Basketball and Reclaiming your Old Glory

On thursday night, my plans evaporated and I was left with an open night.

I had no plans to work on client work, I had nothing immediate that I needed to attend to. It’s an odd feeling for me.

One of my friends had been telling me about a pick up basketball games that he attends with a group of guys every thursday night. I hadn’t been able to make it up up until this point, and I realized this might be my chance.

I played a lot of basketball up through middle school. It was one of the main things I did at recess through elementary, and I conquered the tryouts in middle school to make the roster. I doubt we won a game that year, but I was on the team!

I probaby hadn’t tried to shoot a basket in a year.

I know I hadn’t tried to play in at least 3.

I also hadn’t subjected my surgically repaired ACL to anything as high-impact as basketball since the surgery 7 years ago.

I was nervous about it. I am competitive, I would want to win. I am a perfectionist, and I knew that I would want to perform as well as I used to.

The more I thought about how much I didn’t want to be the worst person in this pickup game, the more I realized it was time to put my knee to the test.

So I played.

And I was bad.

And I definitely airballed my first attempt at a three-pointer.

And it took me a while to adjust to the fast pace of a game where a ball can fly at your face in a moment’s notice.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted. My lungs were telling me that they hadn’t been exerted like this in ages. But I was able to contribute to the team, though by no means was I a star.

It felt so good to be back at it. To be running up the court. To make plays happen. To see the ball settle through the hoop.

After we finished, I removed my knee brace and discovered that I had abused the joint more than I had realized. I wasn’t sore yet, but I could tell that the next day was a struggle.

It was.

I limped through my day Friday. My knee had swollen up and limited my mobility. I had to skip my training workout. I begged my Physical Therapist sister-in law to do an “emergency” check up, and was given some exercises to rebuild strength around my knee. It was a tough day, but ultimately I knew that I would be back to normal very soon.

The next day the swelling had dissapated and I made the decision to run the training run that was assigned to me.

5 miles. The furthest I’ve ever run in my life. I’m on my way towards running 15.5 (God willing)

My limp still has hung around a little today, though I’m not worried about it.

I can be a basketball player again.

I can run the full River Bank Run in a couple months.

I can be an overcompetitive person in a position to lose pickup games and be ok with it, because I know it’s just one training session on the way back to the excellence I expect from myself.

The World’s Quickest Advice Column

I love this article over at Nerd Fitness.

The World’s Quickest Advice Column.

When someone is asking me for advice, or talking me through one of their life situations, I am always trying to connect dots to the simplest and quickest solution.

It’s not always (read: rarely) subtle. Sometimes it’s not even really appropriate: there are times where the story teller isn’t looking for an answer, but rather just looking to share a story.

I look for answers and freely give them. However, when I think over one of my own life situations I tend to analyze from every angle.

Steve’s article is exactly what I needed: the simplest answers that cut through the layers of excuses and rationalizations that we accept in our lives.

Like that girl? Ask her out.

Have too little time to get your stuff done? Committ to doing less.

It’s simple.

I needed that.


I feel like I might be looking back at 2015 with a bit more eagerness and enthusiasm than most, but its easy to say that 2015 was life changing. I’ve written about fitness things before- even danced with the idea of starting a website around the topic but ultimately decided to maintain focus on my web design venture, 5 espressos, rather than continuing to split my focus.

There were things that were awesome. There were things that were not.

There were times where things the BEST and times of extreme disappointment.

I rocked these things:

Establishing new Fitness Habits.

With the help of a friend last February, I developed the routine that lead to so much of my changes over the last year. Because I set aside the time after work during the workweek as my time to go to the gym, very little got in the way me getting there. Events didn’t get scheduled during that time, so if i didn’t go, there were no excuses. Here’s what my progress looked like.

1 Dan Hefferan January 2

2 Dan Hefferan February 74 Dan Hefferan February 216 Dan Hefferan March 267 Dan Hefferan April 511 Dan Hefferan May 1812 Dan Hefferan June 2313 Dan Hefferan July 2014 Dan Hefferan August 117 Dan Hefferan September 1718 Dan Hefferan September 2619 Dan Hefferan October 1820 Dan Hefferan November 1221 Dan Hefferan December 422 Dan Hefferan December 13


Changing the diet to something that works (for me).

I switched to a lower carb lifestyle that closely resembles the diet from Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body. When I implemented the diet, I saw the results form the gym compound quickly. I will likely experiment with other variations to the low carb lifestyle in the coming months, and I’ll be sure to outline anything here.

Sharing victories online.

I used my community online on facebook twitter and instagram as a way to remain accountable to what I was working towards. If I were to regain all my weight, a small army of people would notice.

Taking Responsibility.

I bought a house. I changed my life. I took measures to eliminate my biggest distractions. Started investing. … and it felt great. … and maybe a little anxiety-ridden.

And this is where I didn’t rock:

*Growth* as a web developer.

I had a year where I was able to help a good number of clients, but my skills as a web developer didn’t grow as much as I could have. I’ll be scheduling in time to practice and learn in the coming year.


I don’t speak girl that well… I’m getting better :)

I lacked focus.

I alluded to this early on. I spent a lot of mental energy planning and working on the Dauntless Project, only to realize that it wasn’t where I needed to be spending my time.

Delayed cutting negative habits.

I tend not to learn lessons the easy way. I allowed myself to get sucked into games and endless online videos. And I would find myself complaining about being busy and always working. I called my bluff and sold off my gaming pc.

These specific moments rocked.

True Pursuit

I had the opportunity to serve at the true pursuit weekend in April, it was a spiritual awakening to accompany other transformations that were happening in my life.

True Pursuit Weekend

The Color Run

on the first of august I ran my first 5k, at the time it felt like a massive accomplishment, but every milestone has :)

Color Run

A hike on the dunes on my birthday

I spent a day around my 28th birthday up on a dune along Lake Michigan praying writing and dreaming.

PJ Hofmaster State Park Dunes

Visiting Escanaba

A yooper adventure in Ecsanaba with my cousin.

Screenshot 2015-12-31 16.28.23

The Ugly Sweater Run

Had you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be out in public wearing a ridiculously skin tight red suit, I would have told you to go see a doctor.

The Ugly Sweater Run


Goals for 2016

Continue to drop body fat.

My goal is to get below 15% body fat. We will see.

Grow 5 espressos.

I met with Brian earlier today and discussed the goals I have for the business with him. We set specific goals for revenue, website traffic, marketing  and blog posts.

Thanks for reading my 2015 review.

It was a good year, but I fully expect that the best is yet to come!

What are the goals for your 2016?

Crazy? I’m shutting down dauntless.

It’s crazy how things can change.

It’s crazy how far you can follow a rabbit trail that is just tantalizing, but won’t ultimately lead you to what you’re looking fore.

It’s crazy how overbooked you can be. How many plates you can try to keep spinning.

Ultimately I need to let a couple of the plates stop.

2015 has had two other posts on THIS. One on January 1st, ushering in the new year, the other talking about how much i love this website’s current theme as it resembled the theme i had wanted to build for a year at the time.

2015 was a landmark year for me: so much has changed.

In february I started a new healthy lifestyle and have lost 85 pounds as of this writing. As the pounds fell off, I felt like I was quickly returning to the person that I was before I slipped into a depression. Confidence came back, productivity came back, and finally I felt like I had the motivation to match the ambition I had cultivated the last 5 years after college.


I was becoming so passionate about health and fitness that I was starting to think about what I should do alongside my other activities to help others along the way. The project starter in me realized that i could finally start writing on personal development in a way that would actually hold clout. I finally had some sort of success to fall back on. So i spent much of this year dreaming and taking baby step after half baby step to try to make the project come to life.

I launched it, and wrote a few pieces, but ultimately I never got it going to where I wanted it to go.

Why? it was a side hustle, but more than that. It was a side hustle to the side of another side hustle. My web design company 5 espressos is my priority outside of my day job. I realize that though there are topics and things i would LOVE to write about, I can’t keep that plate spinning, so I’m going to shut down the site and move the content over to here.

I have plans for 5e to come in the coming months, I’m really excited about where we’re taking the business.

It also feels good to take something off my shoulders and have a definitive project to focus on.

I’m not sure what will happen with, I love the domain name, and even the ideas for content I had for the site, but if I write something that would have been amazing for, I can still publish it here. This website isn’t going anywhere.

I’m still very much interested in personal fitness and becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, but I’m most interested at seeing where I can bring 5 espressos and the projects related to that partnership.



Via flickr user TheFriendlyFiend
Via flickr user TheFriendlyFiend
Permission to talk frankly?
I have a lot of ideas for things I can do with this website. Dan Hefferan having ideas is not a new concept to anyone who knows me, but ideas mean next to nothing if it isn’t developed, if the idea isn’t given a chance to bloom, if the idea stays … an idea.
I go back and forth on how I want this site to work, and where I want it to fit in the grand scheme of my life, my other websites and certainly my web design company: 5 Espressos.
One day, I’ll want to write about health and fitness.
One day, i’ll want to focus intensely on personal development and goal setting.
One day, I’ll want to move any of the existing content to — mypersonal website that I’ve let sit idle while I entertained the idea of dauntless.
I’ll fight with myself about how personal I’ll let myself get.  Do I go into personal finances? Do I talk about struggles with depression? Do I talk about relationships?
As I see saw between ideas and debate myself over details, the website sits.
Not growing into ANYTHING close to the dreams I have.
Right now, it has to come back to why.
Why am I doing this?
Why do I feel the need to make yet another site to join the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of websites covering the topic of self improvement.
Because of the person I was a year ago.
I was in a bad spot. I was very overweight and mentally beginning to realize the consequences of that. My confidence and self esteem were completely gone. I didn’t really know what the next few years would look like – and I was even at the point where I was having a hard time dreaming up what a bright future could look like.
I’m writing this for the person I used to be. The person who finds themselves in the wrong spot, but isn’t ready to give up. The person who is looking for things to try, looking to make a change that will lead to a better life.
That’s the focus I need to keep.
John Lee Dumas in the Entreprenuer On Fire podcast speaks frequently about the Imposter syndrome. He says that even men like Barack Obama have self doubt. The sooner you choose to accept the fear and the imposter syndrome, the sooner you can actually DO the thing you’re doing.
Steven Pressfield famously talks about The Resistance. He capitalizes it like that too. The Resistance is this sinister presence that everyone encounters as soon as they embark on some creative endeavor. The Resistance leads to trash cans full of crumpled legal pad sheets, to compositions that fail to explore anything new, to ideas that remain on the shelf, and to plenty of websites with a couple blog posts dating back 2 years.
Resistance is just part of the process. Something you should come to expect.
 That’s a law of nature.
Where there is a Dream, there is Resistance.
Thus: where we encounter Resistance, somewhere nearby is a Dream.
We need to recognize that the imposter, that the Resistance, is part of the deal. And that the only thing that matters in regards to your project, is that you sit down and do the work.
I have a lot to share. I’ve succeeded in a couple massive things this year. But I also have a few personal goals that I’m working on now. Some of those will be difficult to describe in a blog, but that’s not the point right now.
The point is that this matters. That there’s a reason this needs to be written.