2014 Personal Reflections: The Old Man Isn’t Dead Yet!

Sixteen days into 2014 I turned forty and was fortunate enough to celebrate my birthday with a week of sports with my family on the Spanish island of Lanzarote. Although I my age qualified me to participate in a Badminton tournament for seniors, I chose to focus on family time and swin-bike-run training. As part of turning forty I had made an agreement with my wife to race Challenge Roth (Ironman distance triathlon) and I wanted to prove the old man still had some gas left in the tank.

During my preparations for Roth we lost an older family member to cancer. His final wish was that we donated money to the Danish child cancer foundation instead of buying flowers for the funeral. Since he was also very interested in sports, I thought using my race in Roth to collect money for the organization would be a perfect way to remember him. With the help of colleagues, family and friends, I was lucky enough to raise DKK 63,000 (approx. $10,000/€8,500). I was also contacted by a number of families with kids with cancer and wore eight of the kid’s names on my top on race day. It was a very humbling and satisfying experience and thinking of their struggles helped me through a very tough day.

To round of my sporting achievements, I had a fantastic 2014 and I proved to myself that the old man isn’t dead yet. During the year I achieved half marathon, half Ironman and Ironman PB times, completed my first trail mountain marathon and raced two Ironman within five weeks. All in all much more than I could have hoped for.

From a work perspective things also took an unexpected turn during 2014. Heading into the year I had no intention of leaving goAgile. Unfortunately our disagreements on strategy and how to run the company grew quickly during the first half of the year and together with two colleagues we decided to go out separate way and start Ugilic during the summer. In august we announced our decision and on the spot two of our other colleagues joined us. Breaking up is never easy, but now four months later looking back, I think it’s safe to say it was the right decision. Everyone at Ugilic is stepping up and taking on the responsibility of building the best home for the best consultants and I truly believe the way we are running Ugilic is sustainable and gives us optimal conditions for helping our clients. You can read more about why we started Ugilic in my post Building the ultimate home for Agile clients and consultants.

Looking ahead at 2015 I still want to take on some crazy endurance sport challenges, but I also want to spend less time on sports. I’ll therefore focus almost solely on running in 2015 and hope to compete my fist Ultra Marathon (Swiss Alpine 78k) and set a Marathon PB under 3:30 (currently 3:34:01).

Hopefully spending less time on sports will leave we more time for family/friends and work. I think it’s fair to say, that I couldn’t have achieved what I did in 2014 without the support of my family – especially my wife. In 2015 she is going to make her Olympic distance triathlon debut and I really look forward to start paying her back for all the support she has given me.

Lastly I also look forward to help grow Ugilic. On January 1st three new colleagues, who will enable us to offer first class technical coaching to clients, will join us. We believe organizations need to focus on both leadership and technical excellence, in order to get the full benefits from an agile product development framework like Scrum. This is a major step for Ugilic and I really look forward to help the new colleagues get started and see which direction they will help steer our company in 2015.

Please feel free to leave a comment about your 2014. I hope it was as successful a year as mine and I wish you and your family all the best in 2015.

The image above is of me and my kids after completing Challenge Roth and the Challenge Roth kids race.

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