Pub Talk 7

A new year, a new start.

There’s something encouraging about new beginnings and starting fresh around a new year. It offers the opportunity to re-do or undo past errors.

But we over complicate the effort required to make the changes we need to make in our lives. A new year is a nice rally point but often you just have to get started. It’s not any more complicated than that.

Ten years ago, January 2007, I looked in the mirror after too much Christmas cheer and said, “This just has to stop.”  In six months, I lost 45 pounds and it was the thinnest I’d been since college. My wife thought I looked too thin, but how is “too thin” even possible? I dropped 8″ in my waist. My shirt size went from a Large to a Medium. Perhaps most surprisingly, I dropped a half a shoe size. I guess I had fat feet too. Who knew?

In the first month I lost 10 pounds and I still recall thinking how relatively easy it was and why did I wait so long?

In 2016, I joined Palmetto Masters Swimming and got back in the pool competitively for the first time since college. That meant being at the LTP pool in Mt. Pleasant several times a week. Masters swimming is not casual lap swimming. These are coached workouts with Coach Lance Ogren telling you how far you will swim, how fast you will swim, and how little rest you will get, all at 5:30 am.

It was not an easy re-beginning for me. I no longer enjoyed the body of a 20-year old, but I kept showing up and doing the work. Within a couple of months my endurance had improved and by April I competed in the U.S. Masters National Swimming Championship in Greensboro, NC.  I am not saying I won, but I didn’t stink and this Old Gray Mare got up on the blocks and dove in headfirst.

Sometimes the hardest part to a new beginning is the first step, then the second step, then the third step. But it has to begin with a step in the direction you want to go – whether it’s a new job, losing weight, new relationships, or healing old wounds. You just have to get started.

What’s your first step?