Brandon Eleuterio


Where Was I a Decade Ago?

Brandon Eleuterio

With the 2010s coming to a close, I find myself looking back fondly on the last decade. On the one hand, 10 years seems like a long time. On the other hand, not really.

Electric stimulation therapy for my foot
Electric stimulation therapy for my 36-year-old foot

10 years ago, I had just turned 30, but I still felt like I was 20. Old age hadn’t quite kicked in yet. I was still playing basketball with teenagers, running all-out sprints, and pushing hard at the gym. Most workouts involved going beyond my limits (no pain, no gain) and aside from the occasional sprained ankle, I never felt the consequences of such an approach. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I started accumulating strange random injuries that required physical therapy and dry-needling. Little did I know in a few years I’d be doing lower intensity workouts with a focus on mobility, injury prevention, strength, and longevity.

Bowl of Cereal
My afternoon bowl of whole-grain cereal

10 years ago, my wife and I were eating low fat, high carb; healthy carbs – fruit, vegetables, whole grains. We even mixed in a few meatless meals. Diet sodas were a staple, although I still enjoyed a few regular sodas – had to keep my energy up for those intense workouts. Eating 6 times a day and first thing after we woke up was a given. Little did we know in a few years we’d be on the complete opposite diet – high fat, low carb with no grains and no fruit with some meals consisting of only meat. Today we eat three meals a day at most, our first meal isn’t until after 9 am and some days we skip food entirely.

Selling our first house
Selling our first house

10 years ago, my family was into its 3rd year of living in Colorado, a wild experiment considering I spent my entire life before that in California (give or take 4 months in Virginia for school). The brand new house we bought when we moved to Colorado was only 3 years old. Little did we know 10 years later we’d be selling it, downsizing to a house half the size and living in a small town next to a lake.

10 years ago, I was working as a software engineer at an extremely large company called Verizon. This was my first job as a software engineer and a vastly different experience than my first four years out of college. Little did I know what kind of fun work experiences awaited me and that retirement would actually be a possibility in ten years.

My last dumb phone
My last dumbphone

10 years ago, I had no smartphone. I was a late adopter. I still used a flip phone – the Sony Ericsson W300i. I hadn’t even started texting yet! Little did I know in a few years I’d be caving to societal pressures and wondering how I ever lived without a smartphone or texting.

Our first SUV
Our first SUV

10 years ago, we were two years into owning our first SUV – a Nissan Murano. After some crazy blizzards in our first year in Colorado, we traded in one of our small cars for an all-wheel-drive SUV. Of course, the weather was much nicer after our first year and we hardly needed the extra traction, but our dogs sure enjoyed the added space. Little did we know in a few years we’d be down to a single car – a 12-year-old Acura MDX.

10 years ago, we were still making car payments, we still had a mortgage, and accumulating stuff was still pretty high on our priority list for life. I may have started telling people I planned to retire by 40, but it was a complete joke at the time. Little did I know in a few years we would have no debt, downsized almost every material aspect of our lives, and saved up enough money to actually be able to retire comfortably.

It’s been quite a decade. I’m excited to see what crazy changes await us in the next decade.

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