“It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ernest Hemingway
Well, 2012 is finally over. And I’d like to offer it the most sincere “Good riddance and fuck off!”
I have to admit that I had a pretty solid streak of wins coming into the year, but there was no way to keep 2012 out of the “L” column. It’s not that there were no bright moments or that I’m totally discouraged with the prospects of the coming year. During this past year, I witnessed maybe the most beautiful single moment I’ve ever seen in my life, and in the context of a funeral of all places. And I enter the coming year with that bittersweet liberty that comes with having very little left to lose. I just lost way too much of what was right in my life to salvage the win with a little bit of running success so late in the year. And the permanence of those losses still literally makes my skin prickly and warm when I allow myself to think about it.
Overall, I feel alright heading into the new year. Yeah. “Alright” is probably the best I can muster for now. I’m physically healthier than I’ve ever been, but I don’t think anyone that knows me can deny that the fire inside has dimmed. I can feel it. I know people can see it, even through my incredible skills in the charade. And I honestly don’t know if it’s coming back. Some shit just can’t be helped. It wouldn’t be called change if everything came out the same. So we’ll all just have to adjust to a little bit softer light going forward.
I do have candles if anyone needs them.
One streak that I am able to maintain this year is my 37 consecutive years with the same New Year’s resolution: Not to make a New Year’s resolution.
Nailed it again this year. YES!
It’s not that I’m really against the tradition of starting the New Year off with a promise to oneself to make improvements or grow in some way. Whatever different people want to do to initiate or motivate positive change in their lives, I support it. I’m just a snarky asshole sometimes and I don’t make them.
“One less promise to break” I often figured. Some years I’m sure I decided that I was so content with myself that there was no reason to change a thing (the perfect lazy man’s excuse for inaction). But most of those years, it was simple indifference. I just didn’t make one. No philosophical reasoning for or against a resolution at all. It didn’t even occur to me.
“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream” C.S. Lewis.
Not making a resolution does not mean that I do not have any goals for this year. I want to keep running. I want to keep working out. I need to keep eating better. I hope I can stay positive. I intend to keep improving myself in any way I discover that I’m able. I intend to grow a full head of hair…
That last one is not very likely to happen. But hey, you probably aren’t going to keep all of your resolutions either.
If I had to declare my number one goal right now, it would be to run the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. I know. I know. I’ve only been running a few months. But it has been a true life-saver and I want (or need) to keep doing it. And I thought that if I kept registering for running events during the holidays, it would help me curb any temptations to over-indulge in all unhealthy celebration trappings.
I signed up for it back in November when I was worried that it would fill up, but I didn’t really tell anyone in case I hated the organized races I had scheduled in December and decided to cut my losses and skip it. I didn’t hate those races. And I’m not skipping it.
Since signing up, I found a 12 week half marathon training schedule that I extended to 13 weeks and adjusted it to fit my work/life schedule a little better. I started that training schedule two weeks ago, and so far I feel really good about my progress. I’ve also registered for four other races between now and then. Three of them are step-up races (10K, 15K, & 20K) specifically designed and scheduled to lead right into the Shamrock. And I threw in the Polar Plunge 5K in February because a friend asked me if I’d be interested in running it with her and some friends, and it sounded fun.
What else was I going to do, make valentines? Click here if you’re rich.
I know that I am rushing myself a little into a half marathon. If you’re familiar with my blog you know that I’ll research the life out of just about anything that interests me. And running has been no different. Many of the resources I found indicated that I would probably want to have a solid year of running experience before trying to complete a half. But anyone that really knows me at all knows that I’m hardheaded and half stupid, so I’m doing it anyway.
“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.” Flannery O’Connor.
I’ve been working out regularly for the last four months, running with a much better training focus for the last three (initially in an effort to prevent injury from overdoing it), and upping my cross training exercises too in an effort to improve my cardio levels a little faster. I’ve also been continually adjusting my diet to better fuel my body. It’s by far the hardest thing for me to figure out. But if I’m going to achieve this goal, I’m going to have to find a way to eat more carbohydrates and better balance my diet overall. I believe that if I continue to train smart and figure out my diet, I’ll be fine. And by fine, I mean that I will finish the race under my own power. I have not set any kind of time goal for it, and probably won’t until after I see how I do in a few of the training runs.
So for the next two and half months, I will not be “running” or “exercising” or “working out.” I’ll be training.
Wish me luck (because I’m totally known for my good luck. psshh)
That’s pretty much all I’ve got heading into the New Year. I’m cautiously optimistic for what 2013 holds for me, and a little apprehensive to find out at the same time. But it’s coming whether I’m ready or not, so I might as well get some rest and run head long right into it.
I’m curious about what resolutions you guys have made. Feel free to share them.
As 2012 finally enters into my review mirror, I would like to throw some quick shout-outs to a few people. I started this blog as a place to voice my political opinions about whatever was bothering me, and I was immediately supported by my friends. It has changed focus drastically as my life radically changed, but the support has not waned at all. In fact, the support seems to have grown. I appreciate that more than I can say.
I would like to specifically thank my friends Spencer A., Kendra L. M. T., and Justin D. for consistently commenting and sharing my blog throughout the year. I really appreciate the support of something that has become more of a needed mental release for me than any kind of valued product for others.
I also want to thank those immediate friends who have directly supported me in the personal changes that I’ve made in these last few months. My friends have all been amazingly encouraging and respectful of my choices during a time of transition. And it has been particularly enjoyable to see a few of them making healthier choices of their own and joyously celebrating the benefits of those choices. I’m talking to you Mellisa.
And finally, I must give thanks to that special lady that taught me so much and introduced me to so many new things during our years together, that I’ve ended up using in my efforts to cope with her leaving. To deny her influence in these positive changes that I’ve made over the last few months would be dishonest with myself and disrespectful to her. So I send a special thank you to J.E.M. She’ll never fully know.
And with that, I fully release the black cloud of 2012 to the wind, and hope to never be forced to endure such a year of loss like it again. I’m really not sure I could handle another one.
Happy New Year to EVERYBODY. Do something great with it. You’re not guaranteed another one.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” Karen Lamb.