Well, here we are again. Another year gone by, still essentially in quarantine, but still smiling. It’s been a good year.
First off, Ian started his university days and is pursuing a BS in Cybersecurity at Oregon Tech. At this time, he has completed his first set of classes with straight A’s, and already registered for the next set. So proud of my best buddy.
2021 also brought me a new job! I’m still with AWS, but have moved to a new group; I’m now Community Manager for OpenSearch! It’s really exciting to be part of an open source project with this much potential.
At the beginning of 2021 I set a few goals for myself. Let’s go through them and see how I did.
A look ahead to 2021:
- For a number of years now I’d had a goal of reading 12 books, yet somehow never accomplished that. This year I made a point of it and worked at developing a habit of reading, and I accomplished my goal. In fact, I beat it and read 15 books in 2021. Happy with this, and look to read even more in 2022.
500 lb deadlift
- Heck yeah. Accomplished. Now to work towards 525, which would be an all time best for me, then work toward 575, which would be two and a half times my current body weight.
- We definitely made a ton of progress on the garden this year. One big accomplishment was building two 16 foot long garden permanent garden boxes. Now, in hindsight, I don’t think a garden is ever something that is truly finished; therefore I’m not positive I can call it complete, but that’s the point isn’t it – keep learning, growing, and getting better with the garden.
- Didn’t accomplish this one, but as mentioned above I’ve moved to a new role and this goal will change for the coming year.
- This one was just so-so in 2021, and similar to the garden, I don’t think it’s something that I’ll ever truly finish; just keep working on it.
Goals for 2022
- Deadlift: 525 – which would be an all time PR for me. Once that is mine, I’ll keep working towards 575 – which will be two and a half times my body weight.
- Bench Press: 315 – bench has always been my worst lift. I’m going to finally hit 3 plates this year.
- Squat: 500 – this may be a stretch goal, but I’m going to work towards it.
- I do miss Hsi Lai temple quite a bit and I still haven’t found a place up here that I can practice with others. There is a small zen center not far from here that I intend on looking into.
Reorganize the garage gym
- I’m so fortunate to have this gym. It keeps me motivated and is open whenever I need it. One thing I need to do is reorganize the garage a bit to make better use of the space. As an example, I bought barbell racks but haven’t been able to mount them on the wall yet due to my reverse hyper being in the way.
- 2021 was a fantastic year for developing my reading habit. Now I can work to dive into even more reading material.
- As the community manager for this open source project, I’m not typically answering technical questions. That said, I intend on diving into the product this year to see how I can better understand the needs of the community members. Plus, it’s honestly really interesting looking software.
- Not necessarily a goal, but I plan to continue building our garden and learning what I can along the way.
As usual, there will likely be new goals I set for myself throughout the year, but this is a good start.
Recovery from my meniscus surgery has been going really well and with it being less than a month since, I’m much further along than I anticipated. During my first physical therapy session, my PT let me know, unsurprisingly, I may be a candidate for arthritis as I get older, but it would likely not affect me as much as others. This was also true for the knee recovery and steps necessary to improve; due to my powerlifting training, he said I have a different relationship to pain than most people. This didn’t surprise me either, but I found it helpful to hear this directly from a physical therapist that specializes in sports medicine. I’ve gained an awareness of pain, an awareness of the different levels of it, ‘good’ pain vs. ‘bad’ pain, and where my limits need to be. I think this awareness likely started in my youth when I experienced a crushed vertebrae, then finally years later found that strength training could help my body overcome a lot of the discomfort I felt with a weakened back.
The meetings I’ve had with the physical therapist have been fantastic and I’ve learned a number of movements to strengthen my knees, quads, and hips that I will likely use even once the recovery is complete. I’m also fortunate enough to have a leg press machine in the garage gym that my precious wife had got me. That thing and my foam roller have been vital in the knee recovery. Today my PT saw how far my recovery has already come along and gave me the OK to start doing light deadlifts to see how they went, with the directive of “for now, walk away from them still wanting more”.
Did my PT work:
- foam roller
- leg press (0 weight, just the sled)
- body weight squats (holding a strap around the power rack to stabilize)
- 1 leg squats (holding strap)
- 1 leg lunges (holding strap)
Then I got to do a little lifting:
- Deadlifts (225 x 5 x 4 sets) [left wanting a LOT more, but hey, progress]
- hanging leg raises
- reverse hyper (only 90 lbs, again, light to let the recovery continue)
So dang happy to be back out in the garage gym.
It’s a new year, and with this comes a time to look back and reflect, as well as set a few goals. 2020 was interesting to say the least.
We’ve been quarantined / working from home since March of 2020. Admittedly it was slightly challenging the first couple months to find my rhythm, but since I did, I have been able to look at things with a new level of gratitude. I’m extremely lucky to have a fantastic job that I actually enjoy and can do from my home office. We have a house that we love being at, with a giant yard where we can build out a garden, and wonderful neighbors around us. Lastly, I have been so grateful to have my garage gym. Aside from the downtime I’ve been on with my knee injury, the garage gym has been keeping me sane. I wish everyone had these things.
Looking ahead into 2021, I’ve decided I want to set a few goals for myself so here we go:
- I set a goal each year, and every year I fail to make the time to accomplish it. I intend to change that this year.
500 lb deadlift
- It’s been years since I’ve pulled 500 or above. I’m just coming back from my meniscus surgery and know the road will be a long one, but I don’t see any reason that I can’t hit this goal. I intend on getting my 500 lb deadlift back in the books.
- We own a 1/4 acre of land and have been working towards building a large garden. This spring we’re planning to grow enough to can and preserve, and hopefully enough to take donations to food banks to share with others. Intend on continuing to educate myself about growing food.
- I work for AWS in a non-technical role as a Community Manager. However, I feel like I would better serve our community members, and better navigate the complexities of the cloud if I pursued becoming a AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. I intend to study and pass the exam this year.
- Minimalism has been a pursuit of mine for a long time now. It’s helped us as a family see what we need to focus on, see what adds value to our lives, and see what we need and don’t need. I intend on continuing this to see where else we can simplify our lives.
I’m sure there are a few more things I intend on accomplishing this year, but this is my list for now.