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Resolutions for the New Year
Published January 4, 1999, in The Post-Standard.
By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer
Resolutions to become better people in a better world usher the coming of each New Year. Sure, we can resolve to run hills, lift weights, lose weight, eat nuts and take naps. Yet, far from bringing us happiness, such resolutions perpetuate the myth that a New Year requires "more" from each of us.
On the contrary, a New Year is a time to recognize our successes, count our blessings, and carry on doing what we do best. Nevertheless, expanding our horizons and adding a little variety make good resolutions. Thus, my picks of New Year resolutions seek to transform us into faster racers and slower runners. For it is by taking time to smell the roses that we leave our footprints on a better world.
- Introduce a friend to running. You may lose a friend, but gain a running partner. Imagine a world where everybody thinks like a runner and acts like a runner. Granted, the trails may get a bit crowded.
- Attend a scholastic or a collegiate running meet. By cheering on the younger generations, we provide affirmation of their athletic choice and ensure a bright future for our sport.
- Write to your local television station and complain about their poor coverage of running events. As a corollary, praise them if they accidentally provide good coverage. A combination of Pavlov and Skinner may eventually do the trick.
- Read a new book on training techniques and an old book on running history. Take advantage of a rare Hollywood trip into running heritage and watch a Prefontaine movie with the children.
- Join a local running club. The benefits exceed team competition and social gatherings. Numbers bring strength and respect, which permit us to undertake bigger and better running ventures.
- Wear your club singlet or T-shirt to all races. They bring you spectator cheer and energy when you need them most.
- Partake in your club's social events, such as a pre-race pasta dinner or an awards banquet. Runners sure look and act a lot different in street clothes.
- Attend a business meeting of your club's governing board. You may learn about the inner functioning of a club and the behind-the-scenes activities.
- Get a new wardrobe. By any means, buy a new pair of running shoes. To lower the risk of injury, the average runner needs new running shoes every six months or 500 miles, whichever comes first.
- Broaden your racing horizons by competing at a new distance. Besides a guaranteed personal record, you may meet new people who normally avoid flat and fast 5K races.
- Sample organized training runs to test your fitness. They are labeled as fun runs since they provide perplexed spectators with plenty of entertainment and fun.
- Race out of town at least once a year. You cannot replicate at local races the camaraderie that results from a long car ride with sweaty, tired running mates.
- Spice up your running by trying a new surface. Experience the beauty of nature on wooded trails, or the safety and sure footing of a synthetic track.
- Take up walking once a week. If you have time, cover the same distance you normally cover on your run. Walking is a proven way to clear the muscles and the mind, and prevent overuse injury.
- Take time off running. Winter is the season to take a break from repetitive pounding. Try snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing to maintain lower body aerobic fitness. Better yet, take a week of total rest. Your body will thank you.
- Lastly, please refrain from discussing human anatomy and physiology at the top of your voice on early morning runs through sleepy neighborhoods, lest you undo all the good of prior resolutions.
Kamal Jabbour runs and writes
on the hills of Pompey, New York.
His RUNNING Column appears in
The Post-Standard on Mondays.
He maintains The Syracuse Running Page and
receives email at email@example.com.
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