Happy New Year! This has been an absolutely amazing year for me. It’s been a year of transformations both mental and physical. There have been a number of very distinct visible changes in my life this year. Most of which are centered around the quality of my life. I’m getting healthier and going out socializing more. In general, it’s made me a happier person.
It’s no secret that I’m heavily into gaming. I find them mentally stimulating. My favorite form of gaming is table top gaming. For the most part this has always meant pencil and paper role playing games such as D&D or collectible card games like Magic the Gathering. Then back in 2008 I attended my first gaming convention and that exposed me to a whole new plethora of gaming possibilities.
This year I started volunteering for the GameStorm Convention as a social network liaison. This basically means I run their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Through my new friends in the gaming community, I found out about a bunch of other conventions local to me as well. I found myself at ConQuest, OryCon, numerous GameStorm Game Days, and even a couple smaller special events. Many of these I already have on the calendar for attending again next year.
I also discovered board gaming in a way I never have before. I used to think of board gaming as Monopoly, Sorry, or even Mouse Trap. If that’s your idea of board gaming, do yourself a favor and look up Fantasy Flight Games, Steve Jackson Games, or Days of Wonder just to name a few. These companies take gaming to a whole new level.
The best part of exploring these games has been getting to know the gamers I get to sit down and play them with. The gamer community is filled with creative and brilliant individuals with a common love of gaming. Every game I’ve sat down to play has been a absolute joy.
My personal game library has also grown significantly as a result. I play many of these new games with the family but on occasion I gather a few up and head over to friends houses to game with them too.
I’ve made a few changes to my Electra Glide this year. Most significant change was a nice set of pipes. She’s got a good strong rumble now. I’ve also made the tour pack detachable so when I’m not traveling I can take it off making her lighter and more fun to ride.
We also went for a few rides this year including an over night trip up the Washington coast line with our friends Mike and Amy. We really enjoy that ride and look forward to riding with them again next year when the weather improves.
There were plans to hit a rally or two as well but those didn’t pan out. I’m finding I prefer riding in smaller groups with close friends that the big club rides I’ve tried in the past.
Back in July I started noticing the runners in my neighborhood. I noticed how it didn’t matter whether it was raining or shining, day or night, hot or cold. The runners would be out putting one foot in front of the other and they always looked happy. It was as if they all shared some big secret together that I wasn’t in on.
I was walking quite a bit at this point for exercise and was using Endomondo on my phone to track my miles along with Daily Mile for an exercise log. I was trying to find a way to improve my fitness so I decided to give running a try. It started out pretty well but I got over zealous and over did it. I was out of commission for most of September.
I was determined to become a runner though. Once I could hobble down the bock I slowly started back into the running. I spent my down time wisely and learned as much as I could about running. I picked up the book Running for Mortals and it became my running coach. I also started getting more involved with the Daily Mile community who were a significant source of encouragement and advice.
On December 5th I ran my first 5k at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Portland, OR. The whole process was new and exciting. I found myself wanting to raise the bar almost immediately. I’m currently working on improving my distance and pace. I also have a hand full of races already scheduled for 2011 and have joined the NW Running League.
A not so unexpected side affect of the running has been weight loss. You just can’t eat junk and expect your body to perform. On top of that you burn a lot of calories during a regular training routine. When I started running I was not trying to lose weight but the results are spectacular.
I was 260 lbs. when I started running and on New Years Eve I officially weigh 214 lbs. I can definitely see a difference when I look in the mirror. I’m not done losing weight and I’ve got a ways to go before I’m concerned about loosing too much. Boy is my doctor going to be surprised at my next visit though.
My son also goes to many of the gaming events with me. We also both play in a semi-regular Savage Worlds game with friends. It’s been an excellent social opportunity for him and a real treat for me to be able to share the hobby.
My sister in law is also currently in the process of moving closer to us. We’re really looking forward to being able to spend more time with them. There is talk about having a regular family game night together once they get moved.
2011 and Beyond
The new year should be really exiting. There are so many cool things going on. I have half a dozen races scheduled out including the Oregon Warrior Dash is September. There are a hand full of gaming conventions I’m already signed up to attend. And there is no shortage of fascinating and challenging games I want to try.
Those that know me know I have difficulty with uncharted social situations. This year is bound to take me way outside of my comfort zone. In addition to all of the large public events such as the races and conventions I’m attending, I also plan to run some games at some of the upcoming conventions too.
It is also my wish to start working on getting the house suitable for company so I can host a game night here. Having attended a few similar events, I’m exited about the prospect.
So here’s to 2011. May the new year bring you all you dream of.