2016 – My year of Stronger, Faster, Healthier, Better

New Year. New Shoes
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I’ve been thinking a lot about 2016 and what I want to accomplish. I usually don’t set New Years resolutions or goals, so this year I’m trying something different. This year will be my “Stronger, Faster, Healthier” year.
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Summer of Change

Shoes
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Well, it’s summer, so I’ve decided to change some things. First, I restarted running again. I was running about 3 times a week before I joined Crossfit. My run pace is still more of a fast jog pace than actually running. I’d love to get my average 3 mile pace under/around 8 minutes/mile – which isn’t very fast but fast enough for me. Right now, my best is an abysmal 9:22 min/mile for a 3 mile course.

ShoesNext, as mentioned above, I joined Crossfit. I’m doing this 3 or 4 days a week and running on the alternate days about 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a lot of weight lifting, which I’ve always avoided. I realized that I’ve lost most of the upper body strength which I used to have, so doing pull ups, which used to be very easy, is now more of a challenge than I expected. I’m enjoying the variety of exercises and movements and it makes working out non-boring which is a good thing – because I get bored of working out really fast.

I’ve purchased a camera. It’s not too fancy of a camera, but it’s fun. It’s an introductory level DSLR and the kit came with a few lens adapters and an additional lens. It’s been pretty fun to just walk around the yard and take photographs. I’ve captured a lot of local insects, wildlife, and birds and I’ve attempted to identify each of the species. You can check out the photos in my Instagram account.

Acoustic GuitarLastly, I also purchased an acoustic guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn, so I’m also in the process of scheduling some lessons. I’m not expecting much, but if I can learn how to play a few songs, then it’ll be fun to practice during the winter.

Homebrew Batches 28-39 & Competitions

Here’s an update on my brews since late last year. I was able to submit many of them to a few different homebrew competitions. While, I didn’t score as well as I hoped, I did learn a lot and will continue to improve (I hope). The competitions entered were: Green Mountain Mashers Conehead Clone Challenge, Green Mountain Masters Gose Style Challenge, American Homebrewers Association (Regional) National Homebrew Competition, and Green Mountain Mashers Greg Noonan Memorial Homebrew Contest.

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Homebrew Batches 25-36

I’ve been slacking off way too much. One of my new 2015 goals is to post at least once a month to my personal blog. I’ve spent most of my free time researching and writing about Vermont beer instead of personal entries. Here’s an update at what I’ve been brewing since my last entry. As you can read, if you’ve read any of my homebrew entries, it’s mostly about how I screwed up my homebrews. I learned that I need to use more restraint with ingredients (such as spices), which is hard for me to do, especially when brewing Belgian styles.

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Homebrewing, Small Batch Numbers 22, 23, 24

I’ve been seriously slacking off on my personal blog posts and I’m hoping to get back into posting a few entries a month. Here’s an update on my recent homebrew batches. I’ve purchased a 3 gallon glass carboy, so I’ve increased my batch size from 1 gallon to about 2 to 2.5. My current kettles max out around 3 gallons, so I’m limited to the batch size based on the amount of grains used in my mash. I’m looking to upgrade my mash and boil kettles later this year (and possibly the rest of my tools), so I can more easily handle a full 3 gallon batch. Hopefully, I’ll buy some small kegs and start kegging my beer, too.
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