The Night Is Over

2016 pictureHere it is, 2016, the year I will turn 60. The sun is shining on a new start, and the darkness of 2015 is over. No, wait, the title of this blog entry isn’t a depressing metaphor! I’ll explain below.

December was busy with Christmas activities, and with November taken up with NaNoWriMo, it seems like ages since I’ve shown progress on my list of 60 things to do before the big day in September. I certainly haven’t blogged, but all that is about to change. Time to take stock and get going!

Despite lack of publication, I have not been standing still on the LIST. For example, if I could spend 100% of my time working on my lists of 100 favorite songs, rock, country, and classical, I would, and I have in fact spent a good amount of time on them. To do what I’d like to do with these lists, such as sort them by song release date or by artist, I have added a new item to my list of things to do–learn to use a spreadsheet program. My expertise in Excel is limited to copying data from it and putting it into word-processing programs so that I can manipulate it there. Time to figure out how to really use Excel or a similar program.

Also ready to go is “read War and Peace.” I ordered a copy of the book and it arrived yesterday. Golly, it is REALLY thick. I’m wondering whether I should just watch the A&E miniseries starting in a couple weeks and call it at that. Naaa, no backing down!

To get me started with all of my weight loss/running, triathlon, and riding goals, the top item on my Christmas wish list was the book Anatomy for Runners (Jay Dicharry), and I finished reading it last night. Dicharry’s thesis emphasizes supple muscles achieved and maintained through self massage and use of foam rollers and a lacrosse ball to work out kinks and soften scar tissue. Using his simple method, one of my old leg injuries is already 80% better. Many more to go. In addition to massage/rolling, the book offers a set of exercises to develop hip suppleness, a thing that I definitely don’t have and that has been hampering me on both the bike (resulting in lower back pain) and the run.

I was not impressed with Dicharry’s writing. Many of his illustrations are incomprehensible due to poor labeling, and some paragraphs leave you going “huh?” until you find the explanations later in the book. I wish I could have edited the thing! Nonetheless, the author believes in the importance of weight training, so he has given me a reasonable framework for me to start on my list items “do a stretching routine for more than two weeks” and “do a strength routine for more than two weeks,” and I’m under way on those now!

Okay, now I’ll explain what “the night is over” means. On December 15, aided by the mild weather we had then and three of my biking buddies, I completed my list item “do a night ride.” We headed off at dusk to ride 13 miles on gravel roads. I had two headlights and found I was indeed able to see the road in front of me, especially with the other riders’ lights helping.

gravel road at night

The road traveled through the woods with few houses (and consequently few if any passing cars), and the experience was both spooky and beautiful. It is one that will be repeated, especially since my new pedals for my gravel bike just arrived in the mail!

See—no metaphorical dark nights. Here’s wishing all my readers a bright and Happy New Year!