Here’s wishing everyone a safe, happy, and healthy New Year. 2016 for many was just a total abomination of a year, and as we head into 2017 there is much trepidation and uneasiness of what the future holds in store. Yet, the new year also brings the opportunity for personal growth, renewed fortitude, and better times ahead. It’s times like these that good friends and loving family are much valued, and should be held close.
Life truly is short, and we only have a certain amount of time here on this planet. Stop procrastinating. Make a change. Do something worthwhile. Get healthy. Face your fears. Make a difference. Make amends. Love someone. Reach out. Put petty differences aside. Show you care. See the world. Lend a hand. Do something crazy. Stop worrying. Laugh more. Go for it.
Whew. Now that was a grinding run I thought to myself as I crossed the finish line of my twelfth 5K race of the year.
The journey that brought me to this point on a cold and blustery day was one that I did not even fathom way back on Valentine’s Day weekend when this all started. It was also a frigid day back on that afternoon when I finally succumbed to the reality that I looked and felt like crap. Oh, there was no mistake about how I looked. Perhaps I was in denial for months and had settled into the winter malaise that most adhere to, and use as an excuse to let themselves go. Yet, it was more than that. Much more. I have always been an active person with an upbeat and youthful outlook, and from what I have been told, appear younger than my chronological age. That all seemed to fall apart as the winter of 2015 dragged into 2016 and I was feeling the damage of what I had done to myself physically. On that cold windy day in February as I participated in the Cupid’s Undie Run for charity I hit rock bottom. I was out of breath and huffing it after jogging less than a mile. I felt like a slug, and after seeing pictures of my bloated form, looked like one. Even worse, after I had sent my parents some pics of me at the event they mentioned that I looked kind of portly.
Why are you doing this? Why are you putting your body through this?
I get asked these questions quite frequently when people hear that I am constantly hitting the weights in the gym, or out running three to five miles a night to get ready to participate in a Tough Mudder on July 12. Honestly, there are times when I really don’t know why. Not sure what motivates me but I keep on doing it. I’m well past my younger days of athletics and when my body could recuperate much quicker from the muscle soreness, aches, and pains I incurred after training. I guess it’s that I refuse to give up. It’s very easy to give up. I know many people that just let it all go when hitting a certain age and give in to life’s excesses. Even though my body might have a bit of wear and tear on it after all these years something keeps me going. Something just won’t let me quit. Even when I have days lately when I doubt I can do this, and my mind plays games with my confidence, my heart and soul won’t let me give up. It refuses. There is a nagging voice in the back of my mind that urges me to keep going. Even when I’d rather be out bar hopping with friends, hitting a party, or going out to a gut busting dinner. Failure is not an option.
Every year we are faced with the inevitable. The bombardment of Christmas advertising and commercials on TV. The mind numbing holiday music playing in almost every deli and store. Family visiting from out of nowhere. Awkward office parties. The leftovers we stuff ourselves with for days after Thanksgiving. The tons of candy, cookies, and cake that our coworkers thoughtfully dump on us all in the office. Yeah, thanks a lot for that last one gang.