Here's to the year ahead....

I’m 38 years old today. Years young. I think I’m going to go with that. Not because I fear getting older or want to—oh, no, not really ever—revisit my younger years. No, I just like the sound of it. Years young. The idea that I embrace each passing year while also never forgetting to do all that I possibly can to stay as strong and able and joyful and giving and grateful as possible.

I do still get a kick out of being carded, like I did just now at one of my favorite writing hang-outs when I ordered a birthday cider, because I admit to liking looking on the younger side. Let me amend that: I like appearing younger than my age. It’s got as much to do with good health as it does vanity. What I want more than anything as I age is to do so with strength, both in body and in mind. I think when we’re living an authentic life we radiate that goodness and healthiness. This in turn affects us, affects others, in positive and right ways.

And does it ever dawn on me more than ever the importance of living life right, of treating others the way I want to be treated, and taking good care of myself. Of saying what needs to be said and not letting a moment—a single stinkin’ second—slip by without recognizing someone important and what they mean to us. (And also letting those not-so-good things and people and regrets and hurts go…just letting them go already). Life is short. It can change drastically, devastatingly, in a moment. We’ve all been reminded of this in the past few heart-breaking days.

In honor of my 38-year-young self, I’ve come up with just a few things I wish for in the coming year, running-related and otherwise (I initially planned on coming up with 38 things, but…that’s a lot of things):

1.)  Continue to listen to my body. After Boston, my body needed a break. I felt it in my left hamstring and IT Band, and I felt it in my heart. Three marathons in less than a year was such a gift and so amazing. And also, a lot for my body. So I spent the summer and much of the fall taking it easy. Going for runs sans Nike+ GPS (no idea how fast or how long I went). Signing on for 5Ks with my family. Trail running with my dog. Just enjoying the run. I think it really helped me become even more in tune with my body and what it needs. Rest and relaxation and easier running schedules are essential, particularly at certain times in our lives. We all just need to discover when and how to best make this happen for us.

2.)  Dream big. I am super excited to have a marathon on my race calendar. Memorial Day weekend 2013. Can’t wait. I know I have much work ahead of me. I am eager to get started. I know, too, that each day I am able to go out for a run, to train the way I want to train, will be a gift. I also want to sign up for something more this year…maybe Chicago Marathon? Maybe 26.2 on trails? A destination race with my family? I don’t know yet. But I’m dreaming, I’m pondering, I am believing that something exciting is yet to come…

3.)  Laugh. A lot. I’m an optimistic person (Could you tell?). But I also have this tendency to…let’s see…feel things deeply. That may be the best way to say it.  This is a blessing and a curse. Mostly, I am happy to feel life. To experience all of its beauty and wonder and craziness and complicated-ness. That’s what I do. I jump right in. I just dive right in. Why not? Even when it hurts, I go in. But I probably should lighten up a little. Not take things too terribly seriously.  Time passes. Hurts lessen.  Life goes on. I’ve gotten a lot better at just going with it, letting it all unfold without thinking the worst. I want to keep doing this. I think laughter—a lot of laughter and giggles and smiling—makes all the difference. I wish for moments of laughing, with family and with friends.

4.)  Run. Run, run, run. I know there may come a day when I need to cross-train even more. When I may swim at a local pool or take up something like Zumba (I know Zumba is great, I’ve heard it is, so please don’t take that wrong) or boot camp so that my body takes a much-needed break from just running-pilates-running, running-pilates-running. But, oh, do I ever hope that’s years from now. Or at least, that I can keep running a lot while trying to incorporate these other forms of exercise into my life. I love to run. I’ve yet to find anything that makes me feel so good, so whole, as running does. My wish for 2013: that I can just keep running.

What do you wish for in 2013?



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