From resolution to reality

December 15, 2017

On January 7, fifteen-years will have magically passed since I quit smoking and transformed my life, by deciding to change one thing.

I remember grappling with resolutions. Knowing I should quit smoking yet not quite committed. Choosing quit dates, then finding a reason not to follow through. Now the New Year was fast approaching and I extended my quit date to February. 

February 7, I thought, the day my father died and a reminder to the plague of smoking. But on the evening of January 6, I knew I was done with excuses, and in my heart, I knew it was time to just quit.

Pursuing the ability to breathe after a flight of steps, change occurred, never as I had envisioned yet better than I had planned. Unsure of what I imagined my life to be when making this choice, the opportunity to run was never a part of this list, serving as another reminder of the capacity to change our course in life.

When I put out that last cigarette on January 6, 2003, I knew I was tired of all the ugly side effects smoking had caused. A constant cough I called a cold, shortness of breath and all the other lingering details brought on by smoking. 

I had not planned to run one day, or even walk for that matter. I just knew something needed to change and with an evolution of its own from dum dum suckers, to peppermints, I struggled through the addiction.

Then in late August of 2003, 8 months into my departure from smoking, my brother had his second brain aneurysm. We gathered for weeks at Metro Hospital while his body fought the trauma. Worried smokers collected outdoors and I stood frozen as Joe died on September 17. Anyone could have understood a return to smoking, but I held tight to my intentions.

As much as I wanted to know where I was going, I arrived where I needed to be.  Making the decisions I knew necessary while allowing time, patience and new habits to form. The decision to start running did not arrive until 2010, seven years after I had quit smoking. 

Grateful today for following through with my resolution so many years ago and the life it has provided. Each year as I set a new list of goals and intentions, I strive towards them knowing that not all change happens within the year you decide to reach for it, often its arrives over time in an evolution you never dreamed possible.

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