Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

2021: 🤸 From Gymnastics to Game Design

January 11, 2022

Happy New Year! 🥳 Glad 2022 is here.

My Family 2021

Here are some interesting things from 2021!

⛵️ Wind Back in My Sails Through In-Person Meetings

Working 100% remote with a team a love wasn’t cutting it for me. I just felt too disconnected to lead the company effectively.

We started having management meetings and one-on-ones face-to-face (just one day per week) and that has re-energized me in incredible ways! I feel like I got my old self back, and I’ve been pushing hard to grow the business. 🕺

The business has been doing well, but it’s clear that we need to build out the team further this year. Hiring and growing the team will be a big priority, and how we handle it will significantly impact the future. As the business is doing great and introducing new team members adds life and vitality to everyone, I’m very hopeful.

🎮 Started 2021 with Mario Maker 2 Speed Running

With January freezing and not getting out much due to the pandemic, why not start 2021 off with a Mario Maker 2 speedrunning competition? 🤪

I finished 464 out of 123k+ competitors! Who knew I was still good at Mario:

Top 500 Mario Maker

🛶 Canoe Trip Down the Mississippi

Towards the top of my list of memories from this year, my good friend Scott and I went on a four-day canoe trip this summer. It was amazing.

Canoing Mississippi Canoing Mississippi Canoing Mississippi

A reminder if you’re reading this to get outside! It’s super good for your mind.

🎨 Video Game Concept Design with the Kids

We have been dipping our toes into video game design with the kids. Taking the kids’ drawings and ideas as a basis for creating a videogame is super fun.

Kid Drawing

Then sending those drawings to a professional artist to make custom art:

Game Sketches

Here are some more “final” art concepts cleaned up:

Game art Game art

Here’s another drawing of a bunch of monsters I love.

Kid Drawing

Then the artist makes them into actual characters!

Kid Drawing

I’m looking forward to making the game, but I know it will be A LOT of work.

Game art

Excited to kick this project off and start programming a simple version of the game, but as you may know, learning Unity isn’t going to be easy! Projects like this die all the time; my goal is not to let this one. It has to become real someday.

🤸 Gymnastics

About six months ago, I started going to an adult gymnastics class at the same gym as my son. He loves it since he gets to wave at Dad, and we are both learning a lot of the same things (yes, I’m learning the same things as a 7-year-old does, ha).

With hard work, I was able to land flat-ground front flips!

I posted a montage of 6 months of progress and posted it on r/Gymnastics – and it hit the front page, and the comments were super positive! Check out the video montage of my first six months of Gymnastics – starting at age 37. 😝


I have some goals here:

  • ✅ Front Lever
  • ✅ Back hip circles on high bar
  • ✅ Hand stand (I can hold one for 5-7 seconds)
  • Front Flip — almost there! (check the video linked above for progress)
  • Pistol Squat
  • Muscle Up
  • Back bridge
  • Hand stand for 30 seconds
  • Running 4 miles until 8 minutes per mile
  • Giants on bars!
  • Wall run backflip? 😝

🥽 VR & Making YouTube Videos

My VR hobby YouTube channel crossed 200 subscribers (happy with it since it’s just playing games). I only posted eight videos this year, but I branched out with some other games.

The channel is growing pretty well lately, too, with the increasing adoption of VR in general:

Growing YouTube channel

The main new games I’ve found in VR are Stride (parkour-like mirror’s edge) and a top-down strategy board game called Demeo, which is super fun to play with friends and colleagues.

Here’s my latest video:

🔥 Real Fire Pit!

Finally, we built a real fire pit into the backyard, which was great to still be outside in nature during cold days. I’m enjoying it!

Real Fire Pit

I wanted to include more things like messing around with drones, trips to the climbing wall, and making cherry pie…but you can only fit so many updates into one post before you have just to hit publish. Cheers, and I hope 2022 is off to a good start for you and yours!

Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

Career Journal on Web Dev, Business, & Life

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