Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year, New... Ugh!

By Rae Hedlund

Welcome to another year, DRC! Looking back at 2015, I’m blown away by all the things our club has accomplished: members have joined and become confident and consistent runners; people have run their first races or tackled new distances; we have shared stories, told more about our lives before running and how running has changed us. It’s truly incredible to see the things our club has done over the last year.

I’ve spent the past year helping with the DRC blog, encouraging you to share your stories, and I have loved every minute of it. Every story you’ve told has been an inspiration to me personally, and I’m so thankful to have been a part of it thus far. Starting out another year, I feel excited just seeing the things to come, with the 2016 Penny Challenge, our month of speedwork in April, and other fun things in the works, it’s all so exciting! But can I share something with you that hasn’t been exciting me lately? Resolutions.

For some years now, I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the “New Year, New You!” concept. Those of you that know me know I’m an extrovert (Gasp! Shocking!), and while I’m great at seeing a big-picture concept, achieving the final product leaves me feeling confused and muddled—the details elude me. Ask me to tell you my “resolutions” and I get frazzled because I have a lot of things I’d love to accomplish, but don’t know what is reasonable and what isn’t. To be honest, there is also a part of me that’s just cynical about resolutions. Think of all the memes out there about people going to the gym in January... and not going after that! Those memes are how I’ve always looked at resolutions.

Not gonna lie, I think they based this off something I said once.
I'd tell you to disregard the year, but this shows that I'm not the only one who thinks this way!
Well, I’m here to say sorry. I’m sorry for being cynical, and I’m sorry (okay, only a little) for being so easily stressed over a pastime that most people embrace. However, I’ve shifted my thinking over the last couple years to try to see “resolutions” as goals- and I’m always excited to talk about my goals! I have some for the year (volunteering and decluttering, to name a couple), but my main goal is to be gracious with myself. The idea of being gracious, compassionate, or just kind to myself came during my 50-miler last year, and I’ve tried to keep that idea alive.

This year is starting out particularly directionless for me. Being 34 weeks pregnant, I’m just thankful for every moment my body feels good being active. Over and over, I’ve been encouraged to “listen to my body,” while also being prodded to be cautious and not overdo things. So, this year, I consider it a  goal to continue having a healthy pregnancy. With that in mind, I have just tried to be gracious with myself while doing what I love: I love running! But I also know that I need to take walking breaks, or cut a run short; there are also times, though, where I know the discomfort I’m feeling stems not from pregnancy, but from running just being tough.

Starting off my year in my third trimester has thrown my already easily overwhelmed, non-detail-oriented brain into a tizzy. How can I set fitness goals? Can I get close to last year’s mileage, or is that out of the question? What do I even want my goals to be? I’m not much for racing and have none on my calendar for the year, and I’m okay with that! I’ve learned that I don’t need a race as motivation, that I just like to see what my body can do, and with DRC to keep the motivation flowing I know I’ll continue running (thanks, DRC!).

No races, no mileage goal, I really do feel directionless! At the same time, though, I’m looking forward to some awesome volunteering opportunities—it is so inspiring to see others pushing themselves, getting to help them on their way is just way too cool. I’m hoping to get to pace some friends this year as they go out to crush their goals, because what better way to give back to those who have helped me in my own running journey? Even continuing to encourage you DRCers to share your running stories with the rest of us through the blog is something I’m looking forward to this year!

What does this all mean, then? Here I am, somewhat goalless but looking forward to a full year. Honestly, I feel a little empty about it, but also kind of excited to see what the year will bring; with nothing in my sights, anything that comes across my horizon will be an adventure I’ll be floored to take part in. I love seeing the goals/resolutions of other DRCers, because I know that I’ll be setting goals sometime this year, just not in January. I feel directionless, but I know that I’m not.