Tuesday, January 01, 2008


"I'll try to be a better person this year"

"I'll exercise more and eat better"

Pardon me if I discretely roll my eyes when I hear New Years resolutions like these. Not that they aren't worthwhile in principle. Of course they are, but you can't really measure your success. I mean, how about holding open a door for an elderly lady and calling it good on resolution #1?

No, instead I think you need to make specific and measurable goals for the year. Goals such that on 31 December 2008 you can look back and say "yea" or "nay" as to whether you accomplished each one.

This year more than most I feel the need for improvement. Looking back on 2007 forces me to acknowledge that my life was a bit too dominated by bike racing. And by extension, so was my family's. I don't want to be so one-dimensional and I certainly don't want bike racing to be a burden on my family.

So, without much forethought and in no particular order, below is a list of things I plan to accomplish in 2008. The common theme is being more productive and multi-dimensional.

Read 10 books. For those of you who actually do read, this goal is laughably trivial. Gina for example, reads 10 books in a summer easily, whereas I buy lots of books, but actually make it through about 1-out-of-10. Reading is so enjoyable and should replace a good chunk of mindless TV watching and internet surfing.

Race at least one MTB, CX, and track event in 2008. I got a NORBA license this year and it says BEGINNER and my track category is 4. Gotta do something about that! But more importantly, I want broader experiences with cycling, like back when I started this sport thirty-something years ago.

And on the subject of broadening experiences, in 2008 I will participate in other forms of active recreation and not worry about how it impacts my cycling. I will run the SB Half Marathon, I will ski again, and I will ocean kayak. The latter two with family.

I will make cheese in 2008.

Start our long-discussed house remodel. This is a classic case of analysis paralysis because the choices and expenses are so overwhelming. But it needs to be done.

Fix the red truck. A 1986 Toyota pick-up... a great little utility vehicle. I think it has some kind of blockage in the fuel line or fuel pump. I don't know squat about working on cars so this will be a challenge. It'll be a good father-son activity for Brian and me.

Make it through a day with no gas. Yes, I mean what you think I mean. I'll chew my food more thoroughly and will avoid gluten and lactose. And cytomax. Maybe I can shoot for a whole week in 2009!

Plant berries and keep them alive. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. They're finicky--especially blueberries--and need a lot of care to grow and thrive, but the reward of sweet summer berries is worth it.

Give away bags full of produce all summer.

Donate or throw away 50% of my clothing. If you saw my closet and drawers, you'd suggest 90%. I rarely go clothes shopping--maybe once or twice a year--but I purge even less often. It needs to be done.

Go to the doctor and get snipped. It also needs to be done, even though it will mean a few days off the bike. We're too old for any surprises!

OK, that's it... all out there in public.

Happy New Year!


Steve said...

Great stuff, Marco. Sign me up to receive the free produce.

Gary said...

Marco, I like it. I am also reflecting on last year (still) and working on pulling together my 08 goals....and also have a desire to avoid one or two dimensionality.

Anonymous said...

I went with a bumper sticker that said, "to have more, desire less".


Marco Fanelli said...

Steve- You can get the second shipment. The first is for Gary as repayment for letting us get his Plow-to-Porch food.

Gary- You are one of the least one-dimensional bike racers I know.

Jake- I saw that quote on your blog. Good stuff! Also, loved your latest post on the Symmetrics site. Another good lesson for us all about enjoying the ride, 'cause you never know when you're gonna have a good one and when you're gonna have a bad one! BTW, it's raining here.

Bill said...

Great resolutions, Marco. I too, struggle with getting through something more than an article in Cycle Sport :( I've recently started loading books-on-tape onto my Ipod to listen to while I ride. It's been a nice change. I know, it's not quite the same as READING the book, but it's better than listen to the same song for the 3245th time!

We could start the "Slow Reading Cyclists Book Club"!

If you ever have any produce left over, I'd love a bag :)

Thanks for the alway entertaining and often thought provoking blog!


Marco Fanelli said...

Bill- Is that the "Slow, Reading-cyclists Book Club" or the "Slow-reading Cyclists Book Club"?? Doesn't matter... I qualify for both!

Bill said...

I think we leave the title without punctuation, that way everybody feels welcome :)