2015 Recap

With 2015 wrapping up, I realized I hadn’t ever #blogged about my past years. So why not start? Lots happened in these 12 months and I feel like it’d be nice to catalog them all in one place. Maybe I’ll even organize them by major themes. Cool!


Running & Triathlon

My Summer was once again filled with races, new and old. Because running has slowly made me more competitive against my old times, I’ll post those too. 2015 also introduced a new sport altogether, triathlons! So, in order of appearance:

  • 6/7 Buffalo Triathlon (Olympic Distance): 3:36 (lol without the bike time because I forgot my timing chip because transitions are hard and confusing)
  • 6/20 Grandma’s Marathon: 3:29
  • 7/26 Chisago Half Ironman: 7:52
  • 8/14–15 Ragnar Relay: nobody really cares about time, we just party :-P
  • 9/13 Madison Ironman: 14:53 🎉
I wasn’t always smiling but I will shamelessly post the smiling pic.

I made a movie about all this stuff with a newly-acquired GoPro—which I had a blast editing as the Summer went by.

This was my fav video project of the year.

Aside from races, the run group I organize, Running for a Purpose, had a huge year. We got a website in March and then the website was updated in November. The update was built on Kirby, a flat-file CMS that removes a lot of the bloat that a typical WordPress install might have. I’m no PHP pro by any means, but piecing the thing together has been fun. Creating weekly run events on FB was also a great way to keep myself creating something on a regular basis. It’s a blast and we have so much fun. Join us if you’re in MPLS! I made a recap of our 2015 runs so you can see how much fun we had:

As previously mentioned, I did a few triathlons this Summer. One of the sports in a tri is swimming! I didn’t know how to swim very well at all in January, but by September I completed a 2.4mi swim to kickoff the Ironman. I have trouble wrapping my head around it all, but it just goes to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It’s cheesy — it’s even the Ironman® tagline—but it sure is true. Those 5:30am swim lessons (which later turned into 6pm swim lessons), friends to push you forward and mental determination really pay off.

Cycling was also a huge part of 2015. I rode 500mi to Chicago in 2014 and fell in love (like head-over-heels why haven’t I done this all my life love) with road biking. So this was another year filled with a few centuries and exploring the trails around Minneapolis. Part of what made cycling (/swimming/running) so fun this year was the plethora of analytics on Strava by way of Garmin 920XT. I’m such a fan of the tools out there for athletes of all types.


Tech & Job

Over the year, I gained a new level of appreciation for my chosen career path, the people that push it forward, and the tech that surrounds it (and everything it powers.) I love seeing the future develop before my eyes on a near-daily basis and am humbled to be a part of it in whatever way I can.

My job changed a lot in 2015:

  1. Andersen Windows; Production Designer (Jan-Mar)
  2. TrustedChoice.com; UX/UI Designer (Mar-Jun)
  3. Best Buy; UX/UI Designer (Jul-Dec)

I’m so super super thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, and to now be contributing to and learning from a place like Best Buy. I sure didn’t set out to become a contractor when I graduated, but it’s been working out and I’m thankful for that.

On the side, I’ve also really enjoyed developing my video editing/animation work. A friend of mine has a drone business and I edited some footage together for him in January:

…and in February I decided it was worth the time to film myself making an omelette.

I’m pumped about continuing to produce video to support side projects and help others out. It’s super satisfying to export a carefully-crafted thing. So I want to keep doing that.

Side projects haven’t stopped. I’m currently building 2 websites for friends of mine, and will be stepping things up in 2016. There’s so much to learn and I’m excited to develop some new skillz.


Music

There was so much good music that was released in 2015. SO. MUCH. My main sources of new music in 2015 were Soundcloud, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra (mostly Diplo & Friends and Pete Tong.) Embedding links from BBC Radio isn’t possible, but the music they put out is consistently good. Highly recommended if you’re the EDM-type.

Two forever-favs going back-to-back? Sign me up.
Anjunadeep is the gold standard in deep house/minimal techno. Perfect for those chill nights.
Isn’t this amazing? My ears dance.
ZHU had a huge year with a plethora of releases. This music is a breath of fresh air. So much style & emotion.
RL Grime blasting away as always 🚀
Can’t get enough of UZ. Bass Fire.
Grandtheft has been on my list of favs for a couple years. Glad he’s still throwing down beats on D&F.

This list is not all-inclusive. The rest of my likes are on Soundcloud.


Changes, Trips, etc.

SF Roadtrip

At the end of August I road-tripped to SF to help my buddy Chris move out there. It was amazing and really fun. I love that city so much. More pics.

I also made a video of us driving and stuff:

New VW

In March my poor Jetta of 8 years gave out (aka I stopped wanting to pay for its repairs at 184,xxxmi) so I leased a GTI. I feel spoiled every. single. day. It is so fun to drive. VW for life. Yes. Despite their massive, multi-year abuse of the environment and complete disregard of their customers’ trust. This is what love is. Plus I never owned a diesel ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Handing off CreativeMornings/Minneapolis

After starting the chapter of CM/MSP in November 2013, I felt it was time for me to step aside and let the awesome Tess take over as host. I was getting burnt out with everything going on and it wasn’t fair to the other organizers or the chapter as a whole. I’m so happy it turned into a thing and know it will only continue to grow and inspire/connect/influence people in the best ways possible. So many memories…we had some incredible moments and I’ll never forget them.

Mark Wheat & the CM/MSP Crew

Moving to South Minneapolis

In April I moved into a little ~350sq/ft studio in South Minneapolis just 0.5 blocks away from Five Watt. Living alone has been super fun. It was weird at first but it’s fun now. I’ve learned so many things in the kitchen and about myself in general. I’d recommend it to anyone in this stage of life — at least for 1 year. Of course living 1.6mi from Lake Calhoun and the Greenway didn’t suck either.


So much more stuff happened, but I 1) can’t think of it and 2) can’t imagine you’d want to keep reading (and if you’re this far…you’re an amazing person and I love you.)

So for my last paragraph, I’ll make it a bulleted list instead and detail a few things I’m eyeing to do in 2016. I’ll try to be concise, I promise.

  • Learn iOS development (Swift & Xcode) -already started! but will keep going
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon (under 3:05)
  • Develop a better process for starting & maintaining websites. Re-use code, get organized, etc.
  • Version Control. I need to learn Git and deployment, etc.
  • Continue poking around with Parse and make some inter-connected systems between web & mobile
  • Javascript? lol

Ok I’m really done now. Bring on 2016! 🎉