Twenty twenty-three was a good year for me. This coming year should be a good one, as well. Let’s take a look at what I accomplished in 2023, and look ahead to my 2024 goals. I like sharing these goals with you to help keep myself on track.
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In 2023 my relationship status changed drastically. Due to the change in situation and being somewhat disoriented, I didn’t formalize goals for myself in 2023 like I have in previous years. I still accomplished a lot.
2023 Training Accomplishments
My change in relationship status means I once again have the disposable income (and time) to attend training courses. I took full advantage this year. I took some top-tier gun classes. In the interest of becoming the “Most Well-Rounded Training Resume” in the firearms/tactical lifestyle blogging arena, I also took some non-gun classes.
Survival Courses: I attended Field Survival at Randall’s Adventure Training. This was truly a gut-check level course. I also attended the Basic Survival Course at the Pathfinder school. I reviewed both of these classes separately, and wrote a comparison of the two. Survival training should be a very, very high priority for any of you training junkies. Both of these classes are excellent and you will be well served with either.
Firearms Classes: I attended two firearms-related classes this year, and both were a little different than the norm. One was the Cognitive Conclave with Erik Gelhaus, John Hearne, and Lee Weems. This two-day, low-round-count, heavy-cognitive-load class was a PhD-level look at shooting not only well, but intelligently. If another Cognitive Conclave is held, get to it! The other class I took was Rangemaster’s Protective Pistolcraft Instructor Development Course. This five-day course was my first time training with Tom Givens and was truly outstanding. I would have been hard-pressed to pick two better firearms classes.
2023 Personal Accomplishments
Teaching: A personal goal I’ve had in mind for several years is teaching some lock defeat classes. I taught three iterations of my Unconventional Lock Opening Concepts (UNLOC)(that is just a silly/fancy name for a lock picking and lock bypass course). All three iterations were a success. The first one was a free trial-run on some friends, some of whom traveled a great distance to attend, and I greatly appreciate it!
Reading: I read over 80 books again this year. Setting my reading goal in 2020 literally changed my life. If you’re not reading books, you should be. If you don’t know where to start, I wrote an article a couple years ago on how to read more books.
Writing: As Patrons already know, I wrote a book in 2023! It is a somewhat fictionalized personal memoir detailing some of my wilder exploits in my 20s and early 30s. This was a personal goal that was inspired by Rich Brown’s On Violence and Varietals: Confessions of a Savage Somm (which you should absolutely read!). I’m not sure if my memoir is fit to see print, but maybe it will at some point. Regardless, it was a good writing exercise for me, and very therapeutic. in the meantime Patrons are getting digital copies.
NREMT Paramedic: After becoming licensed as a paramedic by my state in 2021, I finally got on the ball and got my National Registry Paramedic certification. This will be helpful if I ever move.
2024 Training Goals
I already have some training booked in 2024. I’d love to see you there!
Mountain Search & Rescue: I am currently booked for MSAR, a very intense alpine Search & Rescue class over three, three-day weekends in January, February, and March.
Pistol/Carbine: I haven’t done any appreciable carbine training in years. To be fair I have hundreds of thousands of rounds on the AR/M4 platform, and carbine is easier to shoot than pistol. Still… I will be attending Green-Ops’ Tactical Pistol/Carbine Course in Culpeper, VA on April 20/21. I have never met Mike Green personally but we know some of the same people and I have utmost confidence in his curriculum.
Shotgun Skills: I have long wanted to take the ultimate shotgun course: SymTac Consulting’s Shotgun Skills with Rob and Matt Haught. This June I will, in Xenia, OH. Huge thanks to my good friend, Neil who told me about it before it sold out, is letting me stay at his place, and will be attending with me (his second time at this class). Tom Givens’ 3-day Shotgun Instructor class is on my 2025 wishlist, with the hopes of teaching a shotgun class or two after that (we’ll see).
Obviously, you guys will get the benefit of reading AARs of these classes. It’s not the same as being there, but hopefully I can help you decide where to spend your training dollars.
Medical Training: This year I hope to take either Critical Care Paramedic or (preferably) the Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals. There are a lot of factors (including cost and time commitments) that will factor into this decision.
2024 Personal Goals
Travel: Every time I appear on a podcast, someone reads my bio. It has said “has visited 44/50 U.S. States” for far too long. That will change in 2024. I am planning two road trips: one to visit Delaware, and another to visit Indiana and Illinois. If anyone has specific recommendations for those spots (specifically Delaware) I am all ears!
Reading: I plan to continue reading and stay on my current track of around 80 books a year. I have a goal of writing an article called “what I’ve learned from reading 500 books,” but I’ve got to read the books first.
Writing: I am working on another book. The working title is Competent & Dangerous: How to Be a Man Among Men. It is a collection of skills that I have accumulated over the past 25 years that I’d like to pass on, and the book 16-Year-Old Me wishes he had been able to find. I want this book under Christmas trees come Christmas ’24. Patrons will received a free PDF when it is available.
Blogging/Vlogging: You can expect to see weekly content on Swift Silent Deadly. More video content will be coming in the next year, including a “how to shoot” video series (I’m sure it will have a more clever name by that time).