Whatever begins, also ends. — Seneca
WELL, THE DAY HAD TO COME. Today was my 51st birthday, and my “year of being 50” has come to an end. And what an incredible ride it’s been, kicking off one year ago today with the 2011 Holiday Hustle 5K and ending with the same race last Saturday. (More on that one later – it was a really special race for me.)
With adventures in running, cycling, Aikido, novel writing, cooking, and calisthenics, it was a full and busy year, and I enjoyed every moment of it, even when I biked all day in the rain or gasped my way to the finish line and first aid station in the Ann Arbor Marathon. Somehow I stayed healthy and free of significant injury the whole time, and for that I am very grateful. And there are no sufficient words to express my appreciation for my family, who put up with my nights of training and weekends away from home, and worried about me biking 600 miles by myself but let me go anyway. And to my coach who helped me reach the goals I’d set for myself, and to all my friends who encouraged me, thank you all so very much.
So, what’s next? Technically, I still have a couple of goals left in 2012, with an Aikido test next week and the 2,500 combined run/bike miles. I will also be compiling my list of “50 things I did at 50” list and recapping the year’s highlights. In 2013, if all goes well, I will test for black belt in Aikido, and maybe have a go at a 50-mile ultramarathon. (Hey, I did a 50K this year, what’s another 16 miles on top of that?) And as for the latest craze in outdoor endurance events – so far I’ve resisted the siren call of the triathlon, but I get the feeling that sooner or later I’ll get sucked in. Maybe I can hold that off until 2014. But in any event, I’ll be blogging about it all.
Next year, too, I hope to get back to my fiction writing. Now that I’m 50,000 words into a novel, it wouldn’t be right to just set it aside. Lots of short stories to clean up and send out, too. And, of course, there’s always more interesting stuff to cook and more flavors of chocolate truffles to try. I’ll keep you all posted on those, too.
But for now, time to get some rest. Sensei celebrated my birthday tonight in class with a final set of 51 breakfalls and 51 buki strikes, and then I capped it off with 51 pushups. Watch out when I turn 100!