Saturday, December 31, 2011

Moving Forward, Moving On--Bring on 2012!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's. I've been a little envious reading some of your 2011 re-caps, filled with joyous race reports and smiling photos. I don't really have anything of note to mention for 2011. To be honest, it was a crappy year. Unemployment, failed relationships, and depression is what comes to mind, along with being laid up for a big chunk due to a lame foot injury. So I'm not going to do a re-cap because it's not something I want to focus on. The best parts of 2011? I got an awesome job the week of my birthday as a math/science high school teacher. Happy Birthday to me! And I learned how to mountain bike--even some of the scary, technical stuff. So I'm thankful for that.

One of the benefits to a crappy year ending is that it fills me with hope for a positive change. I'm looking forward to a much happier 2012. So this New Year couldn't come at a better time. I love the infectious motivation available to prod me off the couch and into action. I love my new job and am enjoying this new time in my life to focus on myself for the first time. I'm getting more comfortable in my skin and more excited about pursuing my personal goals. I have an Ironman to look forward to! I am currently working on my training plan for the year and am more excited than I have been in a long time.

As I said in my last post, my New Year's Resolution for 2012 can be encompassed in one word: Balance. This includes pacing myself, not working too hard, eating healthy, sleeping healthy, exercising regularly, and being better about self-monitoring my energy levels so I don't drain myself out (a bad habit I have). I've been using the past few days to implement my new plan. Little by little, it's going very well. It's amazing how little changes can make big differences in my mood!

These past two weeks, I've been on break. I've been so depleted from my new job that the break was a mixed blessing. I loved the opportunity to rest and relax but it came at the cost of depression. I was just too exhausted. Plus the holidays always make me a little blue. I always feel pressured to feel "happy" and ironically, this triggers a bad mood. However, the past few days have seen a change in the mood barometer, and things are looking up. I'm feeling better and better and able to be more pro-active about self-care.

I went for a run this morning with Travis. It was the first time in a week. My exercise has been so inconsistent, which I'm sure has contributed to my bad mood. My feet were heavy and awkward, my left foot continuously banging on my right ankle. I was slow, my breathing was labored, and I kept having to stop and wait for Travis to sniff and pee every 10 feet or so. The flabby, unused muscles in my legs ached and burned. Despite these discomforts, I felt something I had forgotten; something I hadn't felt in awhile: peace. My mind became still and my vision softened; I was exactly at the right place at the right time. I was living in the moment. And yet again, no matter how many times I forget, I remember why I run. Running is an act of meditation.

4 comments:

Mike said...

You have a great outlook going in to 2012! I like the balance theme. I have no doubt you will achieve it.

I've heard teaching is really rough the first year but gets easier the 2nd year because you can re-use your lesson plans.

Bob said...

Sounds like a healthy outlook for the new year. I always consider my running time to be my 'peace' and even relaxation time (well, I have 3 kids, so it's all relative ;-). Good luck!

Grey Beard said...

I still struggle with balance, but have to say, the most difficult obstacle in achieving it is to learn to reward yourself for mediocrity.

Sounds weird, and nonsensical, huh? People who are gifted (mine certainly wasn't an athletic one) aren't satisfied to just show up, but seek tough challenges to test and develop their gifts, so it makes no sense to us to reward ourselves for mediocrity.

The thing is, as we get older, we find out there isn't enough time or energy to do everything exceptionally well, then it's all about making trade-offs, and that's not how gifted people think. We don't want to make trade-offs, we want to excel at everything.

While it may be possible to excel at everything for awhile, at some point there are too many things we've learned, and too little time and energy. In short, it's possible to excel at anything, but not at everything.

The SBH had a great guest lecturer a few months ago, who was talking about cycling until your last day - a lifetime habit. One of the things he stressed is "there are no junk miles". The physiological health benefits of exercise are about the same, no matter the intensity, so "just showing up" works as well as trying to excel.

It sucks getting "old", but trade-offs are just a part of growing up I guess. If you find a way to beat this system, please let me know, I still hate settling for "pretty good", but have found time and energy to excel at only a few chosen things, and the rest get their due, and nothing more.

Cheers, Happy New Year, be well, and I am rooting for you to find peace, happiness and balance as it comes to you.

Fizzgig said...

awesome outlook! heres to an amazing new year!!!