Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions: A Year of Firsts

As I was paying my late fee at the video store the other day, I told the man behind the counter that I bet he made more money from me in the form of late fees than he did on movie rentals (Yes, I still rent movies from time to time. I enjoy the experience). The man laughed and I jokingly commented that my New Year's resolution should be to start returning movies on time. To which he replied, "My resolution is to not make any more resolutions." As was my duty, I laughed but not because I found it funny. I laughed because I've heard that exact line dozens and dozens of times over the years and I figured he'd probably already used that line dozens of times that day. The conversation did get me thinking though.

I've never been much of a New Year's resolution maker. Sure I try to take stock of the past year and think what I'd like to do differently in the year to come but no actual resolutions. So, I decided to make one for 2012. Not a list, but just one resolution that will hopefully amount to a hefty list when I do my year in review just before the ball drops on naught 13. This year will be the year of firsts and I got right to it by starting on New Year's Eve.

This past Spring I caught the running bug. That is to say, one day I decided to go for a run and after several successful three milers I started to wonder if I could go four, then five etc. I've never been much of a runner. In high school I went through a brief distance running phase, but who knows how far I actually ever went. Probably not that far. Which is also the distance I predicted I'd make it as a 32 year old beginning runner. Not that far. When you tell someone that you ran three miles today, you don't get the reaction you might hope for. Three miles isn't easy. If you can say, "I ran three miles today and it was nothing" then you run a lot, you're in great shape or you're a liar. Three miles isn't easy unless you've been training, then it's four that's the tough part, then see where I'm going. Never the less, very few people are ever impressed unless you tell them you just ran a marathon.

After a couple of months I was topping out at six miles, three times a week with shorter runs in between. All in all I was running between twenty and twenty-five miles a week. My buddy Micah was impressed, I was impressed and that was about it. Anyone else I told just offered a "good for you" or a "wow." It was a bit disheartening and discouraged me from trying my hand (or feet) at some sort of organized race. I don't run extreme distances, I don't run particularly fast and I have a knee that gives me a little trouble from time to time. Enter the year of firsts.

I'm not sure how I found it, (Probably an iPhone app because it seems that's how I find all new things these days) but I came across info about a New Year's Day 12k. 12k equals out to about 7.5 miles. If you're keeping track, that's a mile and a half more than I've ever run...and I haven't been running all that much since the mercury dipped. That aside, I decided to sign up and the year of firsts began.

Seeing as how the race was 10am on New Year's Day; New Year's Eve would be a bit different than many of my past NYE experiences. This year was the first eve of a new year that I didn't take at least one puff of a cigarette or cigar (although I have to confess that I did give up smoking quite some time ago. Still a first!), danced to music played by a blues band, drank water and Diet Cokes exclusively and made it into bed before 3am. While many would start the new year still feeling the ill effects from the old, I woke up fresh and ready to run...and that's what I did.

10am came and went and as it went, I went running right alongside it. Unfortunately, it too runs quite a bit faster than I do. This BLOG isn't really about how the race went. About mile two I was ready to call for my ride, but I didn't. Instead I went ahead and finished my first organized race. I'm not sure about the official time. It wasn't good. 7.5 miles in about an hour twenty I believe. Regardless of the time, it was a first. Oh, and I won a pair of socks. Nice right?

I've got quite a few firsts lined up for the year. Some big, some small, some hopefully in the works already. A woman in Springfield, MO wrote me to tell me my BLOGS were hard to read because of all the pictures. I'm not sure how she found my page, but notice my sparing use of pics in this post. BLAM! You just got firsted! Feels pretty good doesn't it? "Firsts" are limitless. You can have as many or as few as you want and since it's a first, each one gives you a completely different feeling. It's kind of amazing when you think about it, but don't waste time thinking. Head out and get one under your belt or just start keeping track of the ones that fall into your lap. I bet you'll be impressed.

I've got to go return a movie now. Don't rent Green Lantern. Who knew? I know, I know...everybody.

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