How Are Those New Year’s Resolutions Going?

I purposely broke one of mine on January 2nd. The weight of carrying it around all year seemed unbearable to me. I resolved to do something each day to personally or professionally improve myself or the world. I’m not talking about a daily shave or shower here, although my family would heartily endorse a resolution dedicated to my personal hygiene. No, I wanted to make a real difference. I responded to that resolution by doing nothing at all on January 2nd.

I felt better once that was out of the way, but I am still trying each day to follow that resolution. However, if I get to the end of the day, and haven’t done much of anything, well …

I’m okay with that, because I broke the resolution back on January 2nd. Yes, it is twisted logic, but it works for my twisted mind.

I made another resolution, and I barely kept that one going yesterday.

After injuring my knee on my first open water swim last June, I resolved to be ready and in swimming shape this coming swim season. I took all fall of 2022 off from swimming, and my knee feels fine now. I resolved to swim at least twice a month up to when I can start with open water swims. I swam a quarter mile in a hotel pool while on a business trip earlier in January. No problem. Just one more swim in a local pool, and I would stay on track. Well, a family issue derailed swimming plans last week. I waited until yesterday, the last day of January, when the temperature was at 3F/-16C to haul my butt to an area pool.

And it was magnificent. I always have some trepidation about trying something new. I had scouted out this pool before, and it seemed like a good, affordable spot. All 8 lanes were supposed to be open at that time of day, but I was anxious that there might be water aerobics going on in half the lanes, and I would be forced to share a lane. I don’t share lanes well. I like my space, because when I flip on my back for some backstroke, it’s not pretty and there’s no telling where I may end up.

But it was great. The water felt great, and it wasn’t crowded. There were some folks there that were swimming as slowly as I have ever seen anyone swim. I have no idea how they weren’t sinking based upon their limited movement. But they were in there swimming as I hadn’t been up to that point, so good for them. Anyway, I upped my mileage just a tad to 0.31 miles, which is enough for just starting out. And then I made another resolution. Can I make a New Year’s Resolution after a month has passed? Well, I did.

Our backyard pool is gone this year, so I won’t be swimming the distance across Lake Michigan or the English Channel as I have done in summers past. But my plan is to bike to area swimming spots for open water swims. And maybe I could bike some more. Like how about 500 miles this cycling season? The main cycling season is five months from May through September. If I can do 100 miles a month for 5 months, let’s see …

Well, that’s some number that I hope will be close to 500 miles. That’s not a lot considering the annual Ragbrai ride across Iowa is 500 miles during one week in July. I have a friend who plans to ride that this year. Show-off. Yeah, I’m jealous. Even worse, he’s at the same weight he was in high school where we met. He makes me sick enough that I would vomit all over him if he wasn’t such a great guy.

Anyway, I can use April and October as get-ahead and make-up months in case I fall a bit short due to weather (possible) or laziness (highly likely) in the five main cycling months. But where should we go on our imaginary 500 mile journey? I’m considering destinations and will entertain suggestions. I think maybe a trip down historic Route 66 from Chicago might be fun, and I can point out some attractions along the way. We’ll see. But first, I have some bike repairs and maintenance to do before hitting the streets and trails in earnest this season.

And as for swimming, I hope to take you along on all sorts of open water swims in interesting places I’ve been scouting this winter. I’m hoping for (not yet resolving) to explore 12 new swimming hole destinations this summer.

Hopefully with a bit more water than that.


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