I can’t honestly say that I’m unhappy to see the back of 2011, as I heartily welcome 2012 for the boundless opportunities that the dawn of a new year always promises. Most of us make resolutions of one type or another, usually relating to exercise and weight loss, and most of us also lose steam within a few weeks as the monotony of the Spartan diet and regular trips back to the gym quickly become less appealing. And so then we find ourselves falling back into our not-so-healthy old, but enjoyable, bad habits, such as white wine and Brie topped with an itty bitty bit of pepper jelly. I know this road so well I could draw you a map….
This morning, I had the pleasure of starting off the new year with four other runners for the annual Ufukuzo New Year’s Run, a 7 miler that saw us starting as the sun was coming up in the east at Barclay’s Park. Less than four hours of sleep and still bubbling from the champagne, wine & excellent food shared at two early bird Old Year’s Night parties, what should have been a solitary, quiet run was surprisingly a noisy negotiation around a few hundred souls in cars parking all along the coast, all trying to find the same meaningful solitude after a night’s worth of partying to welcome the new year. Heading north along the coast road and then heading west through the Lakes area, we passed only a handful of walkers with which we exchanged pleasantries until nearing the coast road again on the return portion of the run. I hadn’t run in this area in almost a year, when gearing up for the London Marathon a few of us ran a terrifically long & winding run through the area that saw us having to surprise the police at Belleplain Police Station in the dark to ask to use their toilet, the one with the rationed paper and no lock. Memories are made of this!
I think that non-runners tend to find our breed a bit amusing, as they can’t seem to figure out what makes us run in the dark, run in the heat, or run at all really, as they can’t comprehend what kind of masochist/sadist/dysfunctional person would willingly enjoy running for miles & miles with no discernable purpose but for the love of the sport itself. I was recently at a fundraising champagne event before Christmas at which a few of us got thoroughly happy at, to find my half marathon, 1.37 friend (she’s really fast and a gorgeous blonde, life is so inequitable at times) slurrily introducing me as an “ultra marathoner, not just a marathoner!”. Now that’s a label to have to live up to, especially as I have only one ultra under my belt, and I was the last to finish that race. Confucius said “it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, just don’t stop”.
So my wishes for 2012? Other than hoping for great health and no injuries, I really hope that we in Barbados will come together productively as a community and as a nation to weather the tumultuous times that we find ourselves existing in, which seemingly have no foreseeable end. My running wishes are for many great miles on interesting routes, good local races with great attendance, and for each and everyone one of you (and me) to stick to that New Year’s plan that was formulated in the throes of the wee hours this morning when I said to myself that I have to lose weight, run more and get more involved in 2012. To my fellow Ufukuzonians, I wish you continued success in your running endeavours. To all runners in Barbados, I hope to see more of you go longer in 2012. (FYI, Christmas leftovers consumed on Jan.1st do not count as breaking your resolutions, as everyone knows “waste not, want not”. That’s just common sense. The diet starts Jan.2nd).