a new year’s story

When the new year rolled around I began thinking about resolutions and goals for 2010.  There were many articles online about how to make resolutions and visions and goals, but one article that really caught my attention was on Donald Miller’s blog.  He basically said that New Year’s resolutions might be more attainable if we think of them more as how to live a good story this year and not as something we should, or have, to do.

After I read Don’s article, I sat down and wrote out the story I would like to see for my life this year.  It included finishing my book, traveling with my husband, scrapbooking the little moments with my children, and simply surrendering to all that life is right now.  I considered adding exercising to my story, but I just knew that would be a storyline with a sad ending.  The excuses piled up; I’m not motivated, I can’t do it by myself, I’m too lazy, I never stick to it anyway.  I even remember laughing to myself and saying “The only thing that might motivate me to exercise would be to sign up for a marathon or something.  But I’m certainly not going to do it by myself and I’d be crazy to try it anyway.”   Why bother?  I had a good story planned out as it was. 

The next day my best friend called.  We gabbed and laughed for an hour or so, and then were getting ready to say goodbye.  But right before we hung up, she mentioned one more thing.  “For our girl’s weekend this year, I think we should go to San Francisco!”  Great, I said.  That would be really fun!  “And while we’re there,” she continued, “let’s run the Nike half-marathon.”

I think it took me at least ten seconds to process her words.  My first reaction was are you crazy?  I’m totally out of shape, I could never do that.    Then it struck me that she was inviting me to be in a half-marathon with her – I’d have my best friend supporting me every step of the way.  I have a treadmill in my basement that’s been collecting dust for the last year and a half, and the marathon isn’t until October – plenty of time to train.   I had no more excuses! 

I’ve been training, slowly, for two weeks now.  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m really enjoying it.  The first time I got on the treadmill I walked for twenty minutes and then ran for ten, and while I was running I was also laughing because I felt like a kid again.  I wanted to jump up and down and shout at the top of my lungs I felt so good – but I didn’t want to fall off the treadmill and break a leg, so I just ran with a smile and giggled a lot.  Nowadays I’m feeling more energetic, I eat better, I can chase my kids around without feeling as exhausted, and I’m just happier.  I’m proud of myself and I’m excited about my story.

Yesterday I ran three miles.  Although it wasn’t easy getting my sore body out of bed this morning, I’m still feeling great and I’m still looking forward to getting back on the treadmill.  I’m also still amazed that this part of my story, one I originally didn’t put in the plans, is turning out to be so fulfilling.   It’s funny how things work.  I thought I knew exactly what would make my story good, but I guess I’m not the only one writing it, am I?


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