There’s nothing quite like staring at an illuminated ball creeping down a pole that really makes you rethink your life.
We always seem to find ourselves in a profound state of reflection as the end of a year draws to a close and we flip the page back to January. “This will be my year” we say, “Bring on the year of ME!” I wait a few weeks after making this iconic proclamation to set goals for the year because there is a good chance that I’m more motivated on my first run of the year than I am 2 weeks later while watching Bacon Bowl infomercials at 2am. But let’s be real—those look amazing. Anyone tried them? Genuinely looking for testimonials here. Hit me up.
In any case, I started 2016 in a sizable rut (following about a week of adult beverage consumption) after a productive 2015 year securing a full-time job, running a few big PRs, and overall enjoying my first full year on the North Shore. This turn of the year just didn’t go so great and it was like the carpet was swept out from under my feet from the get-go. 2016 was rough for a lot of people and I truly empathize with you. We’ve all had those years of tragedy. Of course some more than others. But 2016 was going to be MY year. The first few months were rather emotionally charged, to say the least. It took a few months to establish what is now known as my “new normal”, something we all have to develop after a tectonic shift occurs. But once a little bit of adaptation was made, all that was left to do was let it ride!
This time a year ago I wrote an article about how out of shape I felt following the holiday season. Inspired to not let that feeling linger, I picked a couple races to start the year’s buildup (if you’re looking for some upcoming races.. *HINT HINT*) and pushed the limits of what I’d previously known, running my first ever 100-mile training week! Last year I set lifetime personal bests in every distance I’ve ever run from the 1 Mile (and Beer Mile) up through the 100k. The pride I feel towards all the accomplishment in 2016 is tremendous. The hard work that was this past year in running was instrumental in shaping my future. All set and done I ran over 3,500 miles, about 275 of which were in races!
In an attempt to reestablish myself a bit, I made a push in 2016 to put myself out in the world and meet new people, start conversations in public and simply find ways to connect with others. There have been people that have entered into my life that have made some interesting impacts at how I view the world and each person hold a special place in the year’s story. It seems that when some new paths cross, sometimes other people’s presence seems to diminish in the narrative as well. Though we see each other in a different light, they are still part of what made this past year a gift.
On January 1st a friend sparked a conversation about the age-old New Years Resolutions and presented the concept in an interesting manner. Katie challenged me to, rather than set quantitative and concrete goals that can seem daunting, organize a web of goals designed as small adjustments that over time will make a big difference. She instructed me to put this somewhere to see it regularly to keep on your mind. Mine now hangs in the literal Colton’s Corner at New England Running Company. It may be hidden in a nook and not super organized but hey—cut me some slack! I’m new to this!
I am thankful for each and every step taken this year, both by my feet as well as in a metaphysical sense. With those big steps, I look forward to the unknown opportunities the next year will hold. There are big plans for this coming year and I invite you all to be a part of it. As for this spring I’ll see you in the store, on the roads, the trails, in New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Indiana, or somewhere in between!
Happy 2017, everybody. Let’s have some fun.