After describing four of the key lessons I learned during 2010, I also want to share some of the amazing things I have had in my life during the past year.1 Here are six things that made a significant positive impact on my life during 2010.
6. Mini Cooper S:
An unfortunate traffic accident in late 2010 brought a premature end to the Volkswagon New Beetle I’d driven for the past eight years. But as the old saying goes, “when one car doors closes, another opens.” And the loss of the VW led me to my newest car, a mint condition, low mileage 2006 Mini Cooper S. Admittedly the back seat is for “emergency use only,“2 but that’s not an issue since I can count on one hand the number of times someone rode in my car’s back seat during the past decade. And most importantly, my Mini is a blast to drive.3
To those of you who know me, this might seem an unusual item to include on a “favorite things” list. After all, I’ve had a fairly aggressive case of Crohn’s disease since I was 12‐years‐old, and during 2010 (like every year) my Crohn’s resulted in several bouts of poor health. But looking at 2010 in the context of the larger picture, this year wasn’t that bad. My current treatments remain effective in preventing major Crohn’s flares4 and my body is probably in its best shape since the 1970s. Hell, I can even run half marathons now!
4. iPhone 4:
For years my mobile phone was an ancient Nokia model that lacked a screen and didn’t even have texting capabilities. In September I finally gave in and entered the 21st century, purchasing my first smart phone. And given my nearly fanatical relationship with Apple, that new phone was of course an iPhone. Now I’m addicted to Pandora, Foursquare, Google Voice, Nike + iPod, SitOrSquat, Twitter and countless other apps (not to mention texting, the ability to check email on my phone, get driving directions, etc.).
I’ve lived in or near this city for most of my life, but it still surprises me, inspires me, and always feels like home. Sure some people bash the city, and like any major city it does have real problems (post rust belt economy, excessive segregation, 10‐month‐long winter), but there are an incredible number of positives as well. From the Calatrava wing at the Milwaukee Art Museum to Harley‐Davidson, from the unique neighborhoods to Summerfest, there is something for everyone.
2. Team Challenge:
Team Challenge is a running program where participants train to run a half marathon, while raising funds for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis research and treatment. Admittedly, Team Challenge is not new to my life — I’ve been involved in one way or another since 2008. But every year surpasses the previous one. During 2010, I served as a mentor for July’s Napa‐to‐Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon,5 then ran as a participant in December’s Las Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon. The people I’ve met through Team Challenge (participants, coaches and CCFA6 staff) are amazing in their commitment to do something that makes a difference, and inspiring because of what so many of them have overcome and accomplished. Team Challenge is such an important part of my life that I’ve already committed to run Napa‐to‐Sonoma in 2011.
1. Fantastic Friends:
The very best friends are those who help you grow and become a better person, who remember all the good things you do (while conveniently forgetting the not‐so‐good things), and who seem to possess an infinite ability to forgive. Some people only find one or two such friends during their life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have several great friends like this, and during 2010 their selflessness really came through. You know who you are, and you each have my most sincere thanks and appreciation for your boundless friendship during the past year.
What are some of your favorite things from 2010? Please share your favorites from the past year.
- This post was in large part inspired by an annual “Favorite Things” list created by Bananza, one of the wonderful individuals I’ve met through running. [↩]
- The back seats in Mini Coopers are notoriously tiny. [↩]
- I must love my new Mini — I’ve actually named it (“Persephone”). [↩]
- Any year where Crohn’s disease remains in remission is a great one. [↩]
- I was unable to run in the 2010 Napa‐to‐Sonoma race, because friend and former coworker Erica was married on that same weekend. [↩]
- The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America: www.ccfa.org [↩]