Dear Mountain Mama,

Every year I make New Year’s resolutions I don’t keep. Last year I resolved to run a marathon. The year before, my goal was to finish a century bike ride. By the first cold day in February, I skip my run or ride. One day turns into a week. Weeks become months, and before I know it, I’ve spent more time on the couch than working toward my resolution. 

How do I summit my fitness goals and keep that New Year’s resolution?

Yours,

Goalless

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Dear Goalless,

Resolving to run doesn’t mean finishing a marathon. Setting a goal to ride your bike shouldn’t always mean completing a century. Sounds like your highs are too high and your lows are too low. The real work of reaching your fitness resolutions happens somewhere in the middle. The hard work is not crossing the finish line, but showing up to training runs when there are no crowds cheering for you. Getting on your bike when you’d rather sit on the coach requires real grit.

There will be days when the wind lashes at you, piercing through your layers like icicles. Run anyway. Feeling the cold will help you appreciate the joy of the warm sun. On the next bluebird day, you’ll roll back your shoulders and arch your back, basking in the sun.  There will be days when you get the wind knocked out of you. Don’t let gasping for air be a reason to quit. The next breath will remind you of the sweetness of simply inhaling.

Don’t confuse your own identify with your fitness goals. You are no better or worse of a person if you run a marathon or ride a century. You are not a PR, a race medal, a finish line, a hero, or a success story. Goalless, you are no more or no less than a person, made up of bones, muscles, and sweat. Lace up your running shoes and pump up your bike tires. Get outside not only to cross the eventual finish line, but to experience the joy of the warm sun and to remember the sweetness of simply breathing.

Cheers!

Mountain Mama