Updated: Jan 15
and a quest for large mimosas
The 10am 5K start felt far from resolutory. Dawn would have impressed. Shivering in the New Year’s frost at first light. Running along the boardwalk into a sunrise spilling hue across the windswept sea. A new year. A new beginning. A new hope. The gathering, of course, would have been smaller.
I take full responsibility. We could have avoided the crowd. We could have run a private oceanfront 5K in our own celebration of dawn’s glory. But we chose to sign up for the leisurely brunch-time start to run with the masses and, most importantly, have a ticket for the after-run party. An eat as much as you can in one pass buffet at a favorite watering hole. And mimosas. There would be mimosas. Large mimosas. Mimosas in wide mouth jam jars used for canning enough sweets to last the winter. This morning was about more than first miles of a new year.
I don’t have a clue how many miles I ran in the previous year. As a runner, this makes me kinda weird. Runners are supposed to know this number. Mindy is not sure about her mileage either, and this makes us kinda weird together.
My social scroll is full of everyone’s year-end summations of total miles, monthly averages, total race miles, PRs, plus several mentions of how many pairs of shoes have been involved. Now the scroll fills with new goals. The chosen races. Miles to be accomplished. How many minutes the PRs will be lowered. The goals are clear. The resolutions not as much.
I thought hoarding accumulations was a runner obsession, until I started to interact with writers. Writers are spreadsheeting the calendar’s celebration with number of words written, average words per month, average words per writing session. The numeric goals are first and foremost.
The readers are equally obsessive. Book lovers abound with how many books they’ve read this year. How many more they will read this year. Read each week. And it gets more obsessive with readers shouting out PRs of how fast a book can be read. How many words per minute can be averaged.
I read books. I read a lot of books. I have no idea how many I’ve read. Not last year. Not this year. And I write every day. Some days lots of words. Other days not so many words. Some days a haiku barely makes it through brain to page. At last, I am writing regularly, but do not proceed with a numeric outcome in mind. I should have goals. I should have metrics. I should have constant quantitative achievement. I do not.
I am a runner, and I will run this year. I will run for finding deeper meditations. For encouraging gentler syncopations of my heart and lungs. For sweating precious, evanescent hours of isolated rejuvenation. For keeping my ass from turning into a bag of flour.
I am a writer, and I will write this year. I will write for the pleasure of bathing in the emotional and intellectual goo wordsmithing boils. For chasing elusive combinations to elucidate invitation for slowing consumption of more attractive distractions. Two books are pouring out of me. One of prose, one of poetry. The prose in serendipitous hours of spontaneous combustion, the poetry during morning coffee, breaks at work, across journal pages before sleep. I do not count the words.
And I am a husband. I am a friend. I am a stranger. I should think about how to do all these things better. I should have goals and schedules and bullet journals and checklists for success. I should have clarity.
I am, instead, an unquantifiable collection of perfections and disasters. Mediocrities seem abundant between.
My Garmin has gone dark. I will leave it dark. I will run without goal. I will run in resolution. I will encourage all aspects of myself to run in resolution.
And in the late morning of a new year’s first day, I am running with people I love towards a line undefined. Towards an end that has no end. A sum that has no number.
And mimosas. I’m running towards jam jar mimosas.
© Copyright William Hazel, 2023