How boring is it to make a New Year’s resolution to get back in shape and lose weight? The only thing interesting about my attempt at this old chestnut is how long it’s taking me to get started. Well, of course I couldn’t start on New Year’s Day. Added to a regular hangover, I had the double-whammy of a cheese hangover from a most excellent fondue party. Then somehow Saturday and Sunday slipped by me and, four days in, no progress at all. So last night I tried all the tricks including laying out fresh gym clothes and shoes at the foot of the bed. Then the iPod was charged and filled with tunes. Add to that the prospect of another sunny, mild San Francisco day. No snow, no sleet, no excuses.

Except there are always excuses. First, my two terrier alarm failed to activate. While Oscar and Lucy usually wake between five and six AM desperate for a run to the park, this morning they slept in. I barely got Andy out of the house on time. Somehow that effort required draping myself back across the bed. Then checking out just one rerun cable episode of CSI: Miami. Then two.

But finally, finally, I got myself out of the house, across town and out to Crissey Field. Again, remind me to slap myself across the face. With this most beautiful of urban parks and the Perpetual Spring we live in here, we San Franciscans have no excuses not to get out and Just Do It.

Why am I not running every day when this is available? It doesn’t even offer the last excuse of the San Franciscan: “I can’t face the hills today.”

Yeah, all those Red Staters who are hating on San Francisco: jealous! ‘Cause we’ve got THIS.

In what other city can you walk past the place where Jimmy Stewart rescued Kim Novak?

And you know what, Rush Limbaugh? We have this place because of all of our Liberal, Do-Gooder, Tree Hugger values.

Okay, Liberal diatribe aside and back to fitness: I’d like to say I hit the ground running and knocked off a fast 5K. Not quite. There was a certain amount of meandering and looking and pausing to take pictures. The pace never got past a fast walk, but I did manage to work off 4.25 miles. In fact, I’d had the foresight to purge my iPod of all record of previous runs. So as far as my Nike-plus iPod “virtual personal trainer” knew, this was the first time I’d strapped on shoes. Lance Armstrong came over the iPod to tell me I’d set a “personal best”. It’s the little things, people, the little things. Well, not exactly an auspicious start. But it’s a start.

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