1. 2020

    I had so many plans.

    My wife and I had planned an extended vacation in Hawaii to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I had millions of ideas for what I wanted to do with my business.

    None of them happened.

    Instead, we got a pandemic… and you know how that… is going.

    In March, my company leadership met and decided that our goal for the year was to survive and keep everyone employed for as long as possible.

    We planned to focus solely on helping our customers, anticipate their needs, and focus on their survival to ensure our own.

    It took an endless number of phone calls, thousands of support tickets, and a lot of impromptu “therapy” sessions for panicked, scared, and sometimes angry people, but we survived.

    Barely.

    See, before all of this, I had been going through a rough couple of years.

    My company was going through one of those transitions that begin to happen after the startup phase. You know, for years, you’re the person with all the answers (even if you don’t always have them). Then suddenly, you don’t know what you’re doing on any given day, and no one really notices — except you.

    I’ve given an Eye of Sauron level of attention to my business for nearly 20 years. It’s impossible to deny that it dominated my life and almost defined my identity.

    When you commit yourself to a singular direction for a long time, you become very absolute in your thinking, and that you often will find yourself fighting with people, instead of building with them. It’s a lonely place to be.

    I entered 2020 with a weight on my shoulders, and being the obsessive person that I am, I set a few New Years’ resolutions for myself:

    #1 Do 1Kcal+ workouts every single day
    #2 Figure out how to like me again

    The first day that I almost broke these resolutions was in early April when I drove my wife to the emergency room because she was sick and couldn’t breathe.

    I took her through the hospital door, checked her in, and was escorted out and told to leave and not return until they called for me.

    It was an incredibly dark moment that I wasn’t prepared to handle.

    I went home, turned on my stairclimber, and just worked out for two hours in silence.

    Somewhere a reset button was pushed.

    After my wife recovered, I continued my quiet workouts, just learning to enjoy the silence or chasing whatever idea popped into my head.

    When your daily mantra for ten years is “just breath,” being alone with your thoughts is a magical feeling… even if it can seem aimless.

    I began to focus on putting myself in uncomfortable situations, like asking for help, saying no, and… waiting.

    My wife started joining me on my evening walks.

    We turned our neighborhood into our own little world. We’d share podcasts and music on our headphones, and we started talking.

    Walking turned into hiking. We kept talking.

    We started finding people to help. We got better at talking.

    Somewhere along the way, my life started clicking into place. I lost 30lbs and then gained 10lbs of muscle.

    My daily workouts turned into training, and my walks with my wife turned into planning.

    I can’t wait to start building again.