Before you start thinking that I’ve had a change of heart and gone all Carpe Diem, sit back. This isn’t going to be one of those “Live Your Best Life Now” pep talks. In fact, I think I’m going to appeal to your slacker’s heart.
There’s exactly two weeks until Thanksgiving and on Sunday, it will be seven weeks until January 1. Plenty of time to slip in something resembling virtue.
My proposal: You know your revolving New Year’s resolution list that fizzles by Super Bowl Sunday? Pick something on it and get ‘er done before January 1st.
I know you have meals to prepare.
Yes, there are presents to buy, wrap and hide.
The traveling plans — of course.
And all the fretting about having to see those relatives again.
There’s no time! None at all!
I get it. But there’s genius in my madness.
1. Imagine you on New Year’s, with one resolution put away. It’s like a present for your future self, all wrapped up with a shiny bow. Think of the sense of smug satisfaction you’ll have when you see all those ads for health clubs on New Year’s. Ahhh . . . .
Please remember that I’m not into the usual resolutions that leave this nasty “I’m not good enough” aftertaste. This is about chucking the usual rules and filling your life with the happies.
2. There’s no time for heroics, so pick something manageable and you’ll still feel like a star. Now that the pressure to lose 30 pounds or run a marathon is completely gone, what’s possible?
Signing up for a tango class?
Writing a thank-you letter to your high school teacher?
Trying hot yoga? (Mine! Mine!)
Learn to knit? Or take guitar lessons?
Cooking a wonderful meal for date night with your sweetie?
Setting up a family fun night?
Squeezing in a 5k or 10k?
Why not? You don’t need to run it. You just have to do it. No one will ever know your time if you don’t tell. The key is to set serious aside and go have fun. Jumping into crazy before your inner critics start freaking out is such a splendid way of sneaking past perfectionism and fear.
Many communities have a race on Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Find out if yours does and register, NOW. Before you change your mind. Grab a silly hat or costume and go. Bonus: bring a friend. (Google “running races” in your city or state or go to active.com.)
My kid has decided to run in the local Whitefish Turkey Trot, and my husband and I are arm-wrestling over who gets to go with him. I love, love biking, but I don’t do bike races. I always have a blast at running races, though. Being outside with a bunch of jazzed, goofy, healthy people is such a rush, so I try to run at least once a week so I’m in shape for a couple of 5ks a year.
But, but . . . what about training?
You’re totally right. There isn’t time to train. So you can’t obsess. You don’t even have time to worry. You only have time to do a few 15-30 minute runs (Or walks. I’m totally into plodding.) before the big day, and before you know it, you’ll have finished the race.
If you’re feeling a little Type A about the whole idea, my husband has graciously consented to write up a pre-race training plan. He’s a big-time runner and a physician assistant. The real deal.
Walk or run, but please take your physical condition into consideration before listening to me. I can talk you into pretty much anything, and I’d like you to be in one piece going into the next year.
Couch to Turkey 5k (two weeks)
This week, fit in two sessions made up of a 5-minute warmup, 5 minutes of intervals, and a 5-minute cooldown. You can do this walking or running. Ideally, do one today and one Saturday.
Couch to New Year’s 10k (seven weeks)
Same plan as the Couch to Turkey.
More silly turkey hats. This one is a total knockout.
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