Resolved -- 01/01/13

This is the start of the New Year, the time when so many people think up New Year's Resolutions, so many of which will not be kept. Thus, some would say that it is foolish to make such resolutions, but I think it is good to have plans and hopes and aspirations. Sure, you can resolve to do something at any time during the entire year, but surely the start of a New Year can concentrate our minds on some things we could change... and we have brand new calendars to record our results.

And, even if we fail, at least we've tried.

I have had some success with some of my resolutions in the past.

I am, after all, a former smoker and here I am, 32 years of not smoking. Actually, 32 years and two months of not smoking -- I stopped on Halloween, not New Years -- but the principal of the thing still counts.

In the summer of 1962, following my freshman year of college, I switched from Chestfield Kings to Lucky Strikes -- because I had a summer job in a sweater warehouse and you could not smoke on the job (for obvious reasons) but there was time to smoke two Luckies during our 10 minute coffee break (but only one and a half Chesterfield Kings) and you could also find time to smoke a Lucky during a quick trip to the men's' room without appearing to take too long. Then one day I needed to buy a new pack and the vending machine was out of Lucky Strikes so a bought a pack of Camels and liked them so much that I never smoked any other cigarette. Flash forward 18 years of smoking two to three packs of unfiltered Camels every day and by 1980 -- at age 37, having started at 12 -- I decided I had to stop smoking. I didn't do it alone -- I went through a stop-smoking program run by a psychology professor and some of his grad students, where we kept reducing our daily consumption until we reached a point where we were ready to go cold turkey and stop. I reached it when I had reduced myself to below 18 cigarettes a day and that day -- October 31, 1980 -- I smoked my last cigarette on my way home from work and never smoked another.

Okay, so that was Halloween and not New Years, but the principal is, I believe, the same.

Mark Twain said "Quitting smoking is easy; I've done it a thousand times."

My usual resolutions are to lose weight and/or to workout/run more... I suppose, like Twain, I could say I've done that many times. Well, I guess I have. The trouble with those resolutions is not that they don't work -- they do. If you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight. The problem is, if you cut back on the exercise and on watching what you eat, it is very easy to put the weight right back on. Nevertheless, I'm going to be doing it again. After all, if I don't, I will just continue to be out of shape and carry too much weight.

So... here I go again.

Went to the Y on Friday and did a Nautilus circuit. I did most of them, but because of my moonboot I did have to skip ones that would have involved my feet. I didn't push it because at that point it was only two days after having had the stitches taken out. Sunday I used our exercise bike in our basement for about 15 minutes and used some weights, etc. Monday went back to the Y. (Both times with Nancy because I can't drive with the moonboot on my foot.) Did the Nautilus circuit again and tried an elliptical machine for a few minutes, just to see if I could do it without any foot problems. It seemed okay. Today I did 25 minutes on our exercise bike and then worked out with a pair of ten pound weights (biceps curls, etc.). My next post-op visit will be on the 9th and I am hoping then that he will tell me I can wear a regular shoe. (Nancy tells me I'm crazy because when she had bunion surgery with the same doctor a few years ago, she was still wearing a surgical shoe five weeks after the operation -- and my surgery was more intense than hers, what with the steel plate he had to put in, etc.) I suppose I could live with the moonboot a bit longer, but I would like approval to put on a shoe for brief periods of time, such as driving my car around town and then putting the boot back on.

There is a 10K trail run on January 27th that has caught Jill's interest. I just laughed -- I will be lucky to be able to walk two miles at that point. However, I am interested in the annual March Hare Hop down in Olde Mistick Village (down in Connecticut, near the Mystic Aquarium). That is a three mile race that we have run most years since back in 1997. It will be on March 3rd, so that gives me four or five weeks to be able to run three miles.

Also, I've got 17 weeks until my birthday (well, 17 weeks from yesterday -- my birthday's on a Monday this year) and I would like to see if I can lose at least 15 pounds by then. That would have me more down into my running weight and would be just about right for then doing some serious training for summer races. After all, on my birthday I will be moving into a new age bracket.

This is, of course, assuming that I will be able to run on my freshly repaired left foot. There are no guarantees that I will -- but I'm insisting on being optimistic.

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