It's a New Year

It's a New Year
by Timothy Lyman, Director of Training Programs at Fleet Feet Pittsburgh

A new year brings with it new energy, a refreshed focus and increased vitality. During the off-season we have digested the lessons learned the previous year, and are prepared to put these lessons into practice. Heraclitus said "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." I invite you to wade into new waters, as a new person, with me as we flip the calendar.

We are all starting this journey from a different place. We have our own goals and our unique challenges. Everyone has a different reason for being here, but we all have at least one thing in common...the run. Maybe it's simply for the calorie burn, perhaps it's to complete a distance previously thought unattainable and often it's the search for the elusive "runner's high." It doesn't matter what your end goal is, what's important is that you have people to share the journey with.

Ghandi said that "the path is the goal." I would be so brash as to extend this existential wisdom further and say that "the goal is also the path." Finishing a race or achieving a personal best time is simply the icing on the cake. The true reward is compiling a body of work (and a body of knowledge) that will continue to serve you well as this year gives way to the next, and the next and the next...

There is nothing finite about our mission for the new year. Sure, there are culminating events and hard-earned medals to be draped around your neck...but our objective transcends a singular race or a time listed on a results page. We are all striving to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. It's a simple action plan, but simple doesn't always mean easy. E'yen A. Gardner says "when you take the step towards your dreams you will be met with fears because you have never traveled this way before. As you go, you will discover that you had nothing to fear." It takes a bold and courageous soul to continue along the path once the enthusiasm and ambition of having a clean slate begins to dissipate.

We will all be tested. There will be trials and tribulations. Tumult and tears. This is the place where we need to make a conscious decision to develop, to make the choices that allow us to grow. And this is why we are here...this is what the run is for. It is not sport for sports' sake, it is a discipline and a practice. It is a constant lesson in awareness and in mindfulness.

Throughout the new year I encourage all of you to keep showing up, to always go the extra mile and continue to stay one step ahead.

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