They say that the hardest thing in the world to give up is a regular paycheque, but that working for yourself is incredibly rewarding. Having quit a fairly good job on a steady career trajectory (with the associated steady paycheque) to strike out on my own in a new city about two years ago, I can say that that is definitely the case. (I'll probably write another blog post about the experience of working for myself at some point soon).
It's been an interesting journey, and one of the pluses has been the flexibility to pursue some athletic activities and knock off a few accomplishments.
1.) I summited Mt. Baker on Skis
Although I grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains just outside of Calgary, I spent most of the last ten years chasing waves around the world. When I moved to Vancouver, I knew I wanted to do more mountain stuff, but didn't envision that it would include skiing UP a 10,000 foot volcano, sleeping on a glacier and skiing down it the next day.
it was the hardest trip I've ever done, but also the best.
2.) I won a Gold Medal at a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition
I've been training BJJ for a few years, and have competed before (a mix of last place and silver medal finishes), but November at the Vancouver Open was the first time I won the gold (and was an entire weight-class lighter than the guys I competed against). My coach said I won my matches by "the thinnest of margins," but a win is a win, and gold feels pretty good after a lot of hard work.
3.) I did 2000m in 6m46s on the Indoor Rowing Machine
It's not quite as exciting as the other accomplishments, but to me it's massive, and enough to put me way above the 90th percentile of the types of people who record these things.
If you've ever tried a 2k erg, no matter what your time, you'll know how gruelling it can be. Men's Health magazine describes it as a "test of psychological will."
(I also pulled a 3m11s 1000m, but definitely think I can improve on that).
I turn 36 in a few months, and am already looking forward to what I'll accomplish in the next year.