New Year’s resolutions have, for me, always taken a positive spin. I cannot remember a single midnight on December 31 when I promised myself to stop or do less of anything. Rather, I typically resolve to fill the coming year with more of something I truly enjoy. I figure that, as my days become packed with whatever that something is, less interesting and less desirable pursuits will simply get crowded out of existence.
Last year at this time, I was at home in California, and trained at the gym on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That I chose to work out while others were preparing for parties measured my commitment to a daily practice of the athletic skills I had, in 59 years, never learned, like gymnastics, weightlifting, running, and swimming. I train hard because I like it, and because I am serious about discovering the degree of excellence I can achieve.
This year, I am resolving to make my experience communal by writing about it here for myself and for others. This will be as much about discipline as my training schedule. To fuel my writing, I’ll need to pay closer attention to my workouts and how and why my body responds the way it does. That attention, too, will have to be brought to bear on my feelings. I don’t want to just write a report. But examining and sharing my feelings will be as hard—and require as much practice—as learning to handstand walk.
And then, I know that observation affects outcome. In writing about my training, I will find weaknesses—and strengths—that I can bear down on, and I hope I’ll find that more mindfulness equals refined techniques and a stronger inner game. To perform at your best, you have to think and think until you stop thinking, and that’s where I want to be.
I hope you will be patient when I stumble. It is an inevitable part of learning at any age (and there may be more of it as I turn 60 this year). And when I do, I hope that you and my other readers will help me as my coaches do by catching my falls, and patiently explaining how I can do it even better tomorrow. This isn’t a how-to, or a training guide, but I hope it will be entertaining and maybe even inspirational and thought-provoking. I believe that I will do better with your support and empathy, and I hope that you will be here to cheer me on for the next 18 months.
Happy New Year.