If 2014 had a theme, it was newness. Whether significant or minor, I tried a lot of new things last year.
- I competed at new races, like the Boston Marathon.
- I competed in triathlon at a new distance – the half-Ironman distance.
- I completed my first endurance cycling event – the Princeton 300k.
- For the first time, I won my age group in a triathlon.
- I coached triathletes and runners during my coaching business’ first full year of existence.
- I launched a new website.
- My wife and I moved half-way across the country from Washington, DC to Minnesota. It all came together smack in the middle of my build up to IRONMAN 70.3 Princeton, creating a new (and unexpected) challenge of balancing life and sport in a whole new way.
- I tried chicken liver for the first time – and loved it. A few weeks later I bought grass-fed beef liver. I hope to have some soon.
- My wife and I cooked countless new recipes and ate at dozens of new restaurants.
- I transitioned to a new job, now an independent public health consultant and freelance writer.
- I traveled to a new country – Mexico.
- I brewed coffee using a French Press for the first time. It’s now a daily ritual in the morning I share with my wife.
- I read new books, followed new blogs, and listened to new podcasts, many of which were outside my traditional “comfort” zone.
- I read my first fiction book since…I can’t even remember – college, I think.
- I took a new approach to goal-setting – I actually wrote them down.
- I tried new apps to help with productivity, like Feedly and Workflowy. I still use them.
- I tried new performance and/or health improving “hacks,” like my sauna experiment.
I’m sure there are more, but I’d rather not create a laundry list. In reflecting back on 2014, and the newness it brought, there’s only one reason I can think of for why. Why did I go out of my way time and time again to seek out new opportunities, new experiences? What’s so important, scratch that, valuable, about newness?
Because life’s about growth. When we challenging ourselves in new ways, we grow to become our better selves. We grow because we seek fulfillment in life, to maximize our precious days on this planet. So, why not take advantage of all it has to offer. As Joseph Cambell said, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
Find things, do things that make you feel alive.