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I’m approaching the New Year with baby steps. Baby steps because for the past few weeks, I’ve been unable to run, and have just recently ramped up my walks to anything remotely resembling a workout. The reason for my back-sliding fitness? I had surgery a few weeks ago – totally unrelated to running – and have needed to allow my body ample healing time. Everything went perfectly with my procedure, and I’m well on my way to being fully recovered, but still, it’s important that I ease back into any activity that involves intensity or impact.
I know most runners would be stir-crazy by now, and of course I’ve had moments when I’ve wanted to throw off my cozy lounge clothes and break into an all-out sprint. But I also have a feeling that this forced time off may be one of the best things I can do for my body – as well as for my emotions and brain! Perhaps it’s the coincidence of timing with the turnover to 2011, but I almost feel as though I’m being reborn. I suppose it also has something to do with having had a huge, benign and utterly unnecessary mass removed from my abdomen – something I can’t help but symbolically see as a ball of stress which I’m elated to ditch.
We all carry our burdens, along with our joys. Some are more reasonable and some seem to snowball into unwieldy proportions, far outweighing the seriousness of their root cause. And while not everyone (thankfully!) has such a dramatic and tangible representation of their challenges as the mass I recently had removed, we all have an opportunity to embrace our own fresh starts. I view the New Year as a new beginning, a time for the delights of life to take residence in the majority of my physical, emotional and mental self. Sometimes, it just takes a gentle reminder here and there to oneself to smile a bit bigger and more often and to let life’s little annoyances slide more easily away. Sometimes it takes baby steps to learn to lean more toward the positive each day. But the beautiful thing is we each have the strength within ourselves to do so.
I want to wish all of you a safe, festive, healthy, humor-filled and above all else Happy New Year!