Yet another Gregorian calendar has flipped and after a healthy portion of vodka, I woke up to a bright, cold day with expectations for the year on my mind. I will be hitting my quarter century point the day before Amstel Gold and for the last few weeks, I've been wondering what fucking direction I want to go with my life. A seemingly annual conversation I have had with myself before settling into comfortable ways but I'm tired of comfortable. I want this year to be uncomfortable. I want to be swept off my feet, knocked to my knees and be begging for a brief pause.
This last year was great in many ways. I moved in with my lovely girlfriend and have been able to financially support ourselves while still being able to have a semblance of a social life. The blog had a successful sophomore season with lots of new readers. On the other hand, I have had a love-hate relationship with my job. Some days are great but more and more, I've been getting the questions in my head of "what the hell am I doing?" and been trying to figure out an escape plan. I haven't been riding my bike. If myself from 5 years ago saw me now, he would have broken down. I've gained weight. I've went through stretches of depression about my body and my well being. I can be so happy about where I am but still find myself looking out through an imaginary porthole window still wanting more.
While I doubt this is "the year", I want to get on my hands and knees and make a foundation that I'm happy with so I'm not 45 and wondering where the hell my life went, trying to furiously live some dream I should have done when I had the time and energy.
Some personal resolutions for myself for the next year:
- Continue to improve on my relationship with my girlfriend. She is pretty amazing and quite patient (it turns out that I'm a very annoying person to be around) so if I want to succeed, I need to do what I can to make her happy and help her succeed herself. I love her and couldn't do this without her.
- Start riding on a somewhat regular basis and get and stay under 200 lbs. I want that craving to get out on the road and make myself hurt. I've been eating like I've been riding 15 hours a week without riding at all and my body is showing it a bit.
-Read at least 10 books. Because fuck it.
-Write at least 1 post per day (on average) for the entire year. Hey, I've already gotten through 2 days so what is another 363. I mean, I've only done ~285 posts since I opened up shop here in February 2013. So that would only mean doing about 130% more this year than I did in nearly 2 years combined.
- Get paid for this. I have spent a lot of unpaid hours doing this because I enjoy it but I'm getting to the point where I would like to see some compensation for the fruits of my labor. I would feel a bit pretentious setting up a Patreon and GoFundMe type thing because frankly, I don't think many people read this and/or care about the success or failure or this blog. So if you are the lucky editor of a major or even somewhat successful cycling publication, I'm sure you cannot wait for an email in your inbox with a pitch about the next big unheard of rider and will be willing to pay me $1000 for every article I write.
-Go to Richmond to watch and report on U23 Worlds. I don't just want to watch the race. I want to talk to the riders and write articles that thousands of people will read. I'd also like to go see Philly, Bucks County and some stuff out at Trexlertown.
Shoot the Moon goals
I read a cycling training book when I first started riding in earnest by some guy that doped junior cyclists that said it is good to have a few shoot the moon goals in case you ever need some more motivation. Like a naive 13 year-old taking a wine cooler from a strange-smelling potbellied man in a van, I will put down a few goals to make myself chuckle.
-Make enough money from writing and other odd jobs to quit my full-time job. I would accept getting a part-time job if it meant I could make at least $30,000 to have more freedom and not feel like I'm spinning my wheels with my life.
-Ride enough to warrant myself getting a custom set of wheels with White Industries hubs.
-Take my girlfriend to Texas. Because money.
-Go to the Tour de l'Avenir. Because a boy can fucking dream.
-Get my German back to a proficient level and start learning Spanish or French. Because I'd like a back-up incase this shit falls through.
We will all see how this goes. Hopefully when we get back to this spot in our annual rotation of the sun, I will have checked off this whole damn list and be working on a book about the Tour de l'Avenir. Don't be shy so if you every want to pick my brain about U23 anything, please give me a shout. -Chris.