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New Years Day 2013

On and off, on and off

This time last year I was giving up smoking. On and off for the previous 10 years I had stopped and started in a fairly regular way. Gave up for 2 years, started again for a year. And on and on.

So I'm an ex-smoker of 12 months and this time things are different. The reason I gave up is because my kids caught me smoking. They burst into tears. I haven't ever felt so shitty and guilty. Additionally, I started to get heart palpitations and felt quite dreadful. Giving up smoking and they have gone away.

I still cannot bear the thought of ever starting again. I've had cravings recently, but they soon pass.

Cycling is the same though

But I don't know if it is a personality trait or the two are linked, but my cycling, rowing, running or whatever sport I was 'into' each year has also always been cyclical. A year of determined training followed by a year of slobbery. I rowed for Weybridge in 2003 and was as fit as I have ever been, I ran 10ks and half marathons in 2005 and had unbelievable CV endurance. I completed a TT up Alpe d'Huez and did Etape d'Tour in 2007 and got to the lightest I have ever been (73kg). I did the Marmotte in 2009 and piled on incredible mileage and intensity.

But in between, I ate too much, smoked and basically suffered from the CBAs (Can't be arsed). I did a lot of coding on GoldenCheetah, which perhaps gave me an outlet...


I think it comes down to having an obsessive personality, and perhaps letting things take over at the expense of all else. If it's not exercise, its coding, or politics or just idleness.

I'm going to try a different approach this year (or at least I'm thinking of different goals for this year). Instead of setting a be-all-and-end-all goal for the year, I'm setting up a range of goals, to keep me focused but also not obsessively so.

Some of the folks I've talked to think I'm daft setting so many goals. For me, its about harnessing my determination to complete a goal to ensure my obsessive nature doesn't sacrifice other aspects of life which cause a massive rebound when the goal is completed.

Step aside Freud and Jung ;)

2013 Goals -- All 6 of them!

1. ALL YEAR - Exercise Consistency -- It makes me feel good, it pervades all of my life. I'm more positive and happier. I just need to stick to it.. So that means regardless of the weather or mojo. As a result these targets look pretty easy, but doing it for a year? less so;

  1. Do a bootcamp once a week - 1hr circuit training to the rest of us
  2. Ride my bike for 2hrs a week - on the road or on the turbo (4hrs in Spring and Summer)
  3. Stretch at least once a day - either in the morning or the evening
  4. Walk the short ones - if the journey is less than 2 miles, walk it

2a. By June -- Hit 80kg on the scales -- I don't actually know what my weight is at present. My scales are broken. But I suspect it is the 90s. I got down to 84kg a few months ago. But have spent the last 2 months eating like a pig. Its been great :)

But I need to get to a reasonable weight and stay there. So this goal has a second part:

2b. By December Stay at 80kg for 6 months -- Once that weight is gone, stay there. Don't congratulate yourself by eating shit for a month!!!

3. By September -- Rugby Referee - Join the London Society -- In April of last year I took a Referee course. It is possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. Refereeing rugby is absolutely amazing. You need to see everything. everywhere, identify infringments against 200 or so laws, and then make an immediate judgement call taking into account materiality and context.

I've been reffng for the club and this year I want to take that next small step to working within the society. It will mean more games, more experience and more fun.

4. By November -- U9s - L2 coach -- I coach the local U9s since my son plays for them. This season is the first season of contact. So tackle, ruck, maul, scrum, lineout. Its been an amazing half season so far. Coaching isn't just a Sunday morning affair, you need to train, you need to study, you need to learn. I adore it. The boys are coming along, but there is still so much more to do. I'm L1 qualified, so this year I want to get to L2.

5. By December -- Learn French -- We holiday in France regularly (not least to ride bikes) and I gave up French at school in favour of History. I hated languages. Still do. But it is just ridiculous that my 13yr old son has to order for us when we are away.

I'm not talking about being able to read Sartre or Proust in their native tongue. So long as I can order food and have a simple conversation I'll be happy. I think a year is long enough to spread it.

6. By December -- GoldenCheetah OpenTrainer -- I work on the GoldenCheetah project. Developing software for working with cycling power. V3 will be released soon, and I'm going to reduce the amount of time I invest in it. But I still want to split out the trainer piece and make it slick and cool. I want people to refer to it as cool. Now THAT will be a challenge (but QT5 might help).

I'll keep posting updates here, but thats not a formal goal, so updates will be sporadic!!!

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