Now, I'm typically hopeless with New Year's resolutions. (Unless, perhaps, if you count the year I resolved to start wearing more feminine socks. That didn't last either, really.) The resolutions for improved financial fitness in 2009 failed dramatically. (But don't you like my new bag? Isn't it pretty?)
But at some point in the heady, early moments of 2010, I said to my husband "I want to be a runner. This year, I want to be a runner again."
Long ago, so many years ago, I ran. I ran Track and Cross Country all through high school, for a coach whose first priority was always to show us just how much fun running was. He pushed us hard, he yelled until the veins popped out on his forehead, but if we didn't win the meet, if we didn't make our best times? Not the end of the world. He only wanted to know that we'd done our best. I wasn't a great competitor and I won very few races, but oh the happy memories of running with the team on autumn-colored trails through Rock Creek Park in Washington DC. I even look back fondly on rain-soaked Sunday morning runs with Coach Paulson, my dad, my brother, and our oversized dog.
This is me c1991- the Amazon in the Winnie the Pooh shirt. Unfortunately, the shirt is probably an indication of just how seriously I was taking the race. I was racing with BFFs Clare & Andrea.
Running kept me going through college as well. What began as a regime to get rid of extra pounds due to dorm life became nothing less than a daily meditation, a respite from the close-quarters of small college living and an intense academic schedule. As I hit the streets in the very early morning or the late evenings, and pounded my way through misty English villages, I'd always meant to tell Coach Paulson just how much he'd permanently changed my outlook on exercise.
Then, boring cliche by boring cliche, running slipped out of my life. Newlywed life proved so cozy - all that cooking/eating/kissing, then our careers started to intensify, and then death knell of all death knells to exercise: we started having kids.
SEVEN LONG YEARS LATER, there are no more kids in the pipeline. (Ooh, that reminds me, must send Torbjorn's surgeon a Valentine...) There are no more excuses. There is some level of sanity at stake, and I think running (plus blogging, of course) will be the best way to keep us moving in the right direction.
I love running. I love lacing up my shoes, I love getting out on the streets, and I love the sweaty feeling of cooling down from a great workout. When I see posters of runners, when I flip through catalogs of sports gear, when I watch my neighbor sprint down the hill past my house, my feet still itch.
I went out on Friday, ditched the grocery store run and spent a happy hour in the running store buying a brand spankin' new pair of running shoes. This year, it's my turn. It's my turn to KEEP getting up at Silly O'Clock, to put in the miles and finally get back to my Happy Place.
Howzabout a little virtual cheerleading along the way? (Coach Paulson is way out West, you see.)