2013 AAR

Time to look back on this year, perform an after action review, and see where to go from here. This blog is nearly a year old. 

2013 was an amazing year. 14 obstacle races, one Goruck Challenge, one Light, two trail races, two road races, five Budo seminars, one Japan trip, and one GR Capstone course. A lot to experience and a lot to learn.

I have always despised New Year’s resolutions. If you want to change something, do it now. Why wait as the problem gets worse to start changing it on some special day on the calendar?

But, it is a convenient date to take stock and make plans. My Sensei asked us for a dojo AAR of three items to maintain and three items to improve. I can think of no better system for this, so I’m using this format.

For 2014-


1) Keep setting difficult goals and knocking them out. I realized some time ago that my 18-year-old self would have to pick his jaw up off the floor if he saw what I am doing now.

2) Keep encouraging others. Both on the course and helping the n00bs get themselves sorted out to make it to the course.

3) Keep attending at least one event a year that is about more than toughness or Budo. 2013 was Navigator. Planning Ascent for 2014.



1) Limit long trips to about one a month, and seek out more local events. The time and expense of back-to-back cross-country trips takes a toll.

2) Get my ass out of bed on time and get my morning PT back on track. Evening workouts have been kicking ass, but AM has been more miss than hit.

3) Pay more attention to nutrition. It has more of an impact than I had been willing to admit.


In the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 was the year of the snake, a symbol of new beginnings, shedding the old skin so that the new can grow. I shed my preconceived limits and grew considerably this year.

When I first saw that the coming year is the year of the horse, I chuckled a bit, since my plans for 2014 involve ultramarathons, distances that were originally meant for equestrian races. Then I read more on it and found this:

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves.

Exactly what I had planned for the year to come.

To all of my readers, happy new year from the Monk of the Mud.

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