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2017 In Review - CLARITY

Clarity refers to coherence, intelligibility, sharpness of image or sound. Honestly, 2017 was not very coherent. In fact, large chunks of the year were downright incoherent, blurry and unintelligible. And, perhaps, that blur made the sharp images, the sharp sounds even clearer.

2017 was about clarity, but it did not bring clarity. Except now that we are in 2018, and I am feeling crystal fucking clear for the first time in year. So, all that BLUR was necessary.

The mission statement was as follows:




How did I do in 2017?

Less bullshit. I’d say so. Simplify. So much yes. Hundreds of pounds of stuff – GONE. Still in progress. Destroy the perfect. Pfffft. As if there was anything perfect to begin with. Done and done. Bring on the intensity. And CHECK! Roller coaster, wheeeeee!

Find angles that work. Some better than others. Bleed, but intentionally. Not exactly. Play on the edge. Some. But not enough. Make stuff. YES! More of this coming in 2018!

Create every day. I am going through notebooks faster than I ever have before. Continue having difficult conversations. Most of all with myself. Protect yourself and ones you love. I am drawing a blank on this one. In some ways, I am a little TOO good at self-protection – this results in a super strong front, and general feelings of abandonment. In other ways, it’s like I am missing a self-preservation instinct altogether. The ones I love have been mostly protecting ME this past year. Thankfully, I let them. Channel creative energy where it can bloom. Twists and turns, new directions, but bloom it will!

I also wanted to:

  • notice all things and behaviors compulsive and tackle those. This year, less snacking, less red wine. Check and check. Still plenty of eating out, and social media, and general mindless internet browsing.

  • finish more things. It turns out that quitting things is also a great way to “finish” them. If I keep struggling to finish something – that in itself tells me something. Sometimes, the best way to finish something is to toss it out of the window.

  • travel with Italian – yes! an entire month in Italy, few days in Cuba, and short visit to Ottawa.

  • improve my relationship with my mother – very much so.

  • see something old in a new light – see the item above

  • write a book – in progress, and close to done.

  • trust the universe a little bit more – maybe. I think 2017 might have been a little too turbulent to work on trust. Maybe in 2018?

Bucket List Update

  • made Ukrainian borscht (on the first day of the year!)

  • created a tradition – Annual Post-New Year’s French Toast Brunch!

  • attended a Toast Master’s meeting (never again)

  • wrote poetry every day for a week

  • test drove a Subaru STI

  • participated in Ragnar Relay

  • attended a poetry slam (in Denver, CO)

  • drank Primitivo wine in Puglia, Italy

  • ate at a Michelin starred restaurant (in Rome)

  • participated in an olympic lifting competition

  • participated in a time-based race

  • got my fortune read – Tarot cards!

  • found out how long it’d take me to go up the Grouse Grind (just under an hour)

  • visited Marathon, ON (not much there, as suspected)

  • dressed as up Trinity for Halloween (if you have not seen that photo, you really should)

  • got a short haircut (and dyed my hair black for the costume above)

  • bought a bonsai tree (for someone else)

  • wrote my mission statement

  • read (at least 12) books – I deleted both Facebook and podcast app from my phone, which resulted in way more audio books finished. This year, I read more books (41!) than in the last five years.

  • visited a new country – Vatican!

  • crossed off a bucket list item on January 1st – yes, made Ukrainian borscht!

  • make a difference in someone’s life

Missions Completed: 23

Made Progress On These:

  • visit every US state – Colorado, Washington, New Mexico

  • visit every Canadian province – Saskatchewan, Manitoba

  • drive across the country – drove from Vancouver to Toronto (now just the East coast left)

  • write a book – I probably wrote more this year than in any other previous year. Most of it did not make it to the blog.

Couple of Things That I Started, But Did Not Finish

  • have a child

  • redesign my website

  • write a book

  • read a graphic novel

Other Cool Shit

  • travelled to Cuba with my mom

  • snuck into Stadio de Marmi in Rome and ran a mile trial; then got escorted out by security

  • spent more time than ever on trail

  • tried bubble soccer

  • blogged less, but wrote more

  • nipples – just wanted to see if you were paying attention

  • continued to geek out on coffee (Nexus Coffee, and Pilot Roasters for the win)

  • set and achieved a goal of achieving 264lb combined total in snatch and clean and jerk to qualify to participate in olympic lifting competition at Toronto ProShow 2018

  • experimented with more regimented nutrition (egg whites – boo, abs – yay)

  • visited almost a dozen new CrossFit locations, including gyms in Denver, Vancouver, Seattle, Whitby, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Rome, and Lecce, Italy

  • drove across the country with my dad

  • volunteered at the inaugural Survival Run Canada in Squamish, BC on my birthday

  • some awesome and long awaited developments in my career, as I shift to coaching health and fitness professionals full-time

  • spoke at Turbulence Training Summit in Colorado, and delivered a kickass “Operation SuperCoach” training weekend in Michigan

  • completed training through Postural Restoration Institute at Ethos Colorado Training Center

  • started work on redesigning my website

  • spent evenings, chilling on the couch with Italian and watching TV shows (this year – House of Cards, Scandal, and Homeland)

  • visited more museums and shows than ever before – Vatican Museum (esp. Van Gough exhibit and Sistine Chapel), Ontario Art Gallery, ROM, Vancouver Art Gallery (esp. Emily Carr exhibit), Georgia O’Keefe’s museum, Chippendales (yep), Guys and Dolls in Stratford, comedy show at Second City, and Modern Art Museum in Rome (MACRO)

  • ran Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in Vegas with one of my closest friends

  • travelled a lot – Cuba, Italy, Las Vegas, Cuba again, Denver twice, Santa Fe, Michigan, Washington, and, of course, driving from Vancouver to Toronto

Not Cool Shit

  • man flu

  • missed the last Tough Guy race in UK because of ankle injury

  • sold my woman cave

  • miscarriage

  • relationship endings

  • went through hellish few months, juggling two full-time work commitments (twitchy eyelids and tension headaches suck)

  • brush with addiction for people I love

  • itching for long-term travel – so much

  • possible rotator cuff tear – TBD

  • acknowledging the end of a love affair with obstacle racing

  • managing seasonal depression with working from home, and living away from the big city

Next up… preview for 2018. The word of the year, the happenings, and the mission statement.

Hugs, SOLO



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