The Year That Was

I also have conquered Cascade Mountain. It's also what I do.
One of the most amazing things I did this year? The Big Mountain Challenge.

Remember back in the old time-y days of 2012? Those were good times.

Anyway, now that it’s the future I figured I should take a few moments to look back on the year that was 2012 to remember what I’ve accomplished, and identify those challenges that have eluded me for one reason or another. Perhaps the challenges were a bit too grand, perhaps I didn’t try hard enough, perhaps I realized the challenge wasn’t worth my time because something more important fell into my lap, or perhaps life just got in the way. Whatever the reason, I’ll use the things I did and the things I didn’t do in 2012 as a baseline for the things I’ll want to accomplish in 2013.

So, without further ado, I present to you dear readers my list of successes and failures from 2012:

  1. I ran 2 marathons in a 3 week period, plus 15 half-marathons in 2012 – 5 in December alone. While I hoped to run 3 marathons in 2012, the Goofy race should allow me to cross run 3 marathons in a year from my list. I also ran in 8 official races although my goal was 12. One of the eight races included my first Around The Bay 30 km, my fastest 10 km time, and my first sub 4 hour marathon. In total I ran 944.3 km despite having a goal of 1000 km. While I missed my running mileage target, I’m still excessively proud of what I managed to do over 366 days.
  2. I biked 582.2 km, although I had aimed to bike 2200 km. This is probably my biggest failure of the year, and something I’ll need to work on in 2013. Regardless, I posted my very first 80+ km bike ride in 2012.
  3. I walked over 1500 km successfully crossing another item off of my list. This challenge seemed almost too easy though, as I walk to and from the office almost every day. As such, I’ve upped my walking mileage goal significantly for 2013.
  4. I helped Rick raise over $25000 for the Kidney Foundation of Canada by climbing 5 mountains in 7 days.
  5. I went zip lining again, edge walking twice, sky diving again, bob sledding, and ice climbing.
  6. I blogged every day for an entire year.
  7. I significantly reduced my debt, and increased my net worth. W00t!
  8. I managed to reduce my original 30 year mortgage to 14 years by negotiating a lower interest rate, and increasing each payment by 15%. This year I’ll once again increase my biweekly payment to reduce the length of my remaining mortgage even further.
  9. I learned to cook dairy free treats (such as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and Irish cream). I’m definitely going to keep exploring this in 2013.
  10. I travelled to Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, and Ottawa. Sadly, I didn’t make it to New York City in 2012. I also didn’t travel outside of the country. Clearly my wanderlusting ways won’t allow this to become the status quo. Regardless, my trip to Banff and Lake Louise to compete in the Big Mountain Challenge with Rick was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was so much more than a vacation, and something that I won’t ever forget.

Overall I managed to cross off 33 things from my Not-So-Bucket-List list. While this is fantastic, my original goal was to cross off 42. Even still, I can’t complain. I was busy the entire year with challenges, work, and fun. I spent a great deal of time with people I love. I travelled. I experienced new things. I pushed myself further. I laughed. I laughed a lot.

To say that 2012 was fantastic for me would be an understatement. It’s not that there weren’t set backs and challenges outside of my lists – because there were. But I know it was fantastic because when I think back on all of the things that happened in the past 366 days, I can’t help but smile. Friends, family, adventures, successes, failures – all have brought me to where I am today.

Truly, looking back on the year that was reminds me of how lucky I really am.

Here’s to an amazing 2013. Happy New Year everyone.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Tiffany says:

    Congratulations Dan, you should be proud of yourself – looking forward to reading the 2013 update next year to see how you beat your best once again!! Good luck 🙂

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks. And I’m definitely proud. I think the Goofy race will be a good start to another awesome year 🙂

  2. Rick says:

    Absolutely awesome! It was amazing to share in the Big Mountain Challenge with you- we both put in a tremendous amount of effort for that, and I think for both of us, it ended up being so much more than we thought. A simple “let’s climb mountains” ended up making an impact and difference, changed us, and brought us closer as friends. I guess what I’m trying to say within those sentiments is that you’re ugly and that 2012 sounds like a complete failure for you. (Truthfully, we all know I’m saying that just to motivate you to continue crushing the tasks you set before you, and to continue living life in the awesome way that you have been.) Sentiments.

    1. dangillis says:

      Best comment of 2013. Jerk.

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