Big Ring Mentality In 2011

4 01 2011

It’s 2011.  It’s time to go big.

Let me explain to you first what “Big Ring Mentality” means.  In cycling, putting it in the “big ring” basically means pedaling in a hard gear and working really hard for long periods of time.  I stole it from this website Big Ring Riding.  They showcase cyclists who are the toughest of the tough.  Their tagline is: “It’s not just a chainring, it’s a state of mind.”  That’s my theme for 2011.  Big Ring Mentality.  So let’s ride.

The new year has already brought a lot of big changes in my life that I’m ready to embrace.  I have big plans for 2011 and I wanted to share a few of those plans with you.

New year’s day really started 2011 off with a giant change in my life.  I, along with family and friends, spent the entire day moving me into a new house.  Not precisely a new house, but new to me.  It’s actually the house I grew up in (which is kind of odd in a way…).  My parents recently moved into a new house, so I have squatted in the old house in their stead.  (Side note: Having your parents as landlords is kind of nice.  I’m already late on the first month’s rent…)

This is big for a number of reasons.  Since I started college I have only lived by myself for one year.  Immediately after finishing law school I moved into an overpriced apartment. I soon realized my mediocre budget couldn’t afford a fancy downtown apartment, so I moved back in with my college roommates.  Now that I’m nearly 28 and I’ve been working in the real world for over 2 years I figured it was time for my departure from the old ways.

I’m sad that I’m moving out from living with my friends.  They’ve been there for me through a lot of strange times and I have a lot of fantastic memories with them.  On the other hand, I’m also very excited about having my own place and all of my belongings in one location.  I think the term bittersweet is appropriate for this one.

So where does this leave me?  Well, it certainly brings in a huge change to start out 2011, and I foresee it as a catalyst that will bring more changes and improvements in my life in the year to come.  “What are these changes?” you ask?

  • Cycling: This is a big one for me.  Last year I really discovered my love and passion for cycling and I really hope to take that to the next level this year.  I started out yesterday by getting back on my bike for an indoor trainer session.  I haven’t been on the bike in a couple weeks so it was nice to be back on the saddle.  I’ve already committed to riding the 100 mile event at Lake Tahoe with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I also plan to ride the two-day MS150 ride again in the fall.  I did both of those last year, so this year I’m planning to take it to the next level by doing another 100 mile bike ride at some point in the year.  I haven’t nailed down the calendar yet, but there will be hundreds of miles logged on the bike in 2011.
  • Mountain Biking: I picked this one up late in the fall and I really discovered something new that I love.  My mountain biking buddies and I are planning to get some good riding done this spring and even doing some riding through the rest of this winter.  I’m really hoping to take my mountain biking skills up a notch from “Miserable” to “Serviceable.”
  • Homebrewing: I have a fantastic menu in the works for homebrews in 2011.  There’s already talk of a special Oktoberfest Bier that will be brewed in March in time for September-October events.  You can expect a special beer to be brewed on 11/11/11 (my buddy is doing a barleywine!).  In addition, I have an idea planted in my head to brew a special beer for a New Year’s Eve party next year with a name and theme centering around the end of the Mayan calendar.  That brew will be apocalyptic.  I’m also already pricing and planning out my kegging system to skip the whole bottling process for a number of beers.
  • Finances: I have tickets to go see Dave Ramsey in February.  I really intend to get my finances in check this year.  My finances are actually pretty solid right now, but I want them on LOCK DOWN.  I already have student loans I’m repaying for 25 years and a car loan.  I plan to have them paid off early.  I also plan to keep my investment accounts positioned well to build some money for retirement.  Someday I plan on having a family and a house and a goat or two.  I cannot manage those things ideally with tons of debt and wasted money.  Get it locked down!
  • Health: Like my friend over at Quarter Life Confused I really want 2011 to be about health.  Mental health, financial health, and bodily health.  This year is going to have a big focus on eating right.  Healthy, whole, unprocessed foods will abound.  I will be bringing my breakfast and cooking healthy dinners (I’m not giving up the beer though so don’t ask).  Both of these will also save money.  It’s a win-win.  Better food, more money in the pocket, feel better from eating healthy.  There’s really no downside here.
  • Blogging: I discovered how much I love writing in 2010, and 2011 will see more writing and hopefully improvements in my writing.  That’s where you come in.  If you don’t keep reading this then I don’t keep writing.  Now you’re trapped, suckers!
  • Career: I debated on whether I wanted to put this out there or not, but what the hell.  I’m not completely satisfied in my career (who is?).  I’m still just not sure what I want to be when I grow up.  I know I’m nearly 28 years old and I should be figuring this out, but I haven’t.  It’s just taking me some time to figure out what exactly I want to do with my life.  I think that’s okay though, and I think it’s normal.  In 2011 I really want to focus on figuring out where my future lies and how I can position myself to work towards my long-term career goals.

2011 is going to be a big year.  I’m really taking a holistic, big-picture view of my life and I’m trying to bring all the pieces together.  Healthy eating, healthy exercise, healthy finances, healthy career, and healthy yeast in my beer all equal up to a healthy mind and soul.  I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been this excited about the future and the coming year.  I can’t wait for all of the memories and experiences I will have in the new year with all of my loved ones.  I can’t wait for how much I will grow as a person in the new year.  And if the Mayans were right and 2012 really is the end of the world then I’m going out like a boss in 2011.

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and encourage you all to keep it in the big ring throughout 2011!

PS – I might be getting a dog in 2011…  Stay tuned.

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2 responses

4 01 2011
Mom

Welcome home! 2011 should be a great year-I can’t wait to see what it brings to each of us. Love you.

5 01 2011
Misty

Sounds like 2011 is going to be an awesome year for you, Geoff! Your goals are all solid and healthy and that sets you up well for success, which makes me happy. I know you are not giving up beer, but did you do any more research into eating “clean” with paleo type foods? I’m still a rookie myself, of course, but I’m having great results and might be able to point you towards more resources if you need them.
Since health/diet changes take some time for adjustment, now is the time to switch your eating habits so your body will be locked and loaded come spring riding time!
oh, and see you Tahoe!!

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