This is one of 14 updates about my 2014 challenge to complete an Ironman – you can see a list of the others here. Big Goals Goals are a good thing. They help us to focus and give us direction. But goals that are easy to achieve defeat much of the benefit of having goals in the first place. I much prefer big goals. Big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs). I’m often inspired by the founders of my current employer, Steve & Clara, and one such way is the size of the goal they set out to achieve when they founded Hearsay Social. They wanted to change the way people do business. Over the past four years the company has taken huge steps in that direction – steps that we might not have taken if we did not have BHAGs. Looking at my 2014 challenge, I wanted to complete an Ironman.
2014 Goal: Read 24 Books I’m on track.* In January I completed ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ and am half way through both “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and “David and Goliath”. *The asterisk is because of a decision I made that audiobooks count. It wasn’t my original intent to listen to books, I wanted to read them. As I started I realized how much time I would be spending training for my Ironman, 1-5 hours a day, so I invested in a waterproof mp3 player and got some audiobooks so I could leverage that time. I’m going to try to consume less than 50% of my books as audiobooks and I’m going to try to limit it to the non-fictions. I feel like I am able to learn from a non-fiction even when listening to it while I’m not able to slow down and imagine the world
Yesterday I surfed Mavericks. This has been a goal of mine for about two years and I’ve been actively preparing for the past year. I am so stoked to have completed this challenge and very grateful to have done so without harm. Here is the story along with some of my thoughts and observations. Final Preparations The last month or so has been amazing for surfing in central California. We’ve had a run of swell where it seems every other day is 10ft+. I’ve been getting out to Ocean Beach before work and spending plenty of time in the water. There is a saying (or at least there should be) that it is better to succeed late than to fail on time. I originally challenged myself to surf Mavericks in 2013 but extended my deadline because Mavericks is a winter wave and only broke twice in the 2013 half of this winter.
Last year I blogged about a few efforts I had defined for my year and really enjoyed it. I stretched myself a bit, had something to strive for, and had a decent success rate. One of the most surprising benefits was that by explicitly setting a challenge, and knowing I would do this in future years, I had an easier time saying no to other ideas I had. I realized that I could set them as a challenge in the future, and thus felt no guilt that I wasn’t doing anything to achieve them in 2013. This year I will do the same. I’ve of course learned a bit and will be making a few modifications to the process. Goal – Something I want to accomplish that is measurable and relatively continual. eg. exercise X times per week or watch less than X hours of TV per week. Theme – A
At the beginning of 2013 I wrote about my goal, theme and challenge for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to review them more in depth. 2013 Goal: Create With My Hands Self Grade: 8/10 Going into the year I believed that there was value in creating things myself and that often they also would better serve my needs and/or last longer than mass produced alternatives. After building a number of items, I have only strengthened my hold on those beliefs. There is a joy of craftsmanship. Each time I use one of my self-made items I feel a sense of renewed accomplishment. Here are the five projects I completed this year: Surfboard Cribbage board Sleeping/storage platform for my truck Tool storage dolly Wetsuit glove drier 2013 Theme: Grow As A Leader Self Grade: 8/10 Just to be clear,
Today was almost the day. Over the last month I’ve gotten back in surfing shape. I’ve been surfing a few times a week so my arms are strong again. I’ve been running & doing my breath drills so my lungs are too. I even took a few poundings in OH surf just to make sure my nerves were solid. I got the automated email last night. The report showed 10-15 ft waves at Mavericks. My exact target range. As I took my bright yellow gun down from its wall racks the excitement and nervousness of a two year goal began to set in. I got up early and drove down early to see what the conditions were like. A solid groundswell, sunny morning and offshore wind combined to make what seemed like the perfect day. As I drove the coast I saw hints at what to expect. I had that feeling
A long summer of mediocre waves, strong winds and lots of slop all but removed surfing from my routine. Riding waves was relegated to a vacation activity. Limited to a few trips to Santa Cruz for south swells, a road trip to So-Cal and a camping weekend up north. Far from the daily habit it once was. As a result, two and a half months from the end of the year, I am basically back where I started. No where close to being ready to surf Mavericks. I can hold my breath for just over two minutes, I’m not in great cardio shape and my arms don’t have the strength they need to get me in and out of giant waves. This isn’t where I wanted to be at this point in the year. This is where I am. Thankfully the fall, a glassy head high jolt of electricity, has
Stoked! I cracked the four minute mark this week. Most of my improvement has come from better oxygen conservation. I have been focusing on relaxing to minimize the oxygen I use per minute – thus letting me last longer on one breath. To do this I’ve been working on lowering my resting heart rate and slowing everything down. I think relaxing my brain is the hardest part, so I’ve been counting in my head really slow. I think that helps pace my body a bit as well. I haven’t been able to push any further on the discomfort scale – once my vision starts to go blurry I stop. I think that is probably safer for training, but I’d like to try blacking out a few times so I’m familiar with it in case I ever get to that point under water. Finally, this week I heard of a
Back in January I set a goal for the year to create things with my hands. A quarter through the year I had yet to do anything – not a result I am happy with. So, to correct this, on Sunday I set out to get some supplies and started three new projects, two of which I completed and will share here. Problem One: Wet Surfing Gloves I am a So-Cal surfer and always will be. My hands go numb after about an hour in 55*F water. I currently live in San Francisco, which means I have to wear 3mm neoprene gloves for about half of the year. Getting them dry is a pain because they have to be upright – the outer shell of the gloves is somewhat water tight and the inside is a fleece-like lining that absorbs water. Here is how I solved my wet surfing glove problem.
This weekend I took my Mavericks gun out for a paddle in the small waves on Bolinas, CA. To give some back-story, about a year ago I decided I wanted to surf Mavericks and took the first step I normally take when facing new challenges; I bought a surfboard. I named her ‘Hail Mary Mother of Grace’ because some day when I take her down off the wall racks to surf, it will be accompanied by much prayer from my loved ones. This weekend wasn’t that occasion, but it was the first time in a year she left her perch in my living room. I wanted to get familiar with how she paddled, how hard it was to duck dive and how the rails held the face of a wave. Paddling a gun is different than anything else I’ve ever been on. It sits high in the water like a longboard, but