Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Intentions and Completing the Year

A friend recently passed along a link to this republication of a post on Intentblog.com that describes the intersection of setting intentions for the upcoming year and the art of completing the year we leave behind.

Completion, as the author defines it, "is a conscious process we engage in whereby we do and say whatever we need to in order to create a true sense of closure to an experience (in this case, the year that is about to end)." Perhaps the most compelling reason for practicing completion is the following:
Completion allows us to bring things to a close with a sense of gratitude, reverence, and peace. When we allow ourselves to experience a sense of true completion, we move into the next phase of life bringing with us the gifts, lessons, accomplishments, experiences, and more from what we’ve just been through. When we don’t take the time to truly complete something, we end up carrying baggage, regrets, fear, and unresolved issues into our next experience. These things don’t serve us and often end up undermining our success and fulfillment.
Dang, that's loaded. I don't want to bore the non-yogis/eastern philosophy readers, but one thing is certain: I sure don't want to be carrying any extra baggage on my next road race. At any rate, I don't think I take much of my extracurricular stuff so seriously as to have much to stew on and complete before moving on to next year's intentions, but I don't think I'm unique in writing that my personal life could probably benefit from the practice. Check out the source blog post for suggestions on how to practice completion.

On to the final check-in of this year's intentions...and I suppose maybe a little completion therapy.

*  Run my first half marathon. I ran the Richmond (VA) Half. I had two of my favorite people there with me, and it was a pretty awesome experience. I'm pretty sure this experience is complete.

*  Train for a finish at Richmond in under 2 hours. I missed by just over 2 minutes, which is a bit of a bummer when I write it out. Partway through my training cycle, I knew that I wasn't training hard enough for a sub-2 half. I have to remember all the things I was juggling this fall to really put into perspective how challenging it would have been for me to step up training. Do I want to keep training for a sub-2 half? Stay tuned.

*  PR in the 5K distance. I didn't run any late fall 5Ks, when I was at my fastest, so this didn't happen. I had contemplated running a 5K the week after the Richmond Half, but I caught a wicked cold that lasted forever.

* Volunteer at the race expo of a major local race. You'd think this wold be an easy intention. I was registered to volunteer at the Friday evening packet pickup for the April 2012 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run. Then the opportunity to go on a backcountry hut ski trip came along.

*  Run a trail race. Just when you thought that all my intentions were for naught this year, voila! I ran my first trail race!

*  Ski a line, look up and say, "Holy shitake mushrooms, I just ripped that!" Yeah, whatever. The snow in 2012 was crummy.

*  Ski the Gulf of Slides on Mt. Washington. I wrote last year that I don't really care if it's in 2012 or 2021. Sure enough, thanks to the crummy snow year, I did not ski Gulf of Slides this year. It's okay. It'll still be there next year. And the next. It's not like it's the Old Man of the Mountain. I hope.

*  Backcountry hut ski trip. This wasn't originally one of my 2012 intentions as it was more of a life intention, but right before Christmas, I was unexpectedly invited to fill in for someone who dropped out of a trip to the Wallowas (OR). So I went on my first backcountry hut ski trip this year.

* Teach a regular, weekly sunrise yoga class. Yes. On Wednesday mornings. At the Y. You should go.

*  Stay injury-free and healthy. I definitely stayed injury-free, and other than the wicked cold of November that half the country got, I was pretty healthy. I even DNF'd a race when I thought it would jeopardize more than just my ego.

*  Sleep 8 hours a night. Sometimes...