Story last updated at 8/5/2009 - 12:29 pm
When I go running these days, I battle two conflicting ways I could seize the day. First of all, I've starting training for the Klondike Road Relay at least a month later than I should have. I need to be running, and focused when I'm running. Then, I also have not been picking enough berries yet this year, and as I run by bushes I can't help but grab a ripe salmon berry here and there to snack on. I'm missing the salmon berry moment too, I fear.
What's a berry-starved, out-of-shape runner to do?
A practical answer would be to bring a berry bag with me, and after I've finished with my run, cool down by picking some berries to bring home. One stone, two birds.
But it really doesn't matter. The fact that I have this problem, that I don't just let myself stop running to pick berries, is a very good sign for me.
Usually when I start running again after a hiatus, it takes me a while to get into the groove. I let myself slack off by walking. On days when a more enticing option presents itself, I take it and put off running another day.
Not this time. There's no time for that. I have to get back in running shape, and quickly. The Klondike is the perfect motivator. I ran in it for the first time last year, so I know it's a wild and fun experience you wouldn't want to miss just because you don't always feel like running. You have a team you don't want to let down.
Maybe this is why New Year's resolutions are often unsuccessful. You have a whole year ahead of you; where's the incentive to change things right away?
The best time for resolutions is maybe not January 1, but right now, as we can feel our days beginning to shorten. They're still long, and there's still the potential for warm sunshine, but we can feel that potential slipping through our hands.
Resolutions are a lot like going swimming in the ocean. By "going swimming," we usually mean running into the freezing water and then running out. It's an initial shock to the system, but it feels great once you've done it and are back out in the sun. It's an abbreviated version of starting to run again - it's painful for a short period of time, but in the long run you're better off.
In both cases, as in many things, there's nothing gained by waiting to start in the first place. Once you've decided to start running again, start running. Once you've decided you want to go swimming in the ocean, run right in.
As someone often prone to hesitation, it's almost a relief to realize that sometimes, there's just not enough time to delay.
Katie Spielberger is the managing editor of the Capital City Weekly. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org