The Wrong Foot

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

English: Two New Year’s Resolutions postcards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometime in mid-December, when everyone started talking about the end of the year, and New Year’s resolutions, and all that stuff, I got a bit caught up in thinking about how 2012 had gone for me. A lot happened. Some of it was good, and some of it was bad. When I look back at the blogging I did, I sort of want to erase every post because there’s something so crappy and half-assed about it. A big part of me dreamt (and still dreams) about making sweeping, miraculous changes to the way I do things, essentially creating a new life for myself in the process. And another part of me repeatedly countered those dreams with reminders that the world (not to mention human psychology) doesn’t work that way, and that resolutions aren’t really the way to tackle things that need to be addressed, anyway.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I remembered that I’d started the year off by scoffing at the mileage goal of another runner. She planned to run 600 miles in 2012. The main reason I scoffed was that another part of her goal was to run a marathon every month, and it bothered me that she would commit to that but only hold herself accountable for a total of 600 measly miles–not even twice what she’d run if she doubled the number of marathons she did. When I think now about how contemptuous I was then, I can’t help but feel like a total jerk. I mean, for one thing, that’s just a shitty attitude. What difference does it make how much she runs? What effect does it have on me? Why should I even care? And for another, guess how many miles ran in 2012? 651. My average was 12 miles per week. I didn’t log more than 100 miles in a single month. I’m not saying that if I’d run 1200 miles in the past year that I’d be justified in picking on this other runner, but there’s something especially lousy about questioning someone’s commitment to an activity when you yourself can’t even claim to be committed (at least not according to your own definition of the term).

Since I’ve got some sort of pathological attachment to challenges, plans, and self-improvement techniques, my first response to this memory was to tell myself that in 2013, I’d run 1,000 miles; that I’d be a more dedicated runner; that all I really needed was to be more committed and everything would be totally different. But then I managed to take a step back and realize that I don’t need any of that. What I need is to stop planning and coming up with ridiculous challenges that are designed to make me a Better Person and actually do things. Things like running, blogging about things I find interesting, no longer being such a jerk…you know, stop talking about what my life should be like and actually go out and have a life: be a runner, be a blogger, and enjoy things.

I’m not making any resolutions this year, but I do want to move forward on the right foot this time around.





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