Health & Wellbeing, Other

New Year, Sore Knees

It has been far too long – a mammoth four months – since I have posted. I feel like the longer I’m away from my blog the harder it is to get back into. It has crossed my mind numerous times over the last few months to chuck up a few hundred words or so, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say.

Essentially, while I’m coming into it a bit late, (Pākehā) new years are typically associated with new beginnings, goals, starts, and opportunities. While I’ve had a few successful to semi-successful new years resolutions over the years, such as transitioning to a vegan diet and learning to play the guitar, I still don’t know how much I buy into this idea. Though in many ways it’s nice, and can be lots of fun to dream up things to achieve, it can often be used as a marketing ploy. Thinking in the realm of health and fitness, for example: gyms going all out to capitalise on hopefuls who want to lose weight, get fit, tone down, bulk up…etc. etc. To my mind, why should an arbitrary date on a calendar be the only time of year that we can make changes to our lives and set goals that we want to achieve?

Despite all this, I have set myself a fitness goal this year: to run 1000km in 2020, which works out to roughly 2.7km a day, or just under 20km per week. At this point I’m still fairly hyped and excited to get into it, and the broader goal for me is to make a habit of going on jogs/runs, around 3-5 times per week. So far I’m 20 days in and 71.75kms down, which I’m pretty stoked with. While my body has already started to complain in various ways: sore knees and ankles, the stitch, actual chafing (tmi?), through it I’m learning when to plan the rest days, when to push through and do another kilometre, and when to slow down. I’m sure the real challenge will be when it’s pissing down with rain or there’s an icy morning chill during Canterbury winter and I have no desire whatsoever to be outside, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I feel that if I’m focusing on the health benefits of maintaining such a practice: managing my insomnia, getting those lovely endorphins pumping through me, spending more time outside, improving my mental health, managing stress, and hopefully improving my overall fitness and endurance, then creating this habit could be a really positive thing for me. Depending on how I go, I’m thinking of extending my goal to involve various mini goals like 10km fun runs and maybe a half marathon (the latter of which would be a first for me). That said, I am very much aware of the part of me that is hoping I can lose some weight and slim down the parts of me that I don’t like so much. For the most part, I think I have a good body image, albeit fluctuating from time to time. I hope that in acknowledging this I can continue to work on it and cultivate more body positivity. I know I am not alone in this, and it can be an ongoing challenge for a lot of us, women and men alike.

It never fails to amaze me the ways we can critique and criticise our own bodies: these vessels that largely serve us so diligently while we get on with our lives, thinking very little of them other then to poke and prod about what isn’t right about us. I’m so incredibly guilty of this too, and am a work in progress, but I am definitely aware that and empowered by the knowledge that I get to be in control of not only my body, what I feed it, how I treat it physically, but also my relationship to it mentally and emotionally. All of those aspects are interconnected, and I know that first and foremost my mental health will have a significant impact on how I view, talk to, and subsequently treat myself.

I have no idea how to round this off without exerting major cheesiness, so vegetable tacos and all: here’s to a year of new experiences, good times with friends and family, bettering myself, meeting people, more music, and lots of homemade hummus.

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