I'm still in Illinois helping out my parents - caregiving is HARD! Mom is doing much better; her lungs are fine, and she's up and around. In the midst of this, I've managed to get a bit of exercise every day in this first week of the year. I've gotten some good runs done both on the roads and out on the trails. And I've had a couple of great strength workouts (at home, no weights except the weight of my body - very effective!).
I don't make resolutions for the new year. If I feel something needs changing, I want to change it right then - no need to wait for a new year or some other landmark date.
But I do like to start off a new year well. I feel like what I do New Year's Eve and Day sets the tone for the year. Start it off right and let it continue into the weeks ahead.
Uncharacteristically this year, because I was here helping out with my mom, I did not work New Year's Eve. (I realize that with all the travel and races over the last couple of years, it may seem like I never work. I'm actually something of a workaholic, but my work has a very irregular schedule with big, empty chunks of time, and other periods that are completely frantic. I try to take as much advantage of that weird schedule as possible!) Instead, I spent time caring for people I love - who have taken very good care of me when I needed it. I think it was a good trade-off this year. After getting Mom back home from the hospital New Year's Eve, I went out for a very cold nighttime run in the fresh snow. New Year's Day included a run on trails. Today, I got back out on the trails with friends and dogs for a fun 7 miles. All in all, a good week. A good start to the year.
And I've been thinking about plans for the year ahead while also reflecting on the past year. Thinking about my health and fitness goals. Thinking about races. Thinking about climbs. All while being mindful of lessons learned from last year.
Last year, I learned that I do, in fact, have limits. That came as a bit of a shock to me. Looking back, I see that I climbed two of the Seven Summits - Kilimanjaro and Elbrus. I attempted, but did not finish, two 100-mile races. Five days after summiting Mt. Elbrus, I ran my first high altitude mountain race, a 30K. I returned to rock climbing with around 1000 feet of delicious, steep rock in Nevada. And in training, I logged in somewhere north of 1100 miles of running on trails and roads, climbing over 172,000 feet of elevation.
Not bad, but it did leave me pretty tired out. So I'm trying to learn lessons from this. I'm trying to not get carried away in my enthusiasm. I have a couple of races I really want to do, and I must be judicious in my other plans.
I'm off to a good start - spending important time with people I care about, being healthy, staying fit in ways I enjoy, and thinking about the past and future. Learning from the past, and setting goals for the future.
I hope your year is starting well also. I wish health, happiness, and clarity for all.