2012: Lessons Learnt

Tomorrow it will be January: The word ‘January’ apparently honours the pagan deity Janus. This deity was known as the guardian of portals, hence the first month of the Gregorian calendar became the gateway to the new-year… an opportunity to start afresh, to cast aside the shackles that weighed us down during the previous solar cycle, and adopt a new-year’s resolution.

I dislike new-year’s resolutions with a passion.

The gyms fill up with new subscriber’s who will never return. Fitness classes are crammed with ‘turkey trotters’ who simply can’t cope. We are bombarded with fad-diets that promise everything but deliver nothing. Cigarette sales dip (momentarily) but pick up again within a week. Bargain Booze becomes a wasteland for about a fortnight.

Then the world, come the long awaited January pay-day, and without so much of a murmur returns to normal. The planet still turns, and society grows steadily fatter. The livers of middle England continue to be eroded by nightly quaffs of Bordeaux. The rich-poor divide slowly but surely widens. Society starts to live for the weekend, instead of for the moment. It’s all very predictable. For 90% of the population (according to The Guardian, which curiously, is wrong about everything, 90% of the time), January is when we make pledges for self-improvement, which quickly disintegrate into an uphill struggle towards eventual failure.

Does it have to be this way?

There are some things we can’t change. My lineage, general character, love of cheese and cider, and general desire to be liked, are all predetermined. However during 2012 I have learnt that almost everything else is negotiable. The one thing you can change, right now, is yourself. Crucially I have learnt that if you can’t change or influence a situation, you can only change how you respond to it.

This principle also applies to people. You can’t change other people, and you shouldn’t try. You can only change how you perceive them, and accepting other people for who they are is the first step to accepting yourself. This is a lesson I would have preferred to have learnt years ago.

New-years resolutions are a largely commercial and therefore artificial construct, and we are quietly but persistently encouraged to fail. There are many reasons for failure, but failure is just a moment in time, and ultimately presents an opportunity to have another go.

Some wise soul said recently that the most powerful lesson you can learn in running, is that you are capable of much more than you think. And if you don’t feel like you’ve got it in you, you should have a go anyway. When you’ve done, you’ll know you had it. And sometimes you just need to prove the f***ing world wrong.

So to this end, here are my new year’s resolutions:

  1. To run more
  2. To accept that life is only 10% physical… The rest is belief in your self

Happy New Year x


About Trenthamfolk

Marathon Runner, Optimist, Joie de vivre…
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