It is 0650 on 06 Jan 2019, and I have finally crawled out from under the pile of cheese and chocolate wrappers that is the Christmas break, so I thought I had better write the New Year Blog entry that I had volunteered to do in a pre-Christmas moment of inspiration. Many of you are probably out training or around the Fan dance races at this very moment, and yes I am jealous, because I should be Sunday Marathon training, not writing but I have pulled a hamstring which effectively feels like an alligator is biting the back of my leg if I try to run, so on a week of rest and recovery and see where that leads.
“NEW YEAR, NEW YOU”, the slogans ring out, the newspapers are full of ways to change your life, TV adverts contain hints to try their products to become a new you, I have had 7 slimming world adverts through my letter box, various gym adverts etc (and the standard kebab shop one), but these all boast of the same thing, New Year New You. As Black Sheep we should know this is rubbish, a marketing gimmick, how do you become a New You, and why is the 1st of January so important.
Well it is impossible to become a new you, even in this world of fantastic medicine, no one has yet worked out how to transfer DNA, so you are always going to be the same you, but people can improve themselves, they can strive always to be a better version of themselves, whether that is fitter, kinder, harder working, spending more time with their love ones. We can all do this, that capability is routed deep within us, we evolved (on the whole) from being Cavemen, so why can’t we improve ourselves in this modern time. But you will still be the same person, just a better one. New year is just a line on a calendar and should have no influence on when we make changes in our lives, a marketing gimmick, a tradition passed down through New Years resolutions, make the changes when they need making, because if you wait for a specific date it may be too late.
What should we do as Black Sheep in 2019? We should be influencers, Celebrities and You - tubers are known as influencers, because of the hold they have on people, I saw a picture of a celebrity over Christmas holding her dog on Instagram, no words of wisdom, just her and the dog, 40,000 likes overnight. We have a message of positivity to give, to help people be better versions of themselves, not everyone needs to aim for the high intensity activity we are involved in, but they can draw from our message of constantly trying to better themselves and adapt that. When you go running, biking, dog walking, knitting club, cookery classes, whatever it is, offer to take someone that you think may benefit from going with you, be a mentor, be a shepherd, stand out, as an influencer in your community. Take people back to the outside world, our DNA still yearns to be the hunter gatherers we once were, there is a peace to be found in nature.
Personally, this year will bring change, my wife awaits hospital results, my son awaits an ASD diagnosis, we are moving to a new house and I have series of races lined up, which this year I will be ready for. During that, I will aim to be the best version of me, and help my family to be the best version of themselves. I am also in the privileged position of working in a large private school and I aim daily to have some positive influence on the teenagers in my care, and indeed before Christmas we had the immense pleasure of Karl talking to about 150 of them, about his journey since Lloyd’s death.
So no more “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU”, marketing spiel, go out there team, be Black Sheep, stand out, but bring people into the flock, and help people make the improvements they need to, whenever those changes are needed (now back to the ICE pack and Ibuprofen).