2015 In Review

Here’s what I set out to do at the beginning of this year:

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Let’s see.

Learn? Yes. Absolutely.
Go somewhere new. Yep. Nicaragua, baby.
Read old books? Some. Thoreau’s Walden is probably the highlight, as I meant to read it for ages.
Do something stupid? My god, yes.
DNF a race? Twice. 🙂 Very proud of both!
Be a great coach? My clients say so.
Be great, in general? That’s harder. But I am good at doing hard things. So, yes. 🙂
Tell the story? Many stories, in fact.
Take the next step? In oh so many ways.
Try hard? I did. Sometimes harder than I should have.
Cry in the process. A good amount of tears was shed, yes.
Fall in love with my body just a tiny bit more than last year. A whole lot more than tiny bit.

The word of the year was FOCUS. I wanted to focus on my work, my writing and my health. I wanted to single task.

I would say success on all fronts, except the latter.

The single tasking is still a major struggle of mine, as I often feel pulled in one thousand directions. Having a dozen ideas per minute does not help.

Maybe my big scary goal of meditating every single day in 2016 will help!

What are my three most important core beliefs?

  1. freedom
  2. personal development and growth
  3. serving others

Was my year in alignment with these core beliefs?

Yes, for the most part. One of the biggest realizations of this year was just how important the core belief of “freedom” is to me. Going forward, I will be focusing on that one above all others.


  • DNF a race
  • do the SkyWalk around CN tower
  • overhead squat 100lb
  • reach 100,000 views in a year on my blog
  • participate in a free hugs campaign
  • go on a solo camping trip and read Thoreau’s Walden (not exactly camping, but I did live in a small room in Nicaragua on the beach, while reading it, so I’ll go with it)
  • Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls – great day with an old friend
  • see an active volcano – smoky Conception on Ometepe island, which I hope to climb this year
  • participate in obstacle race outside of Canada/US
  • run the Great Canadian Death Race in Alberta (team relay)
  • participate in OCR World Championships
  • write a paid article for a magazine
  • finish my year-long coaching certification (Precision Nutrition L2)
  • eat local (100 miles) for a month
  • watch a movie at TIFF
  • run across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, CA
  • watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford, ON

Missions completed: 17

The video that my dear friend Lisa put together to capture the Free Hugs Campaign undoubtedly takes the cake among all the cool shit I have done this year. Thank you so much, Lis!

There were couple of things that I started, but did not finish.

  • read “Origin of Species”

Omg, this thing is dry. I got through 20 pages or so in the beginning of the year, and that was it. I think I will have to tackle it the same way I tackled “Walden” – take it with me to Nicaragua as the only book, divide up the number of pages in the book by the number of days I am there, and aim to get through that number every single day.

  • write my personal mission statement

I’m close! I was able to identify some of the large themes, and the big picture IS emerging. In fact, I am very happy with my progress on this one.

  • get married

Not that I was planning to get married in 2015, but it was the year where I made progress towards this one. 🙂 Thanks to Italian, who proposed earlier this year. So, I am checking this one off in 2016, ladies and gentlemen.

  • be able to tell merlot from shiraz

Probably not yet. But, I am significantly less clueless about red wines than I have been a year ago. I think I may be able to do that by the end of the year – I am dubbing this Operation Wine Snob In Training.

  • read the main works of the Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse

Still pretty far from being done, and I think the only book I finished this year from this list is “Waking Up” by Sam Harris. It got nebulous at times, but I enjoyed it overall.

  • go on a West Coast road trip – drive from Vancouver to San Jose

Not quite. But I have driven from San Francisco to San Diego earlier this year, covering a big chunk of that shoreline.

  • have a logo designed

I actually launched this process, and got to a point of evaluating a number of different options. None of them were what I wanted. In fact, I got pretty bummed out with this whole thing. Yet… in retrospect, this was a very helpful process to go through, as it helped me understand my own brand more clearly.


  • travelled to Nicaragua, first experiment at remote work outside of US/Canada
  • learned a lot about my own workflow
  • got my CrossFit Mobility certification
  • PR’d my weighted pull-up at 53lb
  • PR’d my squat clean at 175lb
  • finally learned how to climb a rope, using J-hook technique
  • got a spin bike for my home office
  • returned to more regular yoga practice
  • volunteered at an unnamed event in Vermont
  • replicated my strict pull-up max (have not lost any strength!)
  • adopted two awesome cats
  • wrote more (the most productive year yet)
  • finally started a newsletter for my readers
  • experimented with Periscope (see my Getting Ready for Change series here)
  • visited some more awesome CrossFit boxes, including Edmonton, Lindsay, San Diego, and Stoney Creek with Dr. John Berardi
  • was interviewed on two podcasts (Obstacle Dominator and Thinner in 30)
  • started the Reading Roundup series on the blog
  • ran my biggest giveaway ever
  • spent some quality time with my BFF in Edmonton, AB
  • felt more at peace with my body than ever before


  • continued to struggle with lack of shoulder mobility
  • found out that jammed rib feels like you are having a heart attack
  • experienced at least two lower back spasms (body is hinting at some repositioning work, me thinks)
  • gave up teaching my weekly yoga classes to concentrate on coaching (right move, but still sad)
  • pissed some people off (actually, that should probably in the cool shit list) – example here and here
  • bruised (fractured?) tailbone at Spartan World Championships 2015, so the sit-ups and Ab Ripper X are out for… a while
  • seasonal affective depression
  • at times struggled with boredom and meaning (please tell me I am not the only one)
  • realized how much of my anxiety is entirely self-created (maybe all of it?)
  • got disillusioned and disappointed in something and someone I used to believe in

YOUR TURN: Looking back on 2015, what do you think your word of the year was? What about 2016? What word will you choose?


posted: January 08, 2016