If you treat the first day of the new year like any other day, it will be any other day.
The cold weather out my door was laughing at my cowardice, using the wind that knocked against my windows as its bellowing voice.
Each time I responded with a shudder. Each time I lost a little bit more determination.
Then came yesterday. The wind was absent. The sun seemed to offer me its warmth, its energy, its strength. I felt stronger as if today could be the day I break out of my running rut. It was 29 degrees and I'd run and biked in colder weather, afterall. The few weeks I'd missed running outside were over. The new day was offering me a chance to claim my blank slate.
However, even though the wind wasn't present today, I didn't need it to discourage me. It had left enough of a mark within me the last couple weeks for me to take up its flag in its absence. "Boy, it's just so cold outside," was how the flag always began its wave. Today was no different.
Gary and I don't do anything to celebrate New Year's. It's just not that big of a deal to us. However, as the New Year's Day afternoon began to fade, I realized that I simply could not start off a new year with another excuse, with another day of cowering before the cold air outside.
I got dressed and put on my heart rate monitor. "I don't know whether I'll be back in an hour or twenty minutes," I told Gary as I grabbed a bottle of water and left the door.
The first five minutes are always the hardest because they're the coldest. I had quickly decided that I would just run for two miles; however, when I got to my turn-around point, I realized I had the energy to make it three.
I am so glad I didn't give in to the fear. That run was refreshing and invigorating and I am so glad I took that first step out my door.
Even though I try not to make too big a deal out of the first day of the year, the truth is I would have regretted not running yesterday, of giving in to the comfort I wanted to maintain.
I have got to remember that if we spend our days waiting around for the perfect conditions to do something, we may never get it done. Afterall, the sword isn't forged in circumstances that are easy. Stressed under fire and finished by cold water, it only becomes what it's meant to be under the unusual.
I didn't want yesterday to go out as any other day. Whether I liked it or not, this first day was becoming special to me. Now, it's even more so.