I am constantly striving to get more exercise, eat better, read more and worry less so I can`t really recall the last time I truly made a New Year`s resolution to do any of these things. I have, however, made plans, lists and set goals for myself at this time of year. Things like, `visit two states I`ve never been to beforeâ€ and `walk the Appalachian Trail across Maryland.â€
In Kentucky Monthly, I used to write an annual column updating my progress and charting my successes and failures. Since we now do a combined December/January issue, that much-anticipated feature has vanished and thus any a personal accountability.
Let`s begin this year`s list with that hike across Maryland. I`ve tired and failed twice. The first time, hiking with my friend Pastor Dave, I twisted my knee and found going downhill nearly impossible. Six months later I tried again with my friend Ted and we picked the one weekend in October that brought not only driving rain, but also sleet and threats of snow. We made it from Pen Mar State Park on the Pennsylvania-Maryland state line to Smithburg, Maryland, a distance, by car, of about 16.5 miles. `I`m a team player and all,â€ Ted said, `but I`m done.â€
So in 2011, I`m going to return to Pen Mar and I`m going to make the 50-mile hike to Harper`s Ferry, West Virginia. Third time`s a charm, right?
In Kentucky Monthly, I`m going to do my best to find the 16 other babies I shared the Norton Infirmary nursery with in October 1961. I`d like to do it before we all turn 50.
In 2011 I`m going to graduate from Murray State University with my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. To do so, I must complete and defend my thesis and pass a class titled `Sports in Literature.â€ I hope the 15 years I spent as a sportswriter help in that effort.
To complete the three items on my list, I`m going to have get more exercise, eat better and read more. If I have some extra time, I`ll try my best to worry less.