So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution Versus Resolve

res-o-lu-tion -n. - 1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. 2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. 3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. 4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
Naturally, with the passing of the old Gregorian calendar year & the start of the new one comes a well-worn & often useless activity. More often than not this activity consists of two steps: Whine like a seven-year-old school girl about the failure, shortcoming, or character flaw which boiled to the surface in the past year. Make some cockamamie - & often unattainable - promise to transform failure into success, shortcoming into strength, & character flaw into character-reinforcing trait...oh, & all within the scope of the next 365 days.
After hearing too many of my old contemporaries go through this song-and-dance I resolved to do two things in years past: Rather than make any resolutions at the new year, I would engage in continuous improvement. When confronted by a person making a resolution without a reasonable goal...or a plan of action to reach it...I would challenge them to either develop & execute a realistic plan to achieve a reasonable goal or call them on their obvious lack of seriousness.

It makes me a little unpopular at holiday parties & races, to say the least.
My wife & I were sitting in a dining establishment on the beach the other day, talking about what we would like to achieve in the new year. She spent the previous Friday evening socializing with her closest friend, celebrating one of those milestone birthdays, & had partaken of a little more of the fermented, grain-derived beverages than she would have least when seen in the light of the "elephantine" feeling she had during her Sunday morning long run. When your Friday evening beer intake slows you down all the way to midday Sunday, I guess you could say that is enough beer.

I'm not going to get all self-righteous here & say I don't like beer. In fact, I love beer. I'm in firm agreement with Benjamin Franklin and the Warsteiner brewery: Beer is proof that God loves us & wants us to be happy. Oh, and, life is too short to drink cheap beer.
My coach's coach, Bob Schul, never liked his athletes drinking beer. Bob was of the opinion beer made for slower running; of course, when you're a slow runner in the first place, what's the big deal? But as I've read more medical-based research in the past year, in running, triathlon & swimming magazines, it has finally sunk in through my thick skull that beer might be proof of the Almighty's compassion toward humanity, but can do a number on a human being's recovery from workouts. Who knew alcohol could slow the production of human growth hormone & delay workout recovery? And when you get to be my age, approaching a milestone birthday faster than I care to admit, recovery takes just a little longer.

But you're not going to see me do a complete & utter cut-back to no beer whatsoever. Ben Franklin might not have been into running, cycling or swimming fast, but he knew a good deal about human nature. Face is short & we are dead a long time. So, if there's going to be beer passing my lips, it will pass my lips less often, & it will be of higher quality.
So for me, while 2009 was a year of trial & error, 2010 is more likely going to be a year of returning a little closer to the tried & true. Longer, easier stuff on the easy days; shorter, intense stuff on the hard days. Recovery as often as practicable. Cross-training as often as possible. And fun as often as I can get away with it. Because...if it isn't fun, then why the hell am I doing it?

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