New Year’s resolutions are a curious thing. Lucky for me, I don’t really need them to aim for more or less in my life. For instance, I don’t have to push myself to exercise; it’s such a natural part of my daily routine that it’s not even necessary. But of course, I have goals and desires too. Like running pain-free – after nearly two years of a nagging Achilles tendon. Or building strength – after tearing my bicep tendon last fall, it’s not just a wish, but a necessity.
So, my New Year’s resolutions are more like commitments to change. To be more mindful in my training. To eat more attentively. To mix up my sports routine. And now, with January almost over, I’m starting to see some results. Running feels effortless on some days. Even after intense spinning sessions, I barely feel any muscle soreness. And my Achilles tendon? It’s calmed down, hardly sensitive to pressure anymore, and the usual pain in the ball of my foot has vanished.
But here’s what really fascinates me: I have no idea why this is happening. Sure, I know all the changes I’ve made, and they’re not insignificant. I do mobility exercises every day, try out new sports and training methods, cut down significantly on refined sugar, regularly use my massage gun, and take contrast showers. But which of these led to the improvements? No clue. As I thought about this today, I realized something else: I don’t care that I don’t know the exact cause. It’s not important. None of the changes were made with a specific outcome in mind. Quite the opposite. I integrated mobility exercises into my routine with such a long-term focus (thinking about staying mobile and flexible in old age) that I wasn’t concerned about their immediate effects. The new sports I’m trying are out of curiosity and the realization that there are so many workouts out there I haven’t tried yet. I wanted to see what I’d enjoy, which sessions would leave me sweaty but happy, and which ones would be a letdown. The sugar reduction wasn’t aimed at specific ailments, but more about stabilizing my energy intake in general. And the contrast showers? More of a challenge, maybe a thought to boost my immune system – even if that’s scientifically shaky, I know.
So, I didn’t really have a solid plan for the new year. Just ideas, wishes, and goals. And maybe that’s the secret to why I’m seeing changes so quickly and, hopefully, sustainably. I didn’t overthink it. I did everything at a pace and time that felt right. Not by a recipe, not by prescription, not by supposed scientific textbooks. I listened to my body – and it seems to be thanking me. Looks like we’re a pretty good team, the two of us.