Sit back and relax for a moment before you jump to the conclusion that I’ve had a change of heart and decided to seize the day. This is not going to be one of those motivational presentations that says, “Live your best life now.” In point of fact, I believe I am going to try to win your slacker’s affection.
It will be precisely two weeks before Thanksgiving, and it will be seven weeks until the first of the year after this coming Sunday. There is still plenty of time to sneak in some act that resembles virtue.
My proposal: you know how your list of New Year’s resolutions tends to become obsolete by the time the Super Bowl rolls around? Pick anything off of it, and make sure it’s done before the 1st of January.
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. Picture yourself on New Year’s Day, having already broken one of your resolutions. It’s almost like a gift you’re giving to your future self, complete with a pretty bow on top. Think of the smug pleasure you’ll feel when you see all those commercials for fitness clubs on New Year’s Day and you know you’ve been kind to yourself this year. Ahhh . . . .
Please keep in mind that I’m not into making the typical New Year’s goals, which tend to leave an unpleasant aftertaste of “I’m not good enough.” Throw away all of the conventional guidelines, and focus on making your life as full of joy as possible.
2. There is no time for heroics; thus, choose something that is achievable, and you will still have the impression that you are a star. What are the options available to you now that there is no longer any pressure to finish a marathon or shed 30 pounds?
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.