The last day of 2011 called for a 22K run. I’m not spectacular at math, but I figured 13 miles would do the trick. There was nothing particularly eventful about the day — the weather was warmer than normal and it was rainy. There was nothing particularly eventful about the workout — it was just a long run. But it was everything I needed to set the tone for 2012.
I ran with my friend Jenny and we talked for the better part of 13 miles, hitting topics from training and racing to life and love. We were practical and philosophical and I think if given enough time we might be able to come up with solutions to world peace. For the record she did more of the talking as our pace was super easy for her and mildly challenging for me, which for our purposes was actually a pretty good fit, even if I was sucking some wind at the end of the run.
Jenny and I don’t see each other a whole lot, but I still count her as one of my good friends, part of my inner circle. And our long run this weekend got me thinking about friendships. I once had a friend who very publicly and dramatically decided she was going to purge her life of negative people. Actually, I know several people who have publicly and dramatically purged their life of negative people. While they declare they want to shed the negative people from their life, often they are wallowing in their own special brand of negativity. Reminds me of the stones and glass houses analogy.
I certainly have PhD quality skills when it comes to shooting straight for the worst-case scenario, but I’ve tempered that over the years. Public declarations have been replaced with going about creating what it is I want. When I first started working out, I didn’t know a soul at spin class or anyone who wanted to try a run-your-first-5k program with me. But I knew it was what I wanted to do and so I summoned my fiercely stubborn German independence (thanks Dad!) and went about doing the things that made me happy, whether I had a posse or not. And of course, I ended up creating my own posse, a group of friends whom I love and adore and bring all sorts of amazing things to my life, whether they’re triathletes I met while training or amazing gals whom I met while following the Gin Blossoms around the Northeast one summer.
I was thinking a lot about relationships all weekend, a theme only more solidified by a viewing of The Muppet Movie with Mark on New Year’s Eve. Ah, the muppets — they make me laugh, they make me sing (quietly to myself that is), they reinforce that notion of following your passion, of being supported by friends and family. It’s about finding your own posse to celebrate with in good times, hold tight to in bad times, to occasionally commit minor legal infractions with and from time to time, put on a show with.
I want 2012 to be a year full of positive energy and possibility. I want to try new things, continue to do the things I love and cultivate my relationships with the amazing people in my life. I don’t need to sit and think about cutting the negative people and things from my life. I don’t need to plan out how I’m going to create positive things in my life. I only need to focus on what’s in front of me, right now, in this moment. And the rest of the year will unfold in amazing ways.