Running into the New Year

For the past several years, when I find myself in conversations about sports, I often proudly tell others that I played varsity basketball as a freshman in high school.  They’re usually surprised and impressed, and then, depending on the audience, I may or may not share a critical detail—I went to an all-girls school with a mere 40 girls in my entire grade.  The fact that I was on the varsity team as a freshman didn’t mean that I was exceptionally talented or skilled.  I was also on the junior varsity team.  There simply weren’t enough of us.

It’s funny—I can remember avoiding sports for as long as I can remember.  If I had a dime for every headache I faked to get out of a game of kickball in grade school… or every excuse I came up with so that I wouldn’t have to “run the mile” in the annual physical fitness test… That said, I enthusiastically leapt into basketball as a pre-adolescent and like most kids in my Chicago suburb at that time, I was obsessed with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.

It wasn’t until about halfway through high school when I came to the sad but true realization that I excelled at other school activities more than sports.  I hung up my basketball jersey in exchange for theater costumes.  I nerded out in Latin Honor Society, Speech Team, and show choir.  Following high school, I went on to college where I lived in the honors dorms where I knew I would face no pressure to be good at sports.  I managed to complete my bachelor’s degree without once setting foot into the school’s gym facilities.  Now that I’m nearing 30 years old, I realize that’s not a fact of which I should be proud.  In fact, I’m realizing a lot of things…

  1. I can no longer eat meals of breadsticks or Mad Mushroom cheesy bread for dinner.  How was that ever acceptable?
  2. I can’t will myself to be thin without ever stepping into a gym nor can I rely on a stressful job to keep me thin (so long Washington D.C. lifestyle!).
  3. If I’m going to live in Seattle, I should take advantage of the outdoors because it’s amazingly beautiful here.  Seriously.
  4. I need to take care of myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically if I want to be in the best position to be kind and loving to RM and the kiddies.
  5. I want to live a long, healthy life.

For these reasons, on 1 November I decided go against everything in my being that tells me that I am not athletic and begin my 2014 New Year’s resolution early.  I set a goal of running an average of three times a week for at least three miles.  I counted up the runs and put that number on a dry-erase board, giving myself until 1 March to complete them.  If I complete my goal by 1 March, I will reward myself with a 6-month membership to Yuan Spa.  You can check it Yuan Spa here.  A-mazing.  I went there once in October, and I’ve been DYING to return.  I’ve gone from barely running one mile to running three miles continuously, and recently FOUR whole miles without walking.  Now, I know that might not sound impressive to people who are dedicated, legitimate runners, but for me, this is a huge accomplishment.  I’ve also upped the ante a bit with the upcoming start of the New Year and registered for my very first race—the Shamrock Run 5k on 15 March.  This might be the first actual concrete resolution that I’ve ever made, and I intend to keep it.  When I feel like giving up, I have a spa to fantasize about… and a wedding dress to make sure I look good in 🙂

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