycling fitness early in the season, and I will need to maintain it until late summer. Running and hiking fitness will be needed from August through November, and I will have overlap in September when both will be important as I line up to compete in the Netherlands.

December 2019 will be my down time.

As a coach, I listen to people share their goals and help them create plans to achieve them. I also do my own, using the same logic. I would be glad to do one for you, if you can be honest when sharing your goals and your commitment to them.