Monday, March 31, 2008

My Goals This Year...

I know that March 31st != January 1st, but I figure that there is nothing special about the first of the year, goal-wise. In fact, spring seems like a much more appropriate time for goals than the depths of winter. In January, my list of goals looked something like this:

-Perfect down-blanket-and-pillow cocoon

-Finish watching all available episodes of "Good Eats" on You Tube

-Complete research project entitled "Interactions between conflicting cracks in the ceiling above my bed"

March, on the other hand, is when Michigan transitions from more than 12 hours of dark to more than 12 hours of light. The crocuses and daffodils are peeking out of the ground, and my goals turn to something slightly more ambitious than finding a service willing to deliver me cookies in bed. So here, in no particular order, are my goals for the year:

run/swim/bike a triathlon: I just learned to run this last year (as an aside: was anyone else aware that you had to learn to run? isn't that one of those bipedal things that should come naturally? apparently not) and I have transitioned from an initial, burning hatred of it to something bordering on enjoyment. Since my basic failure at bipedal locomotion was all that was standing between me and completing a triathlon, I should get my butt in gear and do it. The goal is a sprint triathlon. Bonus points for something longer.

take all of my (important) pills: I've been really good (read: less stupid) about this lately, but it bears repeating. Some pills are more important than others. I had a painful lesson recently in what happens when I don't take my pills. I will strive to be even less stupid this year than last year. I don't know how to quantify this--maybe Ross will have to award me an appropriate number of points.

take care of my back: Hyper-mobility of the lower back (aka "noodle spine") runs in my family. Last summer/fall I got it under control via a strict regime of core strengthening exercises, but this winter's blobification (it turns out that hibernation leaves remarkably little time for weight-bearing exercise) has left me basically back where I started. Since I do much better when I have a routine, my goal will be a core-strengthening session every morning before work. Hopefully, the routine will be enough to carry me through my final (!) Michigan winter. Goal is something (anything) every morning and a full set of reps at least once a week. Bonus points if I start doing a full set more than once a week.

bike a century: I've done this before, but this is really representative of a recommitment to cycling. My bike has been in bad shape, and without my usual goal of RAGBRAI, I rode less than 100 miles total last summer! Subgoals include: fix my bike (replace the cassette, rear dérailleur, chain, cables, tape), attend at least one race clinic, and start riding at least once a week. Options include One Helluva Ride, The Apple Cider Century, Evanston Century, or The Holland Hundred.

climb a 5.10: For the non-climbers in the audience, in the US, climbing routes are rated according to a universal (though basically subjective) system. Any route below a 5.0 is (supposedly) "walkable", but most people (myself included) would feel uncomfortable climbing a 4.x route without a rope. Almost all routes that I climb are a 5.x. I can currently "flash" (climb without falling) all 5.7 routes, and almost all 5.8 routes. I can climb all 5.9 routes (and flash some of them). Five months ago, I was starting to climb 5.10 routes (note that it isn't exactly a decimal...5.10>5.9) but hurt my shoulder. Goal is ability to climb most 5.10a and b routes (the rankings start subdividing into a/b/c around 5.10). Bonus points for climbing a 5.10c.

show my photos in a gallery in Ann Arbor: Currently, I'm showing at a coffee shop around the corner from me. I like the place, but it is probably doomed (I'll probably write about their often-hilarious business plan later). The goal is Sweetwaters Gallery, which is attached to the ritzy coffee shop in town. Bonus points for a gallery not attached to a coffee shop. Double bonus points if I actually sell something.

finish a second paper: I have 3 candidate papers in the works. The goal is to finish one this summer. Bonus points for finishing two. Unfortunately, I need at least one more paper to...

go on the job market: Not really so much a goal as a necessity.

get married: If I don't manage this one, then I am so screwed.

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