Friday, January 13, 2012

Why a Resolution Can Be a Good Thing

Now that we're two weeks into 2012, almost every [running] blogger has posted their 2012 resolutions and/or goals. Almost everyone prefaced their post with some kind of "I don't normally make resolutions ..." or "I think resolutions are silly because ..." (yes, including me). I've also read a million Facebook posts, tweets, and mentions on blogs about how the gyms are crowded because of the resolutioners, and can't they just give up like they inevitably will so you can have your gym back? (PS they pay a monthly fee just like you, in fact the ones who pay and never show up are probably how your gym supports itself, so you NEED those resolutioners to keep your gym swank.)

However, resolutions aren't bad. Even when they are actually goals.

Back in January 2010, I made it my goal to run my first half marathon that spring. Prior to January, the extent of my running experience was doing a couple 5K races, in fact, I think 3.1 miles was my personal distance record at that time. I was running very sporadically, and probably wearing 100 percent cotton.

I saw this picture on Pinterst, with the user-added caption "Don't just make it your 2012 resolution!"

I realized that two years ago, I made a resolution to start running (via my goal to finish a half marathon). Two years later, despite some dips my my mileage, I'm still running. I'm running more. And faster. And I love it. And I've made friends because of it.

Honestly, you could say that running has changed my life, or at the very least, changed my outlook on life. I am no longer afraid to try. I know that without trying, you won't achieve anything worth achieving. Without trying, you will have nothing to be proud of. I feel like my [semi-] fearless approach to running is starting to carry over into other areas of my life.

Anyway, the point of this post is that it all started more or less with a resolution. Sure, it was more of a goal of doing a half marathon than a vague resolution to "exercise more." But it forced me to change. It forced me to get up off my ass and exercise more. It gave me something to work toward. And when race day came, and I finished those 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 53 seconds (yes I realize many runners can finish a marathon in that time), wearing a cotton workout tank from Old Navy, with chafed thighs and bloated fingers, I realized I did it. On my own. Back then I didn't have a running group. I had this blog, but very few followers. The only running blog I read was probably Angry Runner, only because I've been following her since the days of Live Journal. I had BFF Ultra Vera to turn to for advice, but I didn't know which questions to even ask.

So, the next time you are at the gym, complaining about the resolutioners, be a little bit nicer. The next time you read the millionth running blog post about New Years resolutions, don't roll your eyes.

Sometimes resolutions stick. And give them credit for being brave enough to want to make a change - and work toward it - in the first place.

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