Clean slate. I've always liked the idea of a clean slate. I like the start of things. I like first thing in the morning with fresh coffee and fresh ideas and the whole day stretched out before me. I like the start of the school year, regardless of whether or not I'm in school--the new shoes, the fresh notebooks, the clean hallways. And New Year's Day is my absolute favorite. It's a New. Year. A new year, for heavens sake. How incredible is that? New calendar, new hopes, new dreams, new plans. We get a fresh start every day, and every month, then every year. I get to ask myself: who do I want to be? What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? What do I want to see? What am I hoping for? What am I pointing towards? It's magic.
Six years ago when I picked up running again I didn't know that it came with so many fresh starts, too. Running comes with its' own New Years Day fresh start. First I get a fresh new training log for the year, a place to track all my workouts and races and PR'S and goals and highs and lows. And then I plan out my race calendar, sifting through goals and races I'd like to do and then coordinating and navigating my way through my life calendar and my running calendar to weave it all together. You get fresh training blocks (mine are every four weeks). And you have endless opportunities for failures and fresh starts daily while you build endurance or build a new skill or discipline or a new mindset. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again is a motto to embrace as a runner, and fresh starts are just baked right into that formula.
And now I'm about to get a really big fresh start. I'll be having knee surgery that will put running on the back burner for six months, but then: I get a fresh crack at running. After six months of rehabbing (my knee, my spirit, my mindset) I will get to re-start running. This break and fresh start is a golden opportunity and I intend to embrace it as such. Running hasn't come particularly easily to me, but we are definitely meant to be together--we're still just figuring out how we fit. As the writer Anne Lamott said, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." So I've got a bit of a forced unplugging, then an opportunity to synthesize everything I've learned, and then a new beginning.
Every day is a fresh start. And how lucky is that?