Wednesday, January 7, 2015

[Enter Cliche New Years Title Here]

Every twelve months or so many of us in the western world partake in a tradition of reflection and preparation. Although I am fully aware of the relatively arbitrary notion of most traditions in the grand scheme of things, I also acknowledge their ability to be highly useful reminders of ideas and actions that should probably be more common place in our lives.  With all of that said, it is time for me to begin my 2015 New Year's blog.

Where I Have Been

Struggle.  I think this word characterizes this last year most succinctly for myself.  I struggled to deal with a chronic knee injury early on. I struggled to learn the intricacies of Yoga in my teacher training program (on top of being the least flexible in the program). I struggled in races and I struggled to have confidence in my haphazard training.  This last year often felt like I was never quite grasping whatever it was that I was running after, and so I struggled to keep up.  What I often did not realize during times like these is that there are changes taking place within the struggle.  Physiological changes where taking place as I grunted through endless miles and likewise my mind and spirit also have come out of this year different.  I have learned from the struggle many things that still I have yet to formulate into words, but I have come to realize the value of the struggle itself.  Movement takes place in the struggle and in the suffering.  Movement in the muscles and the blood of the body gives way to movement in the breath and the mind.  You then begin to understand the intricacies of each as part of the whole and the depth of all that you don't really understand.  I have learned a lot from falling short of some of my goals and from reaching others, and in the end this past year doesn't seem so much different than any other.  I learned from my time, just like I expect to do each year, and the Erik that is here, now, writing is a different person than one that was writing last year.

Looking Ahead

And so I'll use that as a segue into this next year.  I have the same expectations I always have.  Not that this year should be so much better than the last, but that I hope I have learned from my time in the past and that I use that information to instruct my day to day practice for the coming months.  I am also not saying I don't have goals.  In fact I have a chalk board in my living room that I like to scribble down my goals for the next year, and those chalky ideals stare at me every every day waiting for me to live up to my dreams.  Sometimes they become reality and sometimes they get wiped off the board to make room for other outlandish ideas.  This next year, hopefully, will be another year of practice and refinement.  With new tools learned I hope to achieve some of the goals that I am not yet ready to write down here, but that are swirling around in my head waiting to be written on the living room chalk board.  With the help of Steve House and his book Training for the New Alpinism I hope to take better hold of my training, and with Yoga I hope to understand my mind and body in a deeper way.

I am also excited to have the support of Hammer Nutrition for the 2015 season.  Its great to feel the assistance of such a wonderful company with a dedication to quality products.  I cannot say how proud I am to be a Hammer Nutrition Athlete Ambassador for this next year.

Over all, I hope to come back here next year with a similar blog, but with completely different experiences.  I hope this year will have the same effect as the ones in the past, but with totally different ways to get there.