This is the first time I’ve ever written something like this…so I’ll start as simply as I can: I made enormous personal and professional strides in 2015, and I am so lucky and thankful to continue leading such a fun, crazy, and experience-rich life. I have a loving family, amazing (and hilarious) friends, and a seemingly endless supply of challenges and adventures around me. I’m excited for the road ahead…but it’s worth taking a moment to jot down the goodies from 2015. Here we go…
To start, I’ve condensed much of this down to a quick TL;DR / CliffsNotes / Checklist version of 2015 (everyone likes lists):
Major Life Stuff
- I said one last goodbye to my dad, Robert Stanley Henderson (aka Stan the Man). I can’t say enough about how much I loved and miss him — he was an exceptional human being and the best father I could’ve asked for.
- I turned 30 . We celebrated with a Denver brewery tour, bacon maple cupcakes, and a weekend skiing in the mountains (thanks, Al!).
- I started a new business.
- I launched this site and began contributing to it (somewhat) regularly.
- I lost a great friend and mentor to cancer.
- I created IFLGolf: just a splash page for now…but the social testbed looks promising (1000+ Instagram followers since October). It’s a start.
- I celebrated 1 year in my new house (with lots of minor improvements…and a small assortment of major ones).
New Activities & Hobbies
- Snowmobiling: Alison and I took a test drive near Leadville, CO in January — fully embracing our inner redneck.
- Rock climbing: Al and I decided to take an intro class in November. It’s super fun and approachable (and makes for a great alternative to the gym). We’re totally addicted and go ~1-2 times a month.
- Fly Fishing: My awesome 6’5” cousin Pat McNally treated us to a guided day on the Dolores River, just outside of Telluride. I had a nice helping of beginner’s luck, catching the ‘Grand Slam’ (all 5 types of trout in the area) and soaked up every second of it. We subsequently acquired a bunch of gear and took our own trips out on the Poudre Canyon just outside of Fort Collins. I think it’s safe to say we’re fully hooked (and still have an endless amount to learn).
- Float Tank (aka ‘sensory deprivation’ chamber): I’ve only done this once so far…but it’s a real trip. It’s basically like meditation x1000. I definitely plan to make it a somewhat-recurring thing. Thanks, Joe Rogan!
- River Kayaking: This was a bit of a failed experiment (perhaps because it was an indoor class) but still quirky and fun and worth the trips.
Each of these places deserves a full-length write up. I loved them all
- Nicaragua (January): I mentioned earlier that I have amazing friends… In December of 2014, I learned that many of them pooled together some cash to join a few other friends on this trip. It wasn’t on my radar at all, but I was so happy to join the adventure (thank you so much Alison, Peter, Ginevra, Greg, Emma, Thomas, Alex, Tom, Courtney, Mary, Hank, Brian). I met Peter, Ginevra, Hank and Brian just a few days before NYE and stepped right into the mix: beaches, surfing, rum drinks, skinny dipping, deep sea fishing (extreme sea sickness), salsa dancing, questionable after-dark car rides, cigars, make your own sushi, and much more.
- Sayulita, Mexico (June): Ginevra and Peter invited ~20 of their closest friends (from all parts of the U.S.) to join for their epic 30th birthday celebration. Sayulita is a beautiful town just north of Puerta Vallarta. We beached, ate great food, danced, skinny dipped, beer ponged, and went on the most epic boat tour / ‘booze cruise’ of all time (again, mild sea sickness for me…despite my efforts to load up on dramamine).
- Telluride, CO (July): This must be the most picturesque place in Colorado. It is unbelievably beautiful, and I now completely understand all of the hype surrounding it. Alison and I drove the ~8 hours to join many folks on the Tewell side of the family—including my mom; her sister, Cindy; her husband, Norm; my cousin Pat McNally; his great wife, Amber; and their little trouble maker, Finn. We took a number of great hikes (Bear Creek Trail FTW!), found a few great local saloons, and went fly fishing on the Dolores River. I definitely hope to get back there soon…
View of town from the top of the Gondola
- Portland, ME (September): I +1’d with Al to a wedding just north of Boston, MA between her close friends from childhood (Anne) and from college (Scott) whom she introduced years ago. She gave a killer speech and the wedding was a huge success. I met many of her friends from Bates College (awesome crew) and was able to spend some time celebrating with Al’s fam as well. Afterward we decided to build in a couple exra days in Portland (which had been on my list for quite some time). It did not disappoint. Great vibe, amazing views, delicious food and beer…just an all-around awesome town. I should also mention that I tasted the best bite of food I’ve ever had in my life: the brown butter lobster roll at Eventide downtown.
The Portland Headlight
- 40 rounds of golf — Handicap range:2.3 - 2.9. Lowest score: 70. Aces: still 0
- 12 days of skiing/snowboarding in the 2014-2015 season (not nearly enough)
- 27 flights (2 international trips)
- 230 commits on GitHub
- 2,000,000+ lifetime steps on FitBit
- My fastest 10k run is now at a 7:56 pace & fastest 5k is a 7:30 pace
- 2 weddings attended (lowest in years!)
I enjoy discovering ALL types of art. Here are some that I loved and found myself routinely recommending to others:
- Shows: Hannibal, GOT, Mr. Robot, Last Week Tonight, 60 Minutes (always)
- Fiction: The Martian, Ready Player One, WOOL Series, A Monster Calls
- Non-fiction: The Power of Now, The Mom Test, Hard Thing About Hard Things
- Films: Force Awakens, Inside Out, Big Short, Ex Machina, Mad Max (still lots to see)
- Music: Taylor Swift (not at all ashamed), Big Grams, WSP, Tame Impala, Kaskade, Logic. I also got into much more country & jazz (especially when fishing and camping).
- Art: In November my mom and I visited the Whitney in New York and loved it — highlights include Frank Stella and Archibald Motley. We also swung by the MoMA where I finally caught a glimpse of Starry Night and saw some amazing sculpture work from Picasso. Al’s parents also invited me to see the Joan Miró Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum earlier in the year.
- My mom and I finally stepped into the 9/11 Memorial Museum during our November trip to NYC. I always overlooked it in the past, usually just swinging by the fountains while transitioning from one part of the city to another. I’m so glad we went. It blew us away…and we easily spent 4 hours exploring the museum in its entirety. It’s so powerful and well done, you just have to experience it for yourself.
- I attended (survived) my fourth trip to Lollapalooza in Chicago. Highlights included Kaskade, Paul McCartney, Tame Impala, and Kid Cudi (and admittedly I enjoyed catching a quick bit of Metallica).
- I bought ski gear and officially converted from snowboarding (although on a deep powder day I’ll likely revert back ).
- I began actively networking with various professional groups and individuals (tech/biz/creative): Colorado Product, New Tech Meetup, and various talented folks at a handful of local startups.
- I hiked Eldorado Canyon, finally. We saw people doing insane, gnarly climbs and subsequently took our climbing class just a few weeks later (although I have no intention of actually going up a cliff).
- I began meditating with some frequency (thanks Headspace).
- I caught a game at Fenway with Alison & her parents (and special guest Courtney Brass).
Goals for 2016
- Travel: Visit Iceland - we have a lot of research to do on this yet…but it’s happening and we can’t wait.
- Business: Launch and monetize IFLGolf as an online publication - 20,000 monthly visits by EOY.
- Golf: Break 70 more than once .
- Art: Create 2 woodworking art pieces (the CO flag and a ski resort…possibly Snowbird).
- Home: Install new windows and remodel/renovate one of my bathrooms.
- General: Continue to be thankful for everything in life and try my best to maintain and build meaningful relationships.
Whew! It’s been a fun ride so far and I’m excited for the road ahead