We are officially one month in to the 2011 New Year. As a person who does not make resolutions each January 1, I cannot help but wonder how everyone is doing with their new promises to themselves.
Admittedly, I once used to subscribe to the resolution idea and then I happened upon a high school journal. As I flipped through it I came upon thoughts from my high school English teacher, Mr. Callahan. Evidently he had shared his philosophy on resolutions with me and I placed it in my journal.
His thoughts were simple. According to Mr. Callahan (in the mid 1980s), we should not live our lives a year at a time, but rather a day at a time, week at a time to month at a time. In other words, truly live in the moment. My journal entry stated that we should live each day with a goal and apply this thought to our weeks and months.
Since then, I have done my best to do exactly that. Losing friends and loved ones at a young age, also has served as a stark reminder to live in the moment. Tomorrow, after all, is not a promise.
This past year I also learned to take the ‘Carpe Diem’ phrase I have loved for so long and actually put it into play. After a false start in late January 2010, I promised myself to finally lose my ‘baby’ weight and once again become comfortable in my skin. This topic in and of itself has many levels, which I will save for another column. Today, I would rather share the story of a promise and how one simple commitment changed my journey through not only 2010, but life.
In late March of 2010 Oakdale Educational Foundation partnered with some well intended educators and launched the Support Oakdale Schools (S.O.S) Family Fun Run/Walk. The event presented options of a one-mile walk or 5K run. Being overweight and out of shape, our family committed to the walk, as did many of our friends.
That morning we met up with our ‘framily’ (friends like family) the Guylls and hit the starting line. Blocks into the ‘race’ the Hammonds struggled with two tired children and the younger Guylls decided they wanted to run, too … and so — they did.
When we reached the finish line and reconnected with our framily, seven-year-old Olivia shared that she wanted to run the whole thing.
“I love running,” she said with a bright enthusiastic grin.
Admiring her enthusiasm, I quickly engaged in conversation with her and her mother, Lori on her love of running. Before I knew it I had done the unthinkable, I promised to run the event with her the next year.
Note: for those challenged by the concept of goals and resolutions, I highly recommend making a promise or committing to a kid. Try to get out of that one, especially when you know they are counting on you.
Within moments of my commitment to Liv, mom Lori had committed as well … and as they say, the rest is history.
Shortly after, mom Lori texted me on what our plan would be for ‘training’ and ‘preparing’ for the following year’s run.
Now, I also feel it necessary to point out that I am not a runner, I am a sprinter. I have never had a love for any type of distance running. I have always been the athlete to just get to the finish … Quick. So for me … this run commitment was truly epic and huge.
My girlfriend and I started with dropping some weight, preparing ourselves to be a little more comfortable in our skin as we laced up our sneakers.
By late summer we had begun the conversation of what sneakers to buy, when we would ‘train’ and shopping for ‘running clothes.’
Six months later, I still can hardly believe these words are being typed by me — but proudly, they are.
Through the help of some weight loss buddies, we found a program for our smart phones called the Couch to 5K program (AKA C25K). The title suited us perfectly and by early October we hit the open road.
Since then we have each run our first 5K and now are giddy with excitement over fulfilling our commitment to Liv on March 26.
When we all gather that Saturday morning in front of Cloverland Elementary, I have no doubt that the reasons people have come will range from the well-intended supporter to the goal-driven runner chasing a better time.
While, I am excited to see how I fare in time, it cannot possibly outweigh the excitement I am feeling for running next to Liv and crossing the finish with her — just as I promised.
For additional information on the Second Annual Support Oakdale Schools Fun Run visit www.oakdale.k12.ca.us/sierraview/sosinfo.htm or visit the Facebook page at Support Oakdale Schools (S.O.S.) Race.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.