Saturday, March 17, 2012

Milestones, Reflections & Resolutions

This  year has had a bit of a rough start. I set a few resolutions that I am going to keep but first I have to make some changes.
So far this year I have been running along on the edge of overload. I think what has been happening is that I had such a good year last year and was so pleased about what I had accomplished that I have piled it on a little too deep at the start of this year. There is much that I want to do but only so much time. It is time to make some tough choices and make sure what is in my plan is achievable. I want to challenge myself but it needs to make sense.
Karate is my primary focus for health and fitness. I found that through the end of last year and the start of this year, I have been so busy that I have not been allocating the proper time to practice. This needs to change. To help facilitate this, I have made a couple of small changes to the home dojo. I sold my old Bowflex. It is a great machine but my training needs are getting more focused and the Bowflex did not fit in as well as it used to, plus it requires quite a bit of room. Next, I purchased a free-standing heavy bag. This has worked out very nicely so far. There are a lot of techniques I can work on with the heavy bag.
Iaido is something that I have had to cut way back on. I have felt very guilty about this. I really enjoy this form of martial arts. Something about swinging around a big sword that gives you a real feeling of empowerment. It is not my intent to quit Iaido altogether but it will be relegated to the occasion of when I have time and I am not going to feel guilty about it.
Back in May of 2011 I got fairly serious about my running and started to log my runs. I set a goal of logging 1,000 kilometers before the end of the year. By the end of December I had logged 1,017 kilometers.
Running has become a very big thing to me. I have found that the added fitness I get from my running has helped me feel more balanced (literally) in my karate and, sometimes at the end of a hard day at work, it just feels good to come home, pull on the running shoes and go out and beat the pavement.
I have some serious goals to achieve in my running. I feel healthy now. I think I have a handle on the knee issues I have been dealing with and I have pretty much recovered from a number of small injuries. I have set up a schedule to get me to my goal. It is workable and will be stuck to.
I have not been doing as much blogging as I would like to. Blogging seems to have a way of helping me see through the things that are sometimes a bit cloudy. When I write it down, it comes clearer. It seems to be kind of therapeutic, so it only make sense to keep doing it.
Work has gotten really busy these days. It is not uncommon these days to get a phone call from work with them looking for me to come in and help them out or to fix something that I am very knowledgeable about. It had gotten to the point that I was feeling a bit resentful towards work for stealing my personal time. Work was just getting in the way of life.

Well, the truth is, work makes a lot of things I do in my life possible. I can afford to keep myself in good running shoes, I can purchase a good practice sword and I can wear a good quality gi. My wife and I have taken a number of month-long holidays touring Canada on our Gold Wing motorcycle. Tough to do these kinds of things without a good job. So, the truth of is, it is a good thing we are busy at work. The plant is doing well and I am secure in my job. Not much there to complain about.

My 55th birthday was this past October. Not a bad day at all. Did a 20K run that day. Felt pretty good to be this age and in the kind of condition I am now in. Birthdays aren’t such a scary thing. In the past, this was a signpost telling me I was not just getting older but getting slower and in worse health. I was having trouble just getting out of bed in the mornings. Especially on work days. These days, things are better. I have no more issues with birthdays. I have finally managed to just accept them as part of the process of being here. I want more, many more, so let's just work at that.

A new year often means stopping to look back at the years that have gone by. For me this year, I am looking back through the three years I have been on my health and fitness journey. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing some of the changes I have made for myself. I have heard about people sometimes distorting their own self image. Blocking out the bad and seeing what they want to see. This was clearly the case for me. There have been times when I have said that I don't see myself any differently and I feel pretty much the same. Sara helped me with that by suggesting I go back through some of my older photos. I did this and it was a real eye opener! Truth is, I feel great.

A new year and another step forward. At least that is the plan. We did something totally different for New Years Eve this year. It is called a Resolution Run. Along with making a few new resolutions for the year 2012 to emphasize our new way of life, we were out on the road RUNNING. It was just a 5K run but there we were, as the clocked ticked over to 2012, we were out there running in the new year.
It wasn't that many years ago that I made the ultimate cop-out resolution. That was to never make any more resolutions. Thank goodness I woke up and broke that one. Now I make a couple of resolutions every New Years Eve and then I do my best to live up to them. I have found that the trick to it is to challenge myself but to be realistic and set goals that are achievable. So what's on the list for this year?
Lose that last 10 pounds that I have been trying to ignore but just won't go away by itself.

Get into good enough shape to run a full marathon and then just do it. My target for this is some time in late August or September. I am hopeful that I will have my issues with my knees resolved by then.

Run two half marathons. I am starting my training for my first half marathon in May at the Ottawa Race Weekend. My second will be the Ottawa Army Run. This was my first half marathon run. I feel committed to this run because of what it stands for. I am very proud to be part of this and to know I am doing something to help our Armed Forces.

Earn my blue belt in karate. This is always a challenge. The farther up you get, the tougher it becomes and the harder you have to work at it. This means a lot to me. To continue to improve and advance in art is my first and primary passion when it comes to my fitness plan.

I think for 2012, that's a pretty good list. I have a number of other things I would like to achieve such as getting more work done toward remodeling the inside of our house and adding to the trails that I have been cutting on the property but I don't really think these things classify as resolutions. They're just targets or things I would like to continue to make progress on. Still, it does mean not standing still or getting attached to the couch for long periods of time. It just means getting out there and moving. Being part of life instead of being little more than an observer.
So here we go! Welcome to 2012!
3 years ago

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