Monday, January 23, 2017

Bravery

At the end of every year a friend of mine asks on Facebook what your word for the year is going to be? In the past I've chosen words at the beginning of the year only to find at the end of the year there is a theme but maybe not based on the word I've chosen. I don't know what I would have chosen in January 2016 but I think the word I walked away with in December was "grateful." Because I learned the hard way about taking things for granted and for not appreciating the simple motion of life.

So do I pick a word for 2017? I don't have any real goals or resolutions. The health goal that everyone inevitably picks is pretty much taken care of for me. I run 3 or 4 times a week and do cross training exercises at least 3 days. We eat healthy and have significantly cut out processed foods. We could cut down on electronics but I'm not worried about that. I think I learned last year that you can't predict what can happen in a year and I'm not comfortable making a long-term goal. Sure there's a race I'd like to do at the end of the year and a vacation to go on this summer but mentally I'm not going to deal with those things until I need to. I think because I don't know how BT will be in a month, much less 6 months, I don't feel like I can go too far into the future. I'm very much in a "here and now" state of mind. Do what needs to be done now.

That being said, I would like to learn new things this year. Last year I hurt my foot and spent 3 weeks not being able to run. I did other work outs, usually taking BT's trail bike out or doing workouts from the Nike Training Club app. I like cycling but I hate that trail bike. It's heavy and not fitted for me. I wanted to buy myself a proper bike with Christmas money but I needed new running shoes and then a new phone so that was the majority of the money I got. So the dream of a new bike is on hold for now. Anyway, one of the things that I wanted to do when I couldn't run was take swim lessons. I can swim in the sense that I had 5 years of swim lessons as a kid and can keep myself afloat and alive. But I'm not a good swimmer or a strong swimmer and I'd like to learn how. I looked into it at the time but BT was still working and it was about the time things started to fall apart so I never went. But now I want to. Swimming is excellent cross training for runners. It's low impact and would, I think, help me with the last 25 pounds I want to lose. Yes, I know #strongnotskinny and the scale doesn't matter blah blah blah. But still I have extra weight that needs to go and swimming is excellent for achieving a leaner body.

The problem is all mental. I am painfully shy and introverted. I hate new situations and doing new things in front of people who know what they are doing. I am very afraid of embarrassing myself. I know the truth is that no one cares. That everyone started somewhere. My first 5k took me 38:36 with a pace of 12'23" and now my personal best is 33:37 with a pace of 10'49". Still "slow" but I'm getting stronger and faster and honestly my only goal is to run a 10 minute miles someday. You improve as you go. That's how these things work. So I know intellectually that my fears are unfounded. I'm not going to be judged on not being good at something that I am admittedly not good at. That's why I need lessons and why I want to learn. I was thinking the other day that I will be 39 in a few months and how do I want to spend my last year in my 30's? I want to learn new things. I want to try new things. I can't take anything for granted anymore so I want to do it all. I want to help BT live his best life now and live mine too. We have a finite amount of time together and I want us to enjoy as many moments as we can.

So Bravery is the word I would pick. It's going to be a year of hard things. Hell, it's going to be a life of really hard things from here on out. And I want to brave for all that is to come. And it's a tiny thing in the face of an overwhelming illness like ALS but I want to take a step forward and do something new just for me just right now.


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