The 2020 rev up

I started off the year 2020 proclaiming it to be my best year ever. And even with all the turmoil going on in the world this year (COVID-19) I have been right about that: it definitely has been my best year ever on many fronts.

This does not mean it was an easy year. That there were no lows or challenges. No, actually more so the opposite: I have experienced quite some challenges this year! 

However: they did not bring me down (although some challenges did bring me to my knees 😉). I have found it to be true that the challenges propelled me forward in life, business and relationships. 

Overall as a human being as a result of the challenges of last year, I have grown and consider this my best year in a long while. (Not because the last few years were bad - not at all.) 

This year I have found a way to embrace the challenges rather than resist them and so was able to use them to propel my life to a better place.

You know what they say about the soaring eagles? If the forest beneath them is on fire, they will just fly higher...

Running lessons and achievements

One of my goals this year was to run an ultra distance (50km or more). I did not make it (at least not at the time of writing)1. I reached half that. It would have been nice to achieve it (for my ego) but I am fine I didn't. 

Early in the year I switched to running on low heart rate using the Maffetone Method in order to be able to run longer distances on a lower impact on my body. That way focussing more on health and fitness than on performance itself. 

This has been a journey of about 7 - 8 months where I got into trouble after a few months: since these low heart rate runs are so easy and hardly feel like effort, I build up way too fast in time and distance. The result? Completely locked up calves and Plantar Fasciitis... So much for health & fitness 😉. A valuable lesson in prepping for my first ultra run: build up the mileage/time properly.

To be honest I also have been pretty frustrated by the low pace, the fitness that seemingly dropped like crazy and the still returning IT Band issue. The latter has nothing to do by the way with running on low heart rates: I just skipped my IT Band routine because I wasn't running that hard anyways... How smart can a man be? 😂

So I have picked up the IT Band routines, the Glute routines and flexibility routines last few months again. I will get there! There's after all one place I have to live always: my body. So let's treat it better and better every year!

I did have some good running achievements this year too! 

  • Ran my first (2) official runs this year, both trail runs.
  • Retired 3 pair of shoes.
  • Beat my former distance goals (which was half a marathon).
  • Achieved my initial goal of running 1500km this year, now aiming for 1750km (to which I am close).
  • Learned a lot about heart rate training, hydration, running form, injury causes, prevention and treatment.
  • Spend more time outdoors than I ever did (at least as an adult, as kid I spend at least half the days outside...).

Some random gratitudes:

  • Started drinking less coffee ☕ and more tea (50/50 about now I would say).
  • I can still easily count the days not taking a cold shower. Can fairly say this has become a habit that's still waking me up very well every morning.
  • Discovered Notion and a few weeks later Roam Research - which transformed the way I plan, write and work. (After 4 years of planning and working from Trello which I thought I would never leave!) I am falling in ❤️ with Roam!
  • Working to build up a more consistent sleeping rhythm which is going very well in the direction I want it to be.
  • Daily journalling and meditating have become more and more anchored in my daily life.
  • I have spend more time being a non-smoker than being a smoker this year. Let's beat it in 2021 completely! (That will definitely help be achieve my running goals a lot 😂).
  • Multiple relationships have been put to the test this year. For all I can say honestly those are in a better place than they have ever been. I am really grateful for those experiences and I don't think I exaggerate saying these have been the greatest source for my personal development. Let's keep humbly embracing the resistance within ourselves when experiencing relational challenges and grow into more loving human beings.
  • Got myself a standing desk this year and work standing for about 40% of all work right now.

Best book I read this year:

One book that impacted me a lot this year is The Untethered Soul by Micheal A. Singer.

It is a book about how the mind works, but more so about not holding on to what life is bringing us. Instead of holding on: experience it. Live it. Learning to let go is more about not holding on to stuff than letting it go. Live with openness - an open heart, an open mind.

I highly recommend this book if you want to take time to come closer to your self and become more aware of living life.

2021 - here I come!

In the last couple of weeks one theme has been constantly coming back: the power of the stories we tell.

How do we frame the past? How do we frame the future? Did you know that your brain utilises the exact same parts when we describe our past (our memories) and when we think about the future (vision, goals)? 

The brain is really amazing as it knows no difference between the past and the future. Actively reframing the stories we tell about past experiences into positive declarations of lessons learned will make it far more likely for us to become a better version of ourselves in the near future! 

Habits, the sub-conscious mind, the 90% we do we are not aware off – that is actually determining our course, our future.

I am determined to tell good stories and trust 2021 will even be a better year than 2020!

  • 1 On December 26th 2020 I did run my first Ultra. And so I did achieve this goal!