Everybody looks good at the starting line

The title of this post is from one of my favorite artists, Paul Thorn.  If you’ve never experienced him and you like jazzy blues, you need to check him out.  Anyway, that title says a mouthful doesn’t it?  Whether it’s the starting line of a marriage, a new job, an exercise or diet program, or anything else, we all look great standing there at the beginning.  We jump in with enthusiasm, and make it look easy.  No fights with our spouse, the job is amazing, we lose weight/get fit quickly, and life is good.  But, time wears on and life intervenes.  We slow down, start to realize our spouse isn’t as perfect as we thought, or begin to dread the work week.  Inevitably, we start to stumble and fall.

We’re at the starting line of a new year.  We have a new start, a clean slate, one we can fill with whatever we feel is the most important in our lives.  Look back over the last year and think about the things you started, but didn’t finish.  Is this your year to make your health a priority?  To do something for yourself that your future self will thank you for?  I hope it is.

2011 brought the completion of some major goals for me.  I started well, and thankfully, this year, I finished well, also.  The lessons learned this year will stay with me forever.  I know that running(and walking) will be a part of my life as long as God allows it, because I feel better than I ever have.  I know that running isn’t just about the future rewards it brings, but about learning to live in and enjoy today.  It makes me smile to know that I feel better at 50 than I felt at 30, and I’m encouraged to see if I can feel even better at 60.

I did my last run of the year this morning.  It was my first long run since the marathon, since I realized this week that my next race (Seaside Half Marathon) is in 10 weeks.  YIKES!  So, I got in gear and laid out my training schedule for the upcoming months.  The run felt amazing, it was beautiful weather and a perfect day for running.  I belong to an online running group called Daily Mile which keeps me connected to other runners and keeps up with my analytics for me.  According to DM, I ran a total of 532 miles in 2011.  I hope I top that in 2012.  Since I’ve been keeping my stats on DM in December of 2009, I’ve run a total of 1,558 miles.  Yay!  I’m pretty pleased with those stats.  Some runs were better than others, obviously, but I think that’s the whole point.  That I learned to run even when I didn’t really want to.  That I make running a permanent part of my life.  That I realize that running now will make my 60 year old and 70 year old self smile.  I got a massage the other day while I was on vacation, and she commented on my knotty muscles.  I told her, “Yeah, but you should see my heart.”  I think it’s in pretty amazing shape for an old broad with a dicey gene pool.

 We’re at the starting line of a new year.  Check the mirror, fluff your hair, make sure you look good.  Then, check back in about three months and make sure you’re still on target.  I know you can do it, cause, friend, if I can, anyone can.  

Now, ready, set, go!

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