Spring has arrived, bringing with it a time of renewal and reflection. With another birthday at hand, I’m pondering everything from additions to the garden to what this next year in my life will bring. The one thing I am certain of is that I intend to look forward, seek out challenges, and explore my talents. In my life thus far, there are doors that have closed and some that never opened, and some that, regrettably, were passed by. Some doors remained locked tight despite my attempts to enter. Those are best accepted and left behind for what they are. But best yet, there are doors still to be considered, doors to knock on and doors to throw open wide.
So today I’m setting goals and making plans. My first goal? A challenge.
Last year I walked a half marathon: the Steel Rail Half Marathon on the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail that runs from Lanesboro to Adams. Quite a feat for someone who was 58 years old, overweight (very) and out of shape. It took me just shy of four hours to complete the half marathon (13.1 miles!). Though the official timekeepers were done for the day by the time I crossed the finish line, I celebrated with friends and coworkers who had gathered there. I had walked (did I mention) 13.1 miles. It was darned tough at times, but I did it.
Walking that half marathon was a personal victory that is mine forever. But my training for that very long walk had a price: I fell behind in other springtime work and spent the rest of the warm weather months playing catch up in the garden. I won’t make that mistake again.
This year, my goal is more modest and, perhaps, more sustainable. I will be a cheerleader for those friends and coworkers taking the Steel Rail challenge, and I will set my sights on something a bit different. I’m going to train for a 5K.
Of course, for this to really be a goal, I need a plan, and to format the plan, I need a target date. Otherwise, procrastination will take over and I’ll never run more than a step or two. In a moment of serendipity, I was browsing Facebook this morning and happened upon an announcement for a local 5K in June. The timing is right. The location is ideal. So my plan is set.
Perhaps this is the best birthday gift of all.