2017: Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

Two thousand and seventeen has been a roller coaster ride of a year.

Harder.

2017 has been a hardening year for me.

Realizing the person you've partnered with to get through life was better off with someone else. Andrea and I's path was diverging. Separation finally needed to happen. There's no guide on how a divorce should work, but I think Andrea and I did the best we could for our particular situation. A lot of learning is happening. We might be learning more about relationships apart than we ever did together. Divorce is inevitable, but Andrea and I are still a team for Ainsley and George. She's just not a co-captain of Team Peters anymore; She's a Co-Parent. We will do our best to share in Ainsley and George's lives with a 50/50 amount of time but with 100% effort from both of us. They are our most significant responsibility.

And for those who want more details about our separation, I would suggest contacting us each privately. I will openly tell you what I can, but trust me, at this point the details do not matter. It's better for everyone involved.

Work. 1907 has been the most challenging "job" I've ever had. This is the right kind of challenge. So much potential; the most potential for me personally, but I'll have to work harder than ever. This 1st year is a hardening year. You can't get Better, Faster, or Stronger without being hardened first. It's very similar to ultra distance gravel cycling for me. To go the distance, you have to increase the load of pain your body can endure.

Better.

2017 might have severed a marriage, but it also brought new friends and closer/more real friendships. Most of those friendships were very valuable to me during the hardening process that was 2017. Two were all-stars in supporting me by letting me do what I needed to do.

I have been on a fast track of education about how agriculture and the meat business really works. It's not textbooks; it's on-the-job learning, and that's how I learn best. If I see it in detail, then I can understand it. I feel I've become a better learner and listener this year.

I'm better at understanding myself and how I work. This was very useful during some rough storms. I stayed calm and made adult decisions. I guess I'm generation Xennial now (1978)? Just like millennials, we don't like #adulting, but we can do it when needed.

I rode a better DK200 in 2017 than the previous 3 years. In reality, I just bought a better bike, a "cheater bike" if you will, the Cutthroat. That bike makes everything about riding on gravel better. Comfortable. Stable. Confident. Has the ability to get going when you decide to mash it. Like a Fargo and other bikes in the drop-bar MTB style are really the best for gravel grinders like me who are not racing. We would never dream of a DK podium. Finishing is always the first trophy because it's the top priority. Not beating a friend but beating yourself. Although sometimes you do happen to beat a friend and you him about it, often. #1stGravelGrailinStillwater.

I've been a better friend to some but not to all. People come and go in Stillwater. Most go, or they don't stay long; the effect of being a University town.

Faster.

I rode my bike faster at DK so that counts. This year has not gone by fast enough. However, at 1907 I had to help make things faster and more efficient. I've found that I enjoy adopting and initiating systems and tech to make the business more efficient and effective. I'm making some decisions faster because they require urgency but learning to slow some decisions down and adding time to learn and understand. If you are ill-informed, then you will make mistakes.

Stronger.

I don't know if I'm really stronger yet. True strength takes time, but I don't think it will be too far away. If 2018 goes the way I want it to then yeah, I'll be stronger. I'll be stronger as a dad, as a manager, and as a friend. Maybe stronger on the bike too. I'm ready to crush 2018.