I like goals. I like them even more now that I’m basically grown-up and it feels like there are more things pulling on your time every year. I write the goals in my journal at the beginning of the year and then revisit them at the end. Our family gathers around the fire on December 31st and treads through our phones and journals to share with one another our year highlights and how we did on those goals. It all sounds overly productive and I can’t take credit for this idea. Our friends, Mark and Val M. shared it with us during a Christmas brunch long ago. They loved doing it as a family at the end of each year. Hearing their idea, I tried not to roll my eyes aghast at this level of goal-oriented order. Our kids were little and we were just trying to get them to clear the table without dropping all the silverware. Eventually we adopted their practice and it helped us bring back the forgotten bits of the past year and turn toward the next. It is also a great reason to drink our signature Cherry Bounce cocktails.

Thus, despite going to bed late on New Years Eve — thanks to learning and playing the board game Ticket to Ride that night, I forced myself out of bed New Years morning for a complete body workout. Last fall I signed up for a half-marathon this May and I was psyched to get going on this goal. The workout went okay a.k.a. splitting your treadmill run in half to do core work in-between (cheating), marveling at how hard push-ups have become etc. You get the drill. Check, the first day down on my fourteen week training plan.

Day 2. At dusk I head out for a run adding a bit of mild hill work. Our house is next to an amazing cross country running area so that was the preferred location. Jog over there and run up the hill while my slightly aching legs were still fresh and then enjoy the down hill cruise. The problem is that I’m easily distracted by all the nature around and don’t see the sneaky hole along the left side of the road. Left foot lands on edge of hole and rolls the entire ankle into hole sending me sprawling on the grass. At that moment I’m reeling somewhere between a prayer and a swear, hoping that I can get up and walk back home. I’m also trying not to cry or scream or pound the ground because this just happened to the same ankle five years ago while running on a trail.

I haul myself up and start to limp/walk down the hill figuring that walking on it is good. Now, I’m even more steamed. My mind flows back to the entire summer it took for my ankle to recover from the last sprain. There are three levels of sprains and that was the worst level, this one isn’t as bad. Definitely not as swollen in five minutes. I’m able to get back home and get into the ice bath. 

Day 3. Morning run, not happening. Drink Starbucks Italian coffee in bed, ice ankle (ziploc ice bag is leaking all over sheets), pray with husband, catch up on reading and email. Not a bad start, but not the planned start to the day. All that to say these goals we make and hope to achieve might lead us somewhere else or to something else and that might not stink. Time will indeed tell. Happy New Year! If you feel like it, share with me one of your goals for 2024 in the comments and I’ll pray for you while I sit here in my elevated foot state:) Also, I will gladly accept sympathetic comments and advice on how to get running again after a sprain. Tips. Tricks. All are welcome. Peace. Stay healthy. Love dogs. Love each other.