Hindsight is 2021 – Part 1

Where else do you start a blog but at the beginning…of 2021. I’ve decided to kick off 2022 with a blog. I’m turning 50 this year and want to share some of my thoughts and experiences with the world. I hope you enjoy my style of writing!

This is an introduction post about me in 2021 and should give you some insight on my topics for the year. Part 1 will focus on major changes for me in 2021. In part 2, I’ll share the rest of 2021 with you. I’ll be expanding on many of these items with more detailed blogs throughout the year.

I made two huge and important changes in my life going into 2021:

  1. I quit drinking alcohol.
  2. I started walking/running daily.

I’ll expand on these topics in more detail in later posts, but I can provide a summary as part of my 2021 wrap up.

SOBRIETY

I knew I had to quit drinking, I just didn’t know how and tricked myself into thinking that my drinking wasn’t a problem. I drank a lot during the pandemic. I drank out of boredom. I drank to relieve back pain. I drank for fun. Finally, I drank out of habit.

I’ve been working from home since March 2020, and with no commute, alcohol was available the minute my work day ended. I spent most nights in 2020 in front of a computer playing games or in front of a tv with a drink in hand. I told myself that it was only 4-6 drinks a night, no big deal.

An online incident in December 2020 with good friends would change my life forever. I quit drinking the next day and I’m happy to report that I have over 1 year sober. I consider myself a non-drinker now. I’ll share more of this journey in a future post.

THESE SHOES ARE MADE FOR WALKING

In September 2019 (pre-COVID), my wife and I went on a cruise with a group of friends and I gained 10lbs. Normally I could lose this weight with some targeted dieting and careful eating. However, as I get older, it’s more difficult to keep the weight off. With the onset of COVID, and work from home, I gained another 10lbs. I found myself at the heaviest weight in my life. I was over my comfort weight by more than 25lbs.

When I quit drinking in December 2020, I decided that I would redirect my energy towards eating healthier and getting fit. Without hangovers, I started the mornings fresh and full of energy. Instead of drinking my first coffee of the day in front of YouTube, I started to walk on the treadmill in the morning for 30-50 mins. Also, at some point during work from home, my good friend from work and I started to meet up virtually via our cell phones for our lunchtime walks.

Suddenly, in January 2021, I was walking 8km a day or more. And I started to run casually; 5kms here and 5kms there.

DENNIS ON THE RUN

Occasional runs changed in April 2021 to scheduled runs during the week. I added a couple of runs during the week of 5kms or 8kms. I also started to add a longer run on the weekend of 15kms. This was in addition to my walking routine. I was focused on getting healthy and I enjoyed the time running. It was meditative for me.

In late June or early July, I found out about the Calgary Marathon in September 2021. It was always a dream and bucket-list item to complete a marathon for me. Back injuries always prevented me from training too hard. But I was feeling strong. I decided to train for a marathon, but little did I know what that meant. It’s a lot of hard work and countless hours of running, training and recovery.

My running reached a peak of 65kms per week in August and September. I’m extremely happy to report I completed my first marathon in September 2021 with a time of 5hrs and 2 minutes; missing my goal to break the 5 hour mark in my first marathon by 2 minutes. But that’s an achievement of a lifetime!

Training for and finishing a marathon might be the single most difficult and rewarding adventure I’ve ever had in my life. I’ll share more of this journey in a future post.

QUICK UPDATE Weight loss in 2021

I lost 25-30lbs in 2021 with a healthier lifestyle. I’m in the best shape of my life. I was overjoyed with recent Boxing Day shopping that my waist size was down four inches!! I bought skinny jeans! Awesome!

LIFE CHANGING TECHNOLOGY

In April 2021, I surprised myself with a new iPhone 12 Pro and my first Apple watch. In the past, I only had a work phone, so in the last 10+ years I never owned my own phone. I took over my old work iPhone 8 in 2020. This was a big deal for me! I started doing some amateur YouTube videos during COVID so I was excited about the video capabilities of the iPhone Pro.

In the past, I had denied myself an Apple watch for two reasons:
1. I thought it was a terrible idea to be super connected with a device on my wrist.
2. I was a watch guy. Watches are an accessory and I had collected watches for many years.

Prior to buying an Apple Watch, I wore a Fitbit on my right hand for step tracking. Early into COVID, I grew tired of wearing a Fitbit, and when it died (December 2020), I tried to replace it with a Koretrak device that appeared to have good reviews for a fraction of the price of a new Fitbit. One of my main mottos is that “you get what you pay for” and in this case, the Koretrak device is exactly what you pay for it. It’s not the device for me.

So for my birthday, I bought myself a new Apple watch and this kickstarted my fitness plan further. The watch has daily move, exercise and stand goals. I used aggressive move and exercise goals on the watch and tried to meet all three goals every day. The watch was key to motivate my daily fitness and marathon training. I love it!

WRAP UP – Part 1

That wraps up Hindsight is 2021 – Part 1. I made major changes going into 2021 that changed my life. I said goodbye to alcohol forever. I refocused my energy on fitness and made running a huge part of life culminating with the completion of my first marathon in September 2021. I purchased new Apple technology that helped motivate me to complete daily fitness goals.

PART 2 – Coming soon

Stay tuned for Hindsight is 2021 – Part 2 which includes topics like: my mental health during COVID, maintaining my physical health thru the increased training, meditation, my new found love for Formula 1 racing, my Movember campaign, crypto and more!

THANKS!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to hear more about a topic or experience. I would love to hear from you if you enjoyed my first post!

4 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed reading your first blog entry. Your writing style is excellent, easy to read and not convoluted. Great job!

  2. Congratulations Dennis! You have accomplised so much this past year and those “wins” are not an easy achievement. I look forward to reading future posts. “Believe you can and you’re half way there.”

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