By Kelsey Casselbury, Managing Editor 2015-12-30 17:11:19
First Begin, Then Continue It’s not so much I began to run, but that I continued. With that simple quote, illustrious running coach Hal Higdon epitomizes the struggle I face regularly as a “runner.” I put that word in quotations because I don’t really consider myself a runner, even though it’s a hobby I’ve dabbled in since 2010. With a 12-minute-mile time—11:30, if I really push it—I’m never winning any road race awards. But when you to stop to think about it, what is it, exactly, that makes a person become a runner? If you’re not into pounding the pavement, the same question can be asked of any fitness pursuit—what makes someone a “swimmer?” Or a “yogi?” Or a “cyclist?” I don’t think anyone would say a person who loves yoga isn’t truly dedicated because she’s not doing it “long enough” or that an avid bicycler isn’t a true cyclist because he’s not going “fast enough.” What matters, when it comes down to it, is that you continue. This issue of School Nutrition is dedicated to personal development (as we do once every year) and, specifically for 2016, the pursuit of physical activity. It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that moving more can benefit your health, but actually finding the time and motivation to do can sometimes a struggle. If you’re anything like me, you often make the effort to begin a fitness plan, but then after the days or weeks go by, the motivation lapses and you simply don’t continue. The number of times that I, as a “runner,” have started a training plan without making a firm goal and then let it dwindle away is, frankly, more than I care to admit. So here I am, in writing—I’m giving up the quotation marks and calling myself a runner. On April 30, 2016—our five-year wedding anniversary—my husband and I are running a half-marathon in Ocean City, Md.; this is a goal that takes persistence “ continuation” if you will—to achieve. Will you join me by creating a goal for yourself and writing it down? (You don’t have to share it with the entire SN readership, as I have done here!) Research shows that people who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them. Your goal might be competing in a road race, like my objective, but it could be something entirely different. Perhaps you will choose to commit to participating in each remaining STEPS Challenge for the 2015-16 year (see more details on page 48) or make it your target to take a walk with your significant other, kids or pet every evening. You might decide to visit a yoga, Pilates or dance class once a week, or join a friend for tennis every other Sunday. It’s vital that your choice of goal reflects an activity that’s both enjoyable to you and feels attainable. During the month of January, it’s natural to talk about resolutions and goal-setting. This is the time of year that it feels like we’re able to turn over a fresh leaf and close the book on the bad habits of the previous year. However, whatever you decide, remember this: Beginning is good. Continuing is everything.
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