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Happy New Year! A long-overdue update.

Saturday, December 31, 2016 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

December
31
2016

Hello! So… it’s been awhile.

So much has changed over the past few months that I hardly know where to start. I’m a little rusty, so bear with me.

First and foremost I’d like to offer my gratitude to all the people who took the time to contact me privately, and also those who commented on the last blog I posted to JSF, which was authored all the way back in June. I’ve read all those comments more than once, and they’ve meant more to me than I can adequately convey. Thank you all so very much.

Before I get into the personal stuff, I’d like to provide a fitness update.

I finally ended my daily riding streak at Day 1,049. My final ride in the streak was November 13, 2016, and I did that ride just a few hours before boarding a plane to San Francisco (more on that below). After nearly three years of daily rides it sure felt strange not riding my bike, but I am 100% okay with my choice.

Here are the final stats.

Daily Riding Streak: December 31, 2013 – November 13, 2016
Total Number of Consecutive Daily Rides: 1,049

Total Distance: 33,080.49 miles
Total Elevation: 1,049,903 feet

Average Distance per Day: 31.535 miles
Average Elevation per Day: 1,000.860 feet

Shortest Ride: 10.1 miles
Longest Ride: 167.07 miles

Number of 100+ Mile Rides: 24
Number of 100+ Kilometer Rides: 97

Fastest 100 Mile Ride: 3:58:13 (25.17 MPH average)
Fastest 40k ITT: 58:43 (25.4 MPH average)

Best 1-Hour Power Output (actual): 301 watts
Highest FTP (20 minute test): 309 watts

Number of Flat Tires: 38

Thanks to everyone who encouraged and supported me along the way. It was an incredible adventure, and one hell of a test of my resolve.

Since my streak ended I’ve not ridden all that much. There are external reasons for this (which I will detail a little further down), but to be honest I’m also enjoying the break from road cycling.

As most of you know I was hit by a truck last year. I’ve also gone down hard a few times over the years, and I’ve had dozens of very close calls with distracted drivers, bad drivers, and general cyclist-hating motorists. It’s a small miracle that I’ve somehow managed to escape serious injury. Unfortunately, some of my friends haven’t been so lucky.

While I truly love road cycling, I’ve noticed a definite increase in close calls during the past year or so. A couple of incidents this past October and November really shook me up. I feel pretty lucky to be alive, and that sucks when you’re talking about a sport that should be relatively safe.

I have no plans to stop riding on skinny tires entirely, but in 2017 I’d like to sort of return to my cycling roots and get back in the dirt. šŸ™‚ I’ve missed mountain biking quite a lot.

Once I became a hardcore roadie, I stopped lifting weights with any sort of regularity. I’d generally lift no more than once per week, and would often go much longer without a single weight training session. I really miss weight training. In 2017 I’m going to get back to at least 2-3 weekly sessions in the weight room.

On that note, the long-awaited X9 Hybrid Gym has finally reached the production stage! I will be receiving my X9 sometime within the next couple of months, and will eventually be posting a detailed review.

Believe it or not, my weight has remained fairly stable since my last blog entry back in June (with a little upwards blip last week, heh). I’m still hovering between 180-185 pounds, which is 15-20 pounds over my racing weight. I’m planning to do a full “all or nothing” cut (100% strict dieting, no alcohol, no missed workouts, no cheat meals) starting January 9th. I’ll diet down until I reach 165 pounds, which will put me in the mid single-digit body fat range.

I hope the X9 will arrive sometime before my cut ends (it should), because I’m planning to do a very clean bulk! I want to put on some of the “show” muscle I lost over the past few years, so that should be interesting. I’m not talking about getting too big again, but I would not mind slowly putting on 5-6 pounds of lean mass over the next year or so.

Getting onto the personal stuff now…

After 17 years of working for the same company, I was obviously very out of practice when it came to playing the job hunt game. Aside from my inexperience in the modern job market, the competition out there is ridiculously fierce. I would often find myself up against literally thousands of candidates–daunting odds, to be sure.

In mid-October–just two days after my Birthday–I was offered a position with an amazing and well-known San Francisco-based technology company. The offer came after six weeks of extensive written evaluations, numerous video interviews, and a couple of paired technical skills evaluations. Over the course of the interview process, I had a chance to get to know many of the people with whom I’d be working. I genuinely liked everyone I interacted with, and the company culture and vision were extremely impressive to me (and, I felt, a great fit). By the time I was done with all the interviews I really wanted to work there.

I was, therefore, surprised, humbled and absolutely elated when I received a phone call with some very good news from a member of the Tallent Aquisition Team. I accepted the offer on the spot.

As I mentioned above, I flew to San Francisco for onboarding in mid-November. I spent an incredible week at HQ meeting people from pretty much every department, getting hooked up with some of the gear I’d need to do my job, learning some of the basics and also working directly with my boss and another member of my team. Some of the other people who were also onboarding my week came from all over the world–places like Ireland and Japan! This trip was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life, and I’ll never forget it.

By the way, I’m not moving–this is a remote gig.

So I’ve been at the job for about six weeks, and my enthusiasm for the company and what I do has only grown during that time. I’m surrounded by some of the smartest, friendliest and most passionate people I’ve ever met. I’ve never felt more professionally inspired in all my life, not even close. I’ve also never been more challenged. I have a lot to learn, to put it mildly. It’s a little overwhelming, but in a good way.

I’d call this a “dream job”, but that wouldn’t be accurate: I wouldn’t have even dared to dream for a position this incredible. The people I work with, the work that I do, the problems I get to help solve, the company culture, the compensation, and the benefits are so amazing that sometimes it still doesn’t feel real. Every day when I wake up I truly can’t wait to get started. If I were to hit the lottery tomorrow, I still would not quit this job.

Early on Lisa and I had a long talk about the challenges that I’m facing as a new hire with so much to learn. We decided that Lisa should quit her management job and take care of things here at home so I can focus 100% of my efforts on kicking ass at my new position. After 26 years with the same company, Lisa’s last day was yesterday! Woohoo!

So Lisa’s new “job” will be handling pretty much all the cooking and cleaning, and helping to minimize my interruptions (letting the dogs out–stuff like that). She’s elated with her new position as a stay at home dog mom. šŸ™‚

Speaking of the dogs, Sonny and Buckley are both doing awesome!

I truly miss the JSF community and interactions, but I’m not in a place where I can return to this blog with any sort of regularity. That said, I’ll endeavor to not let another seven months go by before I write again.

I hope all of you are doing well. Feel free to comment and update us with your current fitness goals, how things are going, or just say hello!

My sincere wishes for an amazing 2017. Happy New Year!

John Stone Fitness Comments

57 Responses to “Happy New Year! A long-overdue update.”
  1. Now THAT was an update!

    So glad to hear you’ve landed in such a great spot professionally, John! That’s such a stressful process, and to end up being able to work remotely for a terrific company doing challenging and interesting work for people you like — well, as you said, that’s pretty much “dreamy” right there. LOL.

    Glad you’re back! Happy New Year to all four of you!

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    • Thanks, volleyball! Yes, it’s been a tough year, and I don’t think I would have made it through without the support of my family and good friends (of which I include many of the JSF members I’ve come to know since 2003).

      I do enjoy working remotely, but I really miss the time I spent at HQ, which was amazing beyond words. If I lived in SF (and I’m not ruling out a move at some point down the road), I’d rather report there than work from home. It’s that awesome.

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  2. John, you know we’ve been rooting for you all along… and I’m personally very happy for you and all the positive things that have happened for you and your family in the past few months. I still take inspiration from you every day, even if you’re not as active here as you once were, and I am thankful for the real-world friendships that I have made from my activities with JSF. I’ll be down your way in late April, and sincerely hope that we can have a moment to raise a glass to all the good things.

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    • Thanks so much, Phil. You’re one of the most dedicated JSF supporters out there, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for the community over the years. It’s been too long since we’ve hung out (last time was the JSF cruise to the Bahamas, I believe?) I’d be honored to meet up with you in April, so please keep me posted. Happy New Year!

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  3. WOW! Welcome back, John! It’s been a long while. Your update was amazing. Very happy for your new line of work and your renewed focus on weights and mountain biking. (As a fellow road cyclist, I found the mentions of near-accidents a little unnerving.) I’m looking forward to hearing about the cut and the weight routine, and the job, if you have time. Good luck with everything in 2017 and Happy New Year!
    By the way, will you be posting regularly in 2017 and maintaining the site?

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  4. Thanks so much for the update, John! I was sad you disconnected on Facebook but understood the reasons we are no longer friends on here. All the best to you and Lisa! I root for you always as you have always rooted for all of us!

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    • Hey Sam, my pleasure. Iā€™m sorry it took so long to get something posted. Also, I hope you understand that my Facebook culling was not in any way personal, I simply had to reclaim my personal Facebook page and separate my IRL friends and family from my JSF friends and members. Happy New Year to you!

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  5. I’ve been checking in like once a week since you stopped updating, and this absolutely blew me away. Now I’m going to have to keep F5’ing throughout 2017. šŸ˜€

    As a follower since 2004 or so, I’m so glad to see you in such a good spot. You’ve been living your life like a real-life Rocky montage and you just turned it up to IV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqwuYX3fZZc). All the best to you and Lisa!

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    • Thanks so much, and I’m truly sorry I’ve gone so long without a post here. It’s been a difficult year, and I’ve been very occupied with other matters. I hope I’m able to post with a little more frequency in 2017, but I can’t make any promises along those lines right now.

      Happy New Year!

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  6. Fantastic update and a great way to finish off 2016 going into 2017! Congratulations again on the new job. Really impressive for you to be selected out of so many candidates. Not easy to do but obvious why they picked you! Looking forward to your bulk and X9 review. It’s going to be a great new year!

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    • Thanks, and congratulations to you, too, Brian! I know you’ve put everything you’ve had into the X9, and it’s been a long and difficult journey. I trust that your experience from the Fitcore/Titan days and even your experience as a commercial pilot had a major impact on what I think is going to be a market-changing product. Happy New Year!

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  7. Hey Sam, my pleasure. I’m sorry it took so long to get something posted. Also, I hope you understand that my Facebook culling was not in any way personal, I simply had to reclaim my personal Facebook page and separate my IRL friends and family from my JSF friends and members. Happy New Year to you!

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  8. He John congrats on the new gig. And I hope to see you on xbox live sometime. Usually you can find me ther or on the JSF forums. And if you ever get down to West Palm pls look me up.

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  9. Great news John, glad to hear everything is going well. Fitness wise from my side 2016 was a good year – lost 37lbs and almost back to my ideal weight, it’s been a good 12 year bulk since I first stumbled onto your site in 2004! Onwards and upwards!

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  10. Happy New Year.

    Glad things are going well for you. Congratulations on the new job. Sorry to read that your riding streak ended but glad it was somewhat by choice and not an injury.

    I will be continuing to travel to San Francisco once or twice a month through May (at least). If you have to go out there in the next few months and you have free time check to see if I’m out there. Maybe I can get you hooked on barefoot running or we could meet for a beer.

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  11. Thank you so much for the update! I have been checking almost every day wondering what was new. I think I may be addicted to your daily blog and a little sad/mad that it had to end. Can’t wait to hear how the mountain biking goes after being away from it for so long. Congrats.

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  12. Happy New Year and happy new job! This is a great update! Glad you found something that was such a good fit and something you wanted so much. You’re determination has always been an inspiration, so much more so than just in the realm of fitness. This is awesome news!

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  13. Forgot to respond on New Years Eve, but awesome to hear from Mr. Stone. Glad to hear that 2016 brought great news in the second half.

    I will carefully follow the report on the X9. Given the lengthy design cycle, I decided to hold off on any opinions until I heard John’s review. It looks like an amazing machine, but looks ain’t everything. (I tell my wife this all the time.)

    Here’s my unsolicited advice on riding: Cyclocross bike. If I could only have one, this would be it. I can do 80% of everything I do offroad and 100% of everything I ride on-road. I recommend one with rim brakes, so I can switch over road wheels. A bit heavier than my actual road bike, but invaluable. Example: Travel with one bike and an extra set of wheels, plus big fun.

    Cyclocross races also rock. Great people + cow bells.

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    • TBH, I don’t blame you one bit for holding off on the X9 for now. It’s been a long wait, and there are still many unknowns. That said, I’m really excited because I’ve followed the development so closely. There’s a lot of passion in this machine. No matter what, I promise to provide a fully factual review–good or bad.

      I may have to pick up a CX bike. Great people + cowbells–definitely. You even forgot beer and other owesome hand-ups. šŸ˜‰

      Happy New Year!

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  14. AMAZING, after following your daily blogs for more than 8 years i sure missed hearing from you this past 6 months, i kept coming back every other week to see if there was an update, BUT always having in mind how thankful i was for all your effort in keeping this site alive over the years, sharing the complete fitness experience with us so we could learn in your shoes. And now this, it sure feels like an overdue reward. We are all rooting for you john. Best Regards

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  15. Hey John!

    I read this update a few days ago, but I was down with the stomach bug and didn’t reply. I’m so glad to hear you came out of 2016 on the upswing. I thought the exact same thing quaker did when I read San Francisco based tech company. And now I see a Macbook in that pic. Are these headquarters in Cupertino by any chance?? Too funny.

    Well at any rate, like everyone else selfishly I hope you get back to blogging regularly. With a new job and Lisa at home and a focus switch back to MTBing I think they’d be some good reads. Only when/if you’re ready.

    Now the next pic I need to see an iPhone…

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    • Hey Dan, sorry to hear about the stomach thing–sure hope you’re feeling better now. It’s definitely going around (I’ve been lucky so far, Lisa… no so much).

      I must admit, I’m absolutely loving my Macbook Pro! The build quality is truly impressive (my Windows laptop feels cheap and plastic-y by comparison), and of course I’m right at home with the Bash shell. It’s stable, fast and looks great. Overall, an amazing machine.

      I can’t say I won’t at least look at the iPhone when I upgrade in a few months, but I’m a huge Android fan, so coming over to Apple is going to be a very tough sell in that department.

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  16. John!!!!
    Glad to hear that you’re through 2016 with head held high and loved ones around you.
    Fingers crossed I’ll be posting crazy rides on Strava again soon and we can enjoy some banter….
    Take care mate
    GST

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