2009: A Brief Year in Review

Well.  Here we are once again. Another year come and gone. For some reason this year I feel like I didn’t really accomplish as many things as I’d hoped to.  I really threw myself into working with my Point B friends / colleagues to help our clients and our firm weather the storm, which took its toll on my personal time especially since my work assignments have been at client locations 30 to 45 miles from home, sapping away precious time driving on the days I need to be in the office.  I also gave up quite a few evenings for work-related outings plus business trips to Frankfurt (once), Hartford (several) and Seattle (once).  I believe it was worth it, but hoping to take a small step back in 2010.

Still, I did manage a few other things.  Made personal trips to Kīhei, Bismarck and North Platte.  Sold off my ’88 Jeep Wrangler and acquired an ’03 Flagstaff 208 pop-up camper.  Spent 300+ hours on soccer from coaching practices and games to coaching education and even playing.  Plus at least 100 more hours doing work with / for our soccer club’s board.  Soccer has become my number 1 hobby, dominating weeknights and weekends alike.  Made a batch of beer.  Built new friendships in the neighborhood where I live, which is something sort of new to me as I tend to hang out with work colleagues.  Thanks to John, Tinna, Mark and Cee Cee for the good times this year!  And thanks to Julie for getting me out of my office to socialize.  Helped out Erin with her school’s Flat Stanley Project.  Hosted Thanksgiving for 11 including my first fried turkey (much to learn about that process).  Sitting at 591 LinkedIn connections and 259 Facebook connections.  Posted to this blog a dozen times and 8 times on RockyMtnFuller.com.  I say it every year, but I need to write more!  Supported Bal Swan Children’s Center and Hope House of Colorado.

Now for some New Years’ resolutions.  I need to run, ride and swim more.  My mileage (e.g. only 358 run miles in 2009) was pushed down to the bare minimum and that has to change.  More beer making.  I need to work with Grace on posting to the family blog.  She’s become a wonderful, imaginative writer and should be leveraging the outlet.  A bit less soccer (although I’m not sure how I will make that happen yet).  Put the new camper to use and accrue a lot of outdoors time this coming summer.  I live in Colorado.  Time to get back to why we live here.

And I leave you with this: JibJab’s usual irreverent compilation of recent events encapsulated in their short film entitled Never a Year Like ’09.

Churchill Cup Recap

Earlier this summer (Sun 21.Jun.09 to be exact) I found myself soaking up some rays and watching rugby at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.  The Churchill Cup had come to town and how could I miss a triple header finals day? Long time readers of OpenKimono will recall I’ve written about rugby in the past and that I’m a big fan of the game.

Dave at Dick's

Dave at Dick's

Rugby still doesn’t gather the interest in the US it should: my buddy Todd and I were able to walk up to the ticket counter and snare a pair of seats about 15 rows up from the pitch at midfield.  $40 apiece.  Inside, it was evident a sell-out of this relatively small 18,000 seat stadium wasn’t going to happen that day even though the matches featured:

Although none of the Tri Nations big boys from the southern hemisphere (AUS, NZL, RSA) or the Six Nations national sides from Europe (ENG, FRA, IRE, ITA, SCO, WAL) participated, it was still international rugby and far better than I’d ever seen in person.

The CAN / ARG match was fast paced and chippy.  The Argentine side didn’t look all that big (I saw them up close after the match), but they were all fast and kicked with precision.  I suppose this is where all the soccer players that get too many red cards end up.  They pulled away in the second half and won by a couple tries.

The ENG / IRE match was just plain brutal.  I don’t think those guys like each other much, although I imagine a lot of the players are teammates on professional club sides in the UK.  It was pretty even the first half, but in the second, the Irish rolled and practically scored at will.  This doesn’t bode well for England’s future in the bigger competitions.

By the time the USA / GEO match was finally ready to go, we’d had enough.  Sun burned and nauseous from beer and nachos, we packed it in and skipped the last match which I found out later USA had taken with ease.  The USA is coming on as a Sevens power, but still struggles to put forth a solid full side, thus the 13-31 score really speaks to how far Georgia needs to come to compete on the world stage.  Still, as of this moment, they sit above the USA in the IRB World Rankings.  Go figure.

Soooo…. what’s the point of this post?  Could one not gather this same info from the good folks at Scrum.com?  Surely.  But you’d miss my little editorial about how the American rugby community, while small, is enthusiastic.  We sat next to a fellow that was about my age and his father.  After a bit of small talk, it was evident both of them had played in their younger years and the game was a common thread between them.  They were having a great time, talking trash, talking strategy.  Pretty cool to see that in this country.  Later, as I was walking the pavilion to get an adult beverage, I was flagged down by a South African guy.  He spotted me in my Springboks jersey and had assumed I was an import like himself.  We chatted for a while, talking a bit about South Africa and rugby in general.  It was evident he was pleased to find a fan of his national team half a world from home.  And I enjoyed reconnecting with a sports culture that draws out national pride unlike anything in the USA aside from the minority of soccer fans in the country cheering for our side to qualify for World Cup 2010.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to rugby 15 years ago, and soccer more recently, because it’s a world game unlike American football.  In most of the English speaking world, you can find someone able to have a beer and talk about rugby.  That’s very appealing to me as I truly enjoy being part of the larger world.

2008: A Brief Year in Review

Let’s see.  What happened this year?  Quite a bit actually.

According to my 2008 annual report from Dopplr, I traveled 189,838 km (52% of the distance to the moon) to achieve an average “personal velocity” of 21.8 km/hr over the year.  And that doesn’t count my Nike Training Log totals for 133 runs (572 mi over 81 hrs 31 min).  I spent many, many hours coaching soccer, playing soccer, watching soccer or talking about soccer, but I still love it.  I shut down my business and opened up a new career chapter.  Bought a house, sold a house, then refinanced a house.  Hosted a family reunion for 13 and a Thanksgiving dinner for 13.  Crested 500 business connections in LinkedIn and 170 friends in Facebook.  Watched my investment portfolio crater, then shifted gears to take advantage of the market opportunity.  Grew my MP3 collection to more than 4,300 tracks (with many, many more CDs yet to rip) and converted 722 35mm slides to digital images.  I shoveled, mowed, mulched, weed whacked and leaf blowed a whole bunch.  Posted a rather lame 27 times on this blog.  Gotta do better than every other week in 2009, but not exactly off to a blazing start, am I?  I did fire up rockymtnfuller.com, so that has to count for something.

Anyway, a busy year with another on the way.

Now, I leave you with this: JibJab’s usual irreverent compilation of recent events encapsulated in their short film entitled What a @#$% Year! 2008.

ColderBOLDER08

On Friday I was just minding my own business and wrapping up work for the week when my buddy (we’ll call him… Eric Phipps) busted in on IM and said:

Eric:    I am running colder boulder this weekend.  Are you?
Dave:    nope.  no run for me.  didn’t even know about that.  i could do it though
Eric:    well if you do let me know – were having beers afterqwards probably at lazy dog on pearl streeet mall

What is the ColderBOLDER you ask?  It’s the little brother of the BolderBOULDER 10k.  A 5k race, this run is part of big brother’s race training series.  Normally, the weather this time of year would be pretty chilly thus the Colder moniker, but this morning I found myself sitting at Buchanan’s Coffee Pub staring at gray skies and 52°F at 8am.  Not bad.

The race course runs through and around the perimeter of the University of Colorado at Boulder and, like the 10k, is impeccably organized.  I did a walk in registration with no problem.  The race is run in waves according to your most recent 10k time, so you can go out and shoot for a official PR quite easily.

Now, I haven’t been running a ton lately; 3 days a week around my neighborhood 4.5mi loop plus pick-up soccer on Saturdays when the weather is nice, thus my expectations were for about a 25 min time.  Where did I finish? 21:43.  And I didn’t throw up (but it was close).

Afterwords, I rolled home to observe Julie and the kids trimming our Christmas tree , but that’s another story that’s probably never to be told.

2008 Fall Soccer Season Wrap

After approximately 40 practices and 16 games over 11 weeks, the fall club soccer season is finally over here in Colorado.  It was a pretty grueling run with 5 practices most weeks and a pair of games on Saturdays, but I loved every minute of it.  Hopefully in the spring I can wrangle a schedule with practices on the same nights instead of opposite nights.

How’d we do?  Well, my older daughter’s U9G team was pretty spectacular.  We went 6-1-0 (W-L-D) with an average margin of victory probably in the 5-6 goals range.  The single loss was due to a break down in goal keeping (coaching error, really).   Speed kills, as the saying goes, and this team was blessed with it.  Hopefully, the group will stick together in the spring as the other coach and myself are pretty set on moving up one notch in the competitive spectrum.

Dad coaching in the background

Dad coaching in the background

My younger daughter’s U7G team, on the other hand, wasn’t anything close to dominating.  We don’t keep scores or league tables that young, but I’d be surprised if we were even a .500 team.  But we were doing a number of things that teams in this age group don’t normally do, particularly an emphasis on positions in addition to the usual ball control work.  Some of this was influenced by the work I was doing with the older girls and hopefully it will pay dividends in the spring.

Next up? Basketball and indoor soccer!

Futbol Fever

Like many of you, I have kids who play soccer.  Both of my girls continue to improve and seem to really enjoy the game, one on a U7 team and another on a U9 advanced team.  As in the past, I’ve been coaching their teams.  It’s actually a ton of fun, but a bit of work for me as I didn’t play as a kid and I have to learn everything at the same time I’m trying to teach it.

This fall I’ve managed to end up with a schedule that has me coaching my older daughter Mon, Wed and Fri and the younger on Tue and Thu.  Games start this coming weekend with two matches every Sat.  Plus I’m still trying to play myself on Sat mornings when there isn’t a conflict.  On top of all this, I serve on the board of Broomfield Soccer Club as the Technology Director.

So, soccer is pretty much my number one leisure time activity at this point.  In fact, I’m less worried about the girls burning out on soccer than I am about burning myself out.  Still, it’s worth it to me to have this time with my kids and to work with them and their friends outdoors.

Not sure what the point of this post is other than my soccer experience reminds me a little of time I spent doing Scouting activities as a kid.  It was THE thing that I did with my dad and brothers, so there are quite a few fond memories.  I hope that even if my children don’t continue playing soccer into high school (and perhaps beyond), they will look back and remember the fun, the camaraderie and the challenge.

That is all.  Over and out.

BolderBOULDER08

BolderBOULDER 2008 has come and gone in the race’s 30th anniversary addition. I once again competed, but unlike 2007, this year I ran my own race just to see what would happen and achieved a much faster result. In fact, I was only 37 seconds slower than 2002. I guess this means I’ll have to do it again next year and see if I can pull off a PR.

I didn’t train particularly hard this time around, averaging only about 11 to 13 miles per week over the past 3 months plus a few Saturday morning pick-up soccer matches. I did “cram” the last week before the race, cranking up the distance to near 20 miles and slipping in a couple sessions in the pool, but not sure if the final week’s push helped or hurt me. Still, I exceeded my expectation of a 5:00 min / km average pace, so I’m good with that. Citizen’s Race winner? 31 year old Clint Wells in 30:52. Maybe next year will be mine? (yeah, right.)

As in the past, the course was packed with goofballs, families, first time racers, old warhorses and everything else in between. The spectator side show was entertaining once again and the race organization was brilliant. Even the weather was to my liking, with an overcast 60ºF topped off by a few sprinkles around 9:00am.

Congratulations, BolderBOULDER, on another year in the record books.

Dave’s BolderBOULDER Race History
(I seem to be re-setting the trend in the right direct
ion.)

Year Bib Number Last Name First Name Official Time Age
2001 MM518 Fuller David 00:54:25 30
2002 GG348 Fuller David 00:47:31 31
2007 HD396 Fuller David 01:03:02 36
2008 HB022 Fuller David 00:48:06 37