The New Year is here and along with it is the opportunity to set resolutions and create new habits. A good chunk of resolutions are made concerning our health. People would like to exercise more, eat less, lose weight or stop smoking. Yet, how many of those goals will be meet by the end of the year? Too often people will give up once they hit a stumbling block or make some mistakes.
However, these stumbling blocks and mistakes shouldn’t be enough to thwart your entire effort towards your goals. Life is rarely perfect and your journey towards your goals won’t be either. There will be times you make mistakes, life throws you a curve ball or you even have to deal with an injury. None of these things should mean that you quit on your goals though.
Sometimes goals can seem overwhelming. For instance when I decided I wanted to run a marathon, the idea just overwhelmed me. Twenty-six point two miles is an incredibly long distance. When I got my training program it overwhelmed me even more. I looked ahead and all those distances kept adding up. Fourteen, sixteen, eighteen and twenty mile runs. I had never run that far in my life!
I had a huge goal, so I had to break it into pieces. Sure I couldn’t imagine running twenty miles in April, but I could imagine running ten miles in January. That would be doable. So I decided to focus on my training just one week at a time. I never looked ahead. I just focused on what I had to do that week.
Sometimes even looking at a week seems overwhelming, so I work on my daily goals. I make sure I get my workout in. I make sure I’m eating the right meals. I make sure I’m drinking enough water. All these little things add up to big things.
When I was training for my first full marathon I developed very painful tendonitis in my right Achilles. It was an overuse injury and I learned its common during marathon training. I knew I needed to rest my Achilles to improve, but I also needed to build up my long distance runs so I could just survive a marathon. My solution was to ride a stationary bike during the week and only run once a week for my long run. Was it ideal? No. Was it perfect? Not in the least bit. But instead of quitting and giving up on my goal, it was a solution. I did this for a few weeks and ended up running the marathon pain free.
So what will your goals be this year? I like to ask myself where I will be in 3 months. Will I be wearing a medal around my neck bragging about a personal best? Will I be ten pounds lighter? Will I be able to fit in that dress I want to wear? How do I get there? What do I need to do this week to achieve my goals? What do I need to do today that will help me achieve my goal?
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Mistakes are part of the process. They serve as a learning tool to figure out what does and doesn’t work. They are not a reason to give up on your goals. They are a reason to get back on track.
December is known for Christmas and cold weather, but probably not sunsets. At least not in Pittsburgh. But this December, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen in my own backyard. It made me realize that sometimes nature can stop in your tracks and make you aware of it's beauty. I started to remember that I've been fortunate to see some amazing sunsets. Some sunsets I was prepared for. I made sure I was sitting on the beach at the exact moment the sun would go down. Other sunsets completely took me off guard by their beauty. One of these sunsets I even woke up to. Yes, I'm talking about you, Las Vegas! No matter the location or occasion I always feel a sense of peace watching a beautiful sunset. It's as if someone above is telling me "everything's going to be alright."
Ocean City, Maryland
Las Vegas, Nevada
Montego Bay, Jamaica
My Back Porch
The sun glimmers on the canal and illuminates the golden domed buildings. The boats sail past each other. The air smells of the sea nearby. People are wandering about, walking the stairs and crossing the bridges. It’s morning in Venice.
The overnight train brought them here. It twisted and turned through the Alps in the middle of the night. Upon first sight, Elizabeth is speechless as she realizes Venice does indeed exist and is more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. Benjamin is more reserved in his reactions, but as they arrive to their destination by water taxi he can’t help but feel astonished by this place.
The water taxi travels from side to side of the canal making stops along the way. The boat ties off along the dock as passengers scuttle to their destinations. Elizabeth and Benjamin have reached their stop: San Silvestro. From here Venice unravels slowly. It cannot be traveled by car or even bicycle. It must be traveled by foot.
Now back on land, Elizabeth leans against the ancient building and closes her eyes. The morning sun is warming her face. To be in Venice is to see, to hear and to touch. The engines of the nearby boats rattle. Small waves hit against the canal wall.
She pushes herself off from the wall. It’s time to explore. Not that time is critical in Venice. It’s not divided into hours, minutes and seconds. It’s divided into years, decades and centuries. Elizabeth glances at her pants. They’re covered in sand. The building is eroding and is leaving pieces behind. Venice is decaying with time.
Venice is a maze. Once built to confuse invaders of Venice, it’s now full of lost tourists. They’ve come to visit for the day and are rushing to see this magical city. But Venice shouldn’t be rushed. Benjamin and Elizabeth prefer not to rush and stray away from the crowds. Benjamin leads the way through the city, while Elizabeth joyfully follows in his footsteps. In this maze they wonder if they will ever reach their destination, or if they can ever find their way back to where they started. Some streets lead to a dead end which is marked by a canal. Some streets twist and turn over bridges around buildings.
The builders of Venice often displayed their victories of war. St. Mark’s Square is the perfect location for such a display. Benjamin and Elizabeth roam the streets to find this location. The journey highlights the old and new in Venice. Treasures of the ancient world and of the present day are on display. Louis Vuitton, Versace and Burberry share the same space with the Rialto Bridge, gondoliers, and the ancient buildings and canals.
After traversing the streets, they’ve arrived in this famous and glorious square. Time has stood still here. The victories of war are on display. Pigeons roam the square just as they probably did hundreds of years ago. Members of an orchestra, dressed in tuxedos, prepare for the evening dinner guests. The square must be viewed carefully though, as present-day salesmen aggressively peddle roses and trinkets. This interaction quickly bring Elizabeth and Benjamin back to reality.
As the day ends, Venice transforms into a different city. The majority of tourists have left for the day. It’s quiet with only the locals and overnight guests roaming the streets. Instead of crowded passageways, the streets are open and isolated. They feel somewhat abandoned.
The onset of dusk provides a serene scene for the dinner table. Elizabeth and Benjamin dine on local seafood while admiring the sunset. The food and wine signify the end of the day. Evenings here are for reflecting. What will become of this place? Will children continue to play in the courtyards while the church bells ring? Will fisherman still have locals to feed? Will this way of life endure? Elizabeth and Benjamin don’t know the answers, but they feel blessed to even be here to ponder these thoughts.
But as the night falls, dawn will soon approach. They know that their stay in Venice will be short and it will be time to move on. They promise each other that they will return one day. Venice is old and crumbling, but it is still surviving.
Today marks one year since my very first blog post! One whole year!!! It all started with a trip to Las Vegas to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Once I completed the race I knew I wanted to share the whole experience with my family and friends. Writing a blog was the perfect way to share that experience.
Shortly after running the Las Vegas Half Marathon my husband and I decided to try CrossFit. It totally kicked my butt! Actually it's a year later and I'm still getting my butt kicked. But that makes it fun and challenging. I started writing about my experiences and fortunately around the same time WODTalk magazine put out a request for contributers. I've been fortunate enough to have four articles featured on their website. My favorite one is called 'The Women of CrossFit.' I wrote this after being inspired by all the determined women in my gym, CrossFit Mt. Lebanon, and the men who supported them.
Another great opportunity that came my way this year was to become a blogger for the Huffington Post. I became a member of the Blog Team when I pitched my article, 'Your Thighs Are Huge'. Needless to say I think I almost fell out of my chair when this post was published. Seeing your words affect others in a positive way is such a moving experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Or course life and blogging are not full of just high points. There were some major lows this past year. My only living grandparent, my Grandma, passed away. Unfortunately she died while I was in Germany and it still saddens me that I never got to tell her about my travels to Europe.
This trip into blogging has taken me much further than I ever expected. I must admit that I admire people that blog daily, bi weekly or weekly, but I am simply not one of them. I never did figure out a schedule for this blog, but I did come up with a mantra that has never lead me astray when deciding what to write:
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.