Everybody wants to be in shape. Nobody wants to lift heavy…..

My game-plan for Christmas week was to run 5 miles each day so as not to be away from family very long on any given day. Monday I ran 5 miles. Tuesday I did not. Wednesday I ran. Thursday I re-wrote my calendar so I could run the same number of miles this week every other day.image

Friday, I drove to Maggie Valley before my run and although there was no snow anywhere around town, there was plenty of snow at Tube World, and that’s where we went Friday afternoon. We slid down that mountain head first, feet first and sometimes, when they gave us a really good whirl at the top, we went down every which way first.

To ask what we should do today became so commonplace, it was almost absent-mindedly when I asked what we should do on New Year’s Eve. Then it hit me. This is a New Year!

I  wrote about New Year’s resolutions earlier this year. There’s a fascinating history behind this tradition. It’s not that I always have a resolution. Sometimes maintaining status quo is challenging enough. It’s not as if you’re not working at something.

This year my goal centered around running shorter races. By February, I had run the Hot Chocolate 10k. My time was good enough to take 1st place Grand Master and I came home with a $75 check for the pain I endured on Hill Street. So it wasn’t discouragement that prevented me from reaching my goal of also running a 5k before years’ end. It became more of a scheduling issue.

Physical challenges are a common resolution. The problem for me is that I like these challenges. I’ve played tennis, golf, softball, volleyball and racquetball, snow skied, water skied and dived off the coast of Hawaii, hiked, bicycled, fished off a pier, a little boat and in the deep, blue sea. And, while there are lots of things I have not yet done there are few physical challenges that intimidate me.

My son and I were lamenting how crowded the gym becomes this time of year. He said he and his buddies have a saying, “Everybody wants to be in shape, everybody wants to be muscular, but nobody wants to lift heavy shit.”

Trainers say the last few reps are the most important. When your muscles are trembling and you don’t think you can do one more rep, this guy screams, “One more, one more. Ok, just one more.”  You have to push past the point where your body says, “No More!” and your mind says “Just One More….”

Master Sifu has given me reading material for Wing Chun. One book says, “In Tai Chi, the spirit is the commander and the body is subordinate. When you can make the inside and the outside become one, then it becomes complete.”

Your resolution may require a physical commitment while mine does not and yet both of us may need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone as we strive to make the inside and the outside become one.

Herbie Hancock said, “Be vulnerable enough to explore what you don’t know.” His willingness to explore new things helped redefine the genres of music.

In this New Year, I wish for everyone peace, happiness and success… whatever your goals may be.