It’s the final countdown ?

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve. The end to one of the wildest years we’ve had in a long time. So I thought I’d do my own little wrap up here of some top 2020 moments, along with a couple thoughts about 2021.

The 500,000ft challenge:

Well, seems easiest to start here. At the beginning of the year Paul and I started a challenge to do 500,000ft of human powered elevation gain before today. More HERE. At the time, it felt quite ambitious – especially given that I was planning 5-6 weeks of travel during the year. However, given that by March travel plans were canceled and I spent loads of my free time biking up and down to train for my Everesting challenge, this goal quickly started to feel at least a wee bit more attainable. And by August 31 (in the middle of said Everesting) I did it! A few weeks later I crossed the goal on just the bike alone (we had accumulated maybe 50-60K of gain hiking at the very beginning of the year, before the trails got too crowded). In total, if you count some treadmill work and “elevation gain” on Zwift I tallied up 703,467 ft total. If you subtract the indoor work, it’s somewhere closer to 630,000ft. Either way, I feel real good about it.


Unsurprisingly, completing my Everest attempt was one of the things I’m most proud of in 2020. I worked super hard over several months of training to attempt it. Plus, I got lucky with weather and illness + injury (or lack there of), and had a stellar support crew (Paul, in person, and friends/family with virtual cheering). It was a huge highlight.


With more time at home, I got to do some more reading. Here’s a view of the 30 or so books I read this year (roughly in order of most recently read):

A fair bit of fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, and historical fiction (no surprises there). You can see it all in better detail on GoodReads.

My job!

My company, Switchboard, merged with our sister company Hearken in June 2020. It was probably the “nicest” merger you could imagine, and it was still very bumpy. I have no desire to go through a merger again (at least for a long while). My role adjusted a bit. My title is still “Chief of Staff”, but I now I sit on Hearken’s Leadership Team (which was a surprise to me when I found out that’s where my position landed at the start of the year). You could also title my role “People Ops” — I wear a lot of hats but they pretty much all have to do with keeping the humans at our company happy, healthy, paid, and cared for. It’s a good job, and I really REALLY appreciate that’s fully remote with flexible hours. That’s been huge.

The world

I have more thoughts about the state of the world than I want to take the time to write here. Sure, Trump was a racist, misogynistic asshole, but he didn’t come to power and take actions in a vacuum. The number of white women who voted for Trump was appalling. The work this country (generally white people, but also I, as an individual) have to do around racism is enormous. The environment is crumbling. Capitalism continues to rise (and yes, I bought a few things off Amazon this year ?). I could go on. That being said, I personally feel like I’ve learned a lot this year and have figured out how I can take more impactful action. Though, I’ll note, whenever I think I’ve learned a lot, I’m reminded of when I used guide for the Portland State Outdoor Program. We’d take folks on white water rafting trips who’d never been in white water before. We’d do a pre-survey where they would share their knowledge of white water rafting was “none”. Then, after one half day trip, they’d fill out a post survey where they’d share their knowledge was “intermediate” (essentially a 2.5 of out 5). Which to me really meant they just had no idea how much they didn’t know. Still. Maybe that’s a good transition to:


Like it or not, 2021 is almost here. I said to Paul last night, I’m not sure I’ve ever not stayed up until midnight in my adult life. I know it’s all contrived, but there’s still something about the calendar year turning. We’ll see what happens tonight.

I used to love writing NYE resolutions, but I don’t really do that anymore. The past two years Paul and I have started the year with a pretty audacious, stretchy, “can we complete this???” type of goal (climbing 500,000ft this year, the Picnic last year). But this year nothing has immediately come to mind for next year. I’m interested in riding the Queen’s Stage Race at Rebecca’s Private Idaho. But I’m not sure that’s a big stretchy goal. Maybe WINNING it would be a big goal? But even then, there’s a teeny, tiny problem. I don’t actually own a gravel bike, and it’s a gravel bike race ? ?‍♀️ ? And yes, I really cannot believe I’m typing this, but yes, I am thinking about getting a gravel bike. I have become THAT person who owns multiple bikes. I blame Boulder. I came here with just one bike…

So, no big adventure goal as of yet. I’ve never really been one to set intentions or “themes”. Today I might spend a little time working on this, but then again I might just read and drink some apple cider with scotch. I’m continuing with my Basecamp training through end of March, so my cycling should stay fresh while I think about adventures.

On a larger scale, I don’t like “every day” goals (because you miss a day and the whole thing is ruined) so I’m not overly concerned I don’t yet have something in mind. Still, I do like going into the year with something to help keep me motivated. I find it’s quite helpful. So hopefully that thing/experience/challenge will appear sometime in the next couple weeks.

Until then, cheers to the new year and whatever it may bring ? ??

Author: cartwheelsandcake

Cyclist, climber, hiker, trail runner, back country skier, dabbling mountaineer Lover of cake, chocolate, brownies, and sweets. Excellent napper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *