So on Christmas Day 2014, I woke up with horrendous food poisoning and then jumped off a series of cliffs. True story. I still don’t know what bad thing I ate, but I’d already booked a boat to try out deep-water soloing (where you boulder up rock walls above water, so that you don’t need ropes to save you from falling off) and knew I wasn’t going to get another chance at it – so when I woke up projectile vomiting chunks of pineapple, there still wasn’t much question of me not going. I’m still glad I went, even if clambering up and then leaping off a 12-metre rock outcrop into the sea probably didn’t do much for my recovery.
If there’s a point to this story, it’s probably that I believe in taking opportunities when they come up, which is another reason that I’ve had an excellent year. Apart from buying a house and getting married (more on this in a second), highlights included:
- Having an hour-long chat with the magnificent Andrew WK, who partly inspired this site and who continues to party, think, and live harder than most people realise is possible, all while remaining a gracious and lovely guy. You can read the whole thing here and here, and you probably should.
- Taking the Gym Jones Level 2 seminar in London. I’ve been in on-off contact with the GJ team since 2011, and they remain an inspiration…and a reminder that, however hard you think you’re working, it’s probably possible to work a hell of a lot harder. Two days of workout-based savagery in the company of men (and women) who are much fitter and stronger than me drove the point home, and gave me a lot to think about (and work on) for 2015.
- Filling in my live-American-sports bingo card and seeing Def Leppard play live on the same day, at the now-annual UK NFL game. I think I understand the appeal of American football about twice as well now, which still isn’t very well.
- Creating and launching a magazine of my very own (well, sort of). EatFit, as it’s called, is about killing the idea that eating healthily means endless tupperware full of chicken and broccoli, and I sourced, edited, art-conceptualised and generally spent hours worrying about every single page. I think it does something that no other productions out there are doing, and I’m very, very proud of it.
- Flying in a tiny stunt-plane piloted by one of the brave men of the Red Bull Air Race, who corkscrewed and death-looped us around at what he said was about 7G. I’m pleased to report that I was not sick on this occasion.
- Watching my new brother-in-law finish the Houston Ironman in 13:06, despite the raging temperatures in Texas at that time of year. For a few minutes, I thought that I might actually like to try an Ironman myself, then sanity returned.
And then, of course, there was the wedding. Some people will tell you that buying a house and getting married are the two most stressful things you’ll ever do, and so obviously my wife and I decided to get them both done in the same six months…and, somehow, it worked out brilliantly. I strongly recommend getting married if you can manage it: apart from the fact that I’m now married to a lovely, smart, kind woman who makes me a better person than I am without her, it’s also a great excuse to have a big party and get all your friends and family together. I did a speech: it went really well. We also did a big dance number: more on that soon.
So: a brilliant year, all in all. But the next one will be better. LIVE HARD!