Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I normally don't make resolutions, but since I have made some clear goals for 2008 (many of which are related to cycling), I'd put them in the most appropriate place.

1. The AIDS Lifecycle

For years I have promised myself that when given the clear opportunity to participate in the 7-day, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to LA to support AIDS-related services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, I would take it. This year, I have no reason to be stuck in LA for the first week of June, so Alina and I are taking the plunge. Why not? We were already planning to make a bike tour of California. We already ride around Southern California for various social events. And we have an activist streak that makes this event ideal. If you feel inclined, please support me (emotionally or financially) on my lifecycle homepage here.

2. Finish the Majority of my Dissertation

This is a self-generated goal designed to allow me to live my life in approximately 18 months. I want to finish my PhD before I turn 30. To do that, I need to defend and file my dissertation with enough time to receive my degree and walk in June 2009. Goals don't accomplish themselves, so here is my mini-goal for 2008. To do that, I need to have a real writing schedule and a clear plan. It's all in the works (and incredibly private), but here's the public component. Please hold me to it if you catch me blogging in excess.

3. Bike More Whenever Possible

I'm pretty sure resolution 1 and my general habits in LA will take care of this resolution, but so will doing the sort of things I did yesterday. For New Year's Day brunch with my family, my partner and I rode down the coast to Long Beach. Sure, I wasn't quite ready for a lengthy power-ride (we finished around 46.5 miles in total), but it was great to remind myself that these things can be done even when one has spent 5 weeks away from the bicycle. I've always taken the saying "spend New Year's Day doing what you want to do all year" to heart and I think riding around in a relatively car-free Southern California on New Year's Day was a great way to do it.

It helps that the City of Santa Monica has installed more bike lanes around town in the last month. Those simple lines of paint (and the accompanying reduced vehicle traffic) encourage me in very direct ways for my daily life.

Speaking of encouragement, I've heard a rumor that one of my best friends is moving to Topanga either today or tomorrow -- get this -- without his car. He's also training for the Solvang Century ride, so I will be gaining another cycling buddy. Awesome!

4. Reduce My Injury and Illness Frequency

This kind of goal can only be accomplished through care and persistence. Perhaps some professional guidance as well. (I'm wondering how expensive that will be...) For quite some time I've noticed that my body doesn't respond well to sudden bouts of high-impact activity. That sort of activity stopped well into my 20s. Take my recent knee injury, or the infamous bout of wrist and elbow injuries that started around the time I finished my MA Thesis nearly 4 years ago. For over 7 years, I've noticed that the only way to keep my illness frequency down is to be good to my body. It's just common sense, but well worth noting.

5. Lose 5 Pounds of Emotional Baggage

Kind of speaks for itself and I think it is way more practical than the fitness goals that drive gym memberships up during January. Anyone ever notice how long that influx lasts? Right. Losing 20 pounds of fat is not a very practical goal for January, but I do think working on how one emotionally reacts to the world has a small chance of actually succeeding. Also, I think the bike-related and diss related goals will help with this one.

That's all for the public resolutions. Happy 2008 everybody!

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