- John Stone Fitness - http://www.johnstonefitness.com -

Happy New Year! A long-overdue update.

Happy New Year!

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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!