As we close the book on 2013 and lift the cover of 2014, it blows my mind that we’re at this crossroads once again, looking back at what was while looking forward to what could be. If you think about it, today’s a day just like any other. The moon tucked away and the sun rose, we woke up (albeit a bit later and perhaps a little hungover), and the day’s hours have been ticking along as they always do. And yet, there’s always this strange feeling on the first of January, this grandiose sense of urgency to make a resolution that will ensure the next 364 days will be profoundly better than the last. Buried in well wishes for 2014 to be “the best year ever” is that familiar “new year, new you” tagline that’s recycled each year, and everyone’s running around with a new sense of determination to change something about themselves and their lives. I’m all for goal setting, in fact I’m pretty gung-ho about it, but just as I was reflecting over what was “wrong” with 2013 for me and how I’d change to do 2014 “right”, I wondered if maybe we’re all looking at this new year from the wrong angle.
Last year was by no means story-book perfect for me. It was a roller coaster of a year, but it was through all of the downs that found their way up that I was able to learn, grow and accomplish everything I’d set out to do, and I came out of it the best version of me yet. In looking back, I realized it was in all the moments I stopped trying so hard to be something, to change or be more that what I am, when I let myself be a little flexible to let things happen, letting go of limitations or rules or anything that set my goals within the confines of what it ‘should’ be that I was the happiest and things fell into place. If 2013 taught me anything, it isn’t that I need to resolve to change anything about myself heading into 2014, but that I need to just BE myself.
It’s easy to see what we don’t like about ourselves that would like to change in the coming year. We’re our own worst critics, after all, aren’t we? The real challenge is in letting yourself just be yourself. Knowing who you are and being brave enough to be it, now that is something to strive for! I can resolve to train smarter and harder to run a 2-hour 1/2 marathon, master a head stand or carve out my own 6-pack abs. I can set out to be more social, vocal and funny, to dress better or style my hair more often. That stuff is easy, and a quick Google search can give you step-by-step instructions to achieve all of that any time of the year. But the one thing I’ve always struggled with is just letting myself be me. It takes a lot of courage to recognize who you are and own it unapologetically. It’s the kind of thing that’s electric when you come across it in someone else.
So, instead of setting goals and resolving to do more, or to change something about me or my life as I head into the new year, I resolve to just BE. You always hear people say the new year will be theirs. Well, 2014 really will be, because that’s exactly what I’ll set out to be: ME.
Running is the pea to my pod so, naturally, I had to kick off day 1 of 365 magical days with a run! All month I’d been anticipating January to slowly ease myself back into running after my issues with my right achilles. Just over a month of babying, cross-training and (sadly) NO running, and the ankle’s doing much better! It’s not healed yet, but it’s good enough to run on just a little. By a little I mean 2-3 miles, TOPS, but hey I’ll take what I can get! I saw snow was in the forecast for today and couldn’t wait to head out for my first real winter-y run. All of my winter running gear has been sitting in my closet pleading to be taken for a spin, and I finally got to do that today. Once I was all layered up, I glanced at myself decked out in New Balance from head-to-toe. You’d think I was sponsored by them or something. And the windbreaker just so happened to color-coordinate with the 910 Goretex Trail Shoes, which is always nice :)
Enough words, let’s let some pictures do the talking for the rest of this post, shall we?
How do you plan on making 2014 great? Any goal races on schedule? Will you resolve to axe the resolutions and just be YOU?
Here’s to another year of running! Cheers!