“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no person has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
So many people concern themselves with what they eat between Christmas and New Years and this is the breeding ground for New Year’s resolutions. I would argue that we would be far better served if we focused more on what we eat between New Year’s and Christmas!
January must be the most promising and productive month of the year. We’ve heard more about sustainability in the past few years than at any other time in our lives. It applies to business, the environment, the economy and just about every other significant facet of our society. But I would like to focus on sustainability with health, wellness and fitness.
I recently posted on the benefits of running being a lifestyle rather than an item to be checked off one’s bucket list. Sustaining an active and healthy lifestyle is extremely challenging. The obesity rate in our country is growing faster than any other time in history. And for the first time the life expectancy rate is declining. That is a frightening prospect that has ramifications for all of us. Our country tends to wait until a problem becomes an epidemic and then attempts to resolve it by throwing needless money at it.
Active people tend to be immune to many of the problems faced by mainstream society. But let there be no doubt we have more than our share of challenges. We have been asked to do more with less for quite some time. This reality places a lot of stress on our work, family and social time. Being dedicated to your health, wellness and fitness requires a herculean effort. While the travails of our economy are omnipresent in every medium of communication, many people have benefited from being forced to make changes.
I wasn’t at all surprised when the entries closed in less than 9 hours for the 2011 Boston Marathon. It took nearly 66 days for this to occur last year and even longer in previous years. People have focused more on the simpler things in life since the economy turned south. There’s been an obvious return to staying closer to home, spending more time with family and friends as well as enjoying the things we have and not being consumed by the things we don’t. People are learning their health, wellness and fitness cannot be purchased….they are priceless! Being physically fit and mentally strong allows one to deal with the challenges of the past several years in a positive way rather than the more destructive options many people choose. The effort to return to the basics and simpler things in life has fueled the running boom. Many people are taking much better care of themselves. Unfortunately, too many people are not and now there’s a seismic divide between the healthy and unhealthy in our country.
So as the dawn of the New Year approaches, I also take time to reflect on the past year and consider what changes that I would like to make. When I think of each one they seem easily manageable but when I add them together I realize I need to prioritize and accept that I may fall short with some of them. At the top of my list is trying, once again, to live a simplier life with less clutter (material and otherwise) and to spend more time with my wonderful family. I assume that Rider and Macie Jo will be with us forever but they seem to change from the time I leave home in the morning and when I return at night. I also want to consider the impact that I’m having on the environment, the world, and those around me. Having seen so many young and promising lives ended prematurely, I want to live in the moment more and try to have the most significant impact I can.
I also want to enjoy and cherish the abundance that I have in my life. When I was young and contemplated my future I never could have dreamed I would be where I am today. Getting bogged down in the quagmire of the daily challenges is so easy and can overshadow the ability to enjoy all the smaller things in life. I would like to be healthier by eating more whole foods, fruits and vegetables. I’ve never tried alcohol or coffee but I know that I have a gaping hole to fill by consistently eating healthier each day. I also want to be more patient and take a greater interest in how others live. I’ve become so interested in what motivates and inspires others; it’s fascinating!
I also want to be the best possible running coach. I consider it an absolute privilege to be able to coach runners for the Boston Marathon. I never take lightly the responsibility or the opportunity to have such a significant impact on just one person…to say nothing of nearly 120. I have put more effort into my coaching the past year and the dividends are many. I also want to get in the best physical shape that I can. I love racing and testing myself. Nothing gives me more enlightenment or satisfaction than managing the pain during a race and achieving my goals. I also want to be the best role model for my runners. One of my greatest moments is being with my runners in Hopkinton on Marathon Day and feeling the pride they have for me.
So that is how I have my year mapped out! I look forward to putting my best effort into accomplishing these things. And I hope that you have the same enthusiasm for the things you hope to achieve and that 2011 exceeds your every expectation!
Happy New Year