In the Chinese zodiac, each year has a certain characteristic, borrowed from one of their basic signs. 2016 was “the year of the monkey”.
And boy, what a monkey it was…
I’m not gonna insist on the zodiac part, I just opened with it because – serendipitously or not – 2016 really felt like a monkey year for me. Most of the time irrational, filled with confusion and false flags, with elusive endings and never ending beginnings.
Many times I felt like I was the monkey, in a giant zoo, trying to find my way out. And sometimes I felt like what happened to me was the monkey itself. Like the Universe was mocking me in ways I just couldn’t cope with.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), the only area that was strengthened in my life during 2016 was about relationships. A lot of my personal relationships, including the relationship with my partner, Raluca, solidified, grew, gathered structure or just started to be more grounded. Complementarily, a lot of relationships solved themselves by disappearing from my life completely. Some of them gently, some of them in a disrupting, and yet elusive and hard to control, way. Whatever the way, I knew that those relationships weren’t ok for me anymore, so it wasn’t felt like a loss, but more like an epiphany.
Other than that, everything was in complete chaos. Please bear in mind that chaos doesn’t necessarily mean destruction or anger, it means just… you know… chaos. Uncontrollable, unpredictable, hard to put your finger on it.
On the business side, what I thought it would have been the end of one of my business, Connect Hub, turned out to be just a – gosh – turning point. Still don’t know how am I going to steer this ship in the storm that’s still unfolding, but it seems that at least I still have a ship.
Still on the business side, 2016 was the year of cryptomoney. I got involved in a plethora of projects involving digital currencies. I started a weekly event about blockchain technologies. I started an experiment called Hubcoin on a real blockchain and I become a regular contributor and a witness in Steemit (a social media platform built on top of a blockchain and around a cryptocurrency called Steem). That’s the main cause of my lack of activity here, on DragosRoua.com
On the running side, I probably entered more races than in any year before. 2016 was the year in which I ran my first 24 hours race, my first 48 hours race, the year in which I experiences my first DNF (did not finish) and also the year in which I made the most profound change in training, starting the MAF method – Maximum Aerobic Formula, basically meaning I’m running slow, in order to become fast. See? Another monkey-like, counterintuitive approach.
Still on the running side, I spent like 3 quarters of the year thinking I’m a lousy ultra-runner (because of a catastrophic 48 hours race and because of the DNF at Ultrabalaton) only to realize in October that I was actually, in my country, in the first place at my age category for many distances. Still wrapping my head around this one, to be honest. It’s strange to end the year knowing that you were in the first place for something during that year.
The overall feeling of 2016 is that I outgrew many areas in my life. There was a lot of unnecessary stuff that I still carried with me and, in the end, it dragged me down.
The funny part is that I don’t know yet which parts are still necessary and which parts have to go away. All I can do is stay calm, witness what’s staying and take care of that and let whatever is parting to just go away.
I wish you all a tremendous 2017!
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.