My 2011 “List of 11” and a few Thoughts for 2012…

A Year in Review

I “only” managed to accomplish five items from my 2011 “List of 11”. Many friends had a hand in helping me create the list last year, so THANK YOU!!
At first glance, it may seem like an utter failure, but as a cup-half-full-kind-of-guy, I use statistics in baseball to better define “failure”.  If a batter gets a hit three of ten attempts, he hits a 300 average and is an All-Star; if he hits 350 he is all but guaranteed to win the batting title. So by my math, five out of 11 is a 450 average… and NOT SO BAD!!

Here is a quick rcap of the items on the list:

  • Complete Triathlon/Half Ironman – I had the best intentions to complete a triathlon or Half Ironman in 2011. I had targeted the Branson 70.3 race in September as it would be close to home. While I fell short, two friends did completed theirs: Joe O’Hern did a tri and Tom Iten did Branson.  I frankly chose running over the cross training required to complete an Ironman. I have done more spinning and swimming in the latter part of 2011 than ever before in my life, so perhaps they will make the list again in 2012?….
  • Turn Finances over to a Professional – DONE! In early 2011, I turned my portfolio over to UBS.  They did a complete financial overview, reviewed my goals and my short/long term plans are now set. If the measure on finances is how well you sleep at night with your investments choices or plan then I have never slept better!
  • Go off-Roading in a Jeep. Again NO EXCUSE. My friend Tim Burke inspired this one from last year. He has not one, but two Jeeps and I still didn’t manage to get to out and play in the mud. Perhaps 2012 will be the year!
  • Take a Yoga Class – This has been transformational for me. I credit yoga, specifically hot yoga at Moksha for allowing me to run better and injury free this year… especially considering four marathons in less than months.   While it will not be on the 2012 List of 12, you can bet I will continue my practice!
  • Scuba diving outside the US – Not! Dan Okeeffe and I did a scuba trip three years ago, and I am bound and determined to do another. I am waay overdue to head south and get it in with some beach time!
  • Take an Art Class –  I learned more this year and continue to get more efficient with programs like Photoshop, but didn’t take a formal class.
  • Stay in an Ice Hotel – Not even close! Lots of hotels stays during the year, but none made of ice!! I sooo want to do this though…..
  • Join a bowling League – Did I ever!!… Joe Wojciechowski, Jake Kloepfer, Tim Burke and I joined a league that went about two months longer than I thought it did when I spontaneously signed up!!!  The league started in January and continued through March!!!  It was a blast and we actually took second place (but I will not be bowling this  year)!!!
  • Visit one of the Seven New Wonders of the World – I actually have vacation planned to do visit Machu Picchu in September 2011. However, when some friends were not able to go we postponed the trip. It turned out for the best on all fronts as I put the vacation time to good use in Oct-Dec.
  • Read 11 Books – I bought three. I read one. Not good. I find it SO hard to find time to read. Even on long flights I find it hard to create the time to just read. Some people are so good at it. I am jealous of how they make it a priority. My 2012 List will likely have something about books on it! I am determined to read more!
  • Launch a Website/Consider a blog – I was able to do BOTH (so perhaps could count them as TWO!?). The blog actually came first – as the voice to share my race of completing back-to-back marathons and to share Parker’s Race against Leukemia. I had considered doing a blog for over a year, but was not sure of the subject matter… art, design, running? If it were not for Parker and my “52.4 Miles in 48 Hours” adventure, I would likely still be in the quagmire on what to blog about.  I was also able to start a website, to post my Holiday Cards. I had purchased the site over five years ago but has not done anything with it. I credit Tim Burke for helping bring both of these to life.
  • Run a Marathon in three new states – This was one of the bonus “items! In lieu of the Triathlons – I did run a marathon in three new states – four actually – in 2011. I have petitioned to get in the 50 States Club now that I have met the requirement of 10 States!  The four new states included South Dakota (Deadwood Trail), Nevada (ET Midnight Marathon), Missouri – home state was #10! (St. Louis Rock and Roll) and Indiana (Monumental Marathon).

Many people will be formulating lists and making New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. I like making lists, but I don’t view the items on them to just get “checked off” or items I HAVE to do. Rather, this is a list of intentions. It’s a list of things that are not necessarily comfortable for me. It’s a list of things I am fascinated by or curious about. It’s a list of things that will enable me to grow and learn. It’s a list of items that will be fun!

I also think of my “List of 11” as just a guide. You have to be present to other people and and aware of opportunities that come along your path. There were many things that came along mine in 2011 that were not necessarily on the list. The most impactful was a little five-year-old boy batting leukemia named Parker. He was not on the list. “Running for someone with Leukemia” was not on the list. “Raising money for a cause” was not on the list.

And through “52.Four Parker“, I was pushed to my limits mentally (learning to blog) and physically (running back-to-back marathons), met some amazing new friends through a common cause, helped make things a little better for a deserving family and finally, met and became buddies with the coolest five-year-old I know!!!!

Lastly, I learned a great deal in 2011 – much coming from ParkerIn short, was a pretty good year!!

As 2012 approaches, stay aware or the things that are destined to come along that give you a chance to grow and learn. Listen to your intuition and and lean on your faith. Look for creativity and leap to make connections between people. The new year will offer plenty of opportunities and choices for you to take and different forks in the road for you to travel. Take each of them on with passion and the zeal of a five-year-old taking on a brand new Ninjago Lego Set!  For this, I have seen first-hand and it’s a very good way to take on life…

Tomorrow I will share my 2012 “List of 12″… and I would not be more excited!

…and, as you may know by now, the “Parker Project” IS on the list!!