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James Wanless

this is where I write

2016 ~ a brief recap

More good things happened around the world than you probably realize, while a few real shitstorms got pretty much all the headlines. Low mileage and a tight back marred an otherwise quiet year, personally. Oh, and multiple bugs, endless winter and functional fireplaces, too.

If all you watch is mainstream and social media you could easily be forgiven for feeling pretty dark right now. Within that context this past year was notable primarily for depressing happenings in international politics and the sheer number of cultural and entertainment icons who left us. However, I thought I’d start this recap with a more positive spin on the year.
Big wins in conservation, global health, political and economic progress, climate change, violence and endangered species protection were had, even though it’s hard to believe, given the noise generated by Brexit and Donald Trump.

“If it bleeds, it leads” isn’t a phrase coined by some cut-throat tabloid editor. It’s a potent truth that lies at the heart of the modern day media machine. It’s time for some balance.
Future Crunch’s 99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year on Medium.

So, apparently there were lots of good things happening around the world. And, from a personal perspective my life was pretty uneventful, truth be told.

In roughly chronological order, the few things which stood out for me:

I began the year running strong, training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon between January and April as part of an injury prevention study and having a good (by current standards) return to the marathon in May.

I finally cleared my head enough from our 2015 renovations to post a review of our contractor experience. I’ll let that post speak for itself, though I also posted it on houzz.com in the hope that it may save someone else the pain of a badly blown budget.

I watched with some dismay, the pitbull ban question rear its ugly head again and made my case for the wrong-headedness of breed bans, as opposed to say, holding owners properly accountable for their dog’s behaviour.

While I planned a fall marathon after my spring success, summer calf injury problems along with a chronically tight QL muscle forced me to downgrade to a still decent Victoria half marathon birthday weekend.

After all the social media kvetching and general disbelief at the direction of the USA, I decided I’ll likely avoid altogether trying to re-enter the country after more than six years since my border ban.

Including a plan to write more, I recently decided that I’d up my pursuit of more creative pastimes. I’m journaling and reading frequently already and hope to re-ignite my interest in music and other artistic things as time goes on.

We finally bit the biscuit and replaced the burner units in both our gas fireplaces, as they haven’t worked properly since we moved in years ago and all attempts to repair them have been in vain.

Getting sick in the final quarter of 2016 really marred the year, with our house being plague central in early November and again through Christmas.

In fitting with the seemingly endless (or at least multiple instances of) plague, we’ve had an uncharacteristically cold and snowy winter, and not just for a couple weeks. Snow has fallen and nearly melted and fallen and nearly melted and fallen and … You get the idea. It’s snowing again as I type this.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve decided I’m not going to let some of the broader negativity get to me. I’m going to do my best to let go of the things I can’t change and work more to effect positive change for the things I can change.

And a 2016 recap wouldn’t be complete without a final word on my running and cycling … Even though I don’t set volume goals, I was expecting to average a little higher than 36k running and 58k cycling per week for the year. However, given that my training tailed off badly from late summer on, I can’t complain too much. I was viewing cycling as primarily cross-training to help my run, so it was really just the running volume that bothered me.
148 PRs (often just random segments not previously run), 3037 km cycling and 1863 km running over a total of 269 hrs, 23 mins. Not the worst, nor best year of activity for me.

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