Happy New Year!

I just got back from my first workout of 2018, an hour run. It was a great workout, one of those where the legs are light and fast. Even though the conditions were less than ideal (17 degrees, a little windy, a dusting of snow), I felt unstoppable.

When I finished the run, a thought hit me as I sat at the dining room table drinking a glass of juice: If 2018 goes like that workout, this is going to be one hell of a year.

Of course 2018 won’t be a year of endlessly light and fast legs.  There will be plenty of great workouts and, with any luck, some great races. But there will also be the days where running is a slog, or where I stand on the pool deck staring at my lane and can think of nothing more unpleasant than getting in that water.

That’s just how training works. That’s how life works. Your physical, mental, and emotional energy ebbs and flows. And that means you can’t be 100 percent every day. But you can keep it all in perspective.

Bad workouts in the pool, or on the bike or the track and bad days in all the other parts of life are much less horrible when you recognize them as discrete periods of time. As challenges that will eventually end.

So, looking back at last year and looking forward to the coming year, I guess that these are my goals for 2018, as well as my wish for you:

May we have the good sense to recognize that both our highs and our lows are transitory, and learn to treat them as such.

May we embrace the process; recognizing it not as a means to an end, but as something with intrinsic value.

And – notwithstanding the two previous points – may we push our bodies and our minds to the limits of possibility so that we go farther, faster, and harder than even we believed we could.

Happy New Year! I think it will be a good one.

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