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Make a Wish Instead of a Resolution



Early on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, I drove to Crescent City. The ride on U.S. Highway 101 is one of my favorites — along Big Lagoon, then Stone Lagoon, through the redwoods and, finally, with the ocean rumbling on one side. It was a typical North Coast summer morning, foggy and chilly, but I didn't mind the weather or temperature. My objective for the day was to make a wish come true: complete my first triathlon.

I say "complete" rather than "compete in" because, although I was about to engage in a competition, my goal was to complete the event's three segments: swimming, cycling and running (in that order). The time it takes to transition from one segment to the next counts as part of the overall result, so planning is required, considering the different attire needed for the three disciplines (and let's not forget the bicycle).

I arrived at the start and found myself in a convivial environment. Waiting for my turn to jump into the swimming pool, I chatted amiably with other participants. Once I started, though, I concentrated on the task at hand. For the cycling and running segments, I visited parts of Crescent City I didn't know. The volunteers helped us at every turn and from my perspective, the event went smoothly.

Why am I talking about this now? Because this is the time of the year when articles about New Year's resolutions appear, as predictably as recipes for roasting turkey ahead of Thanksgiving. And just as predictably, they describe the high likelihood of such resolutions' early demise. Highlighting failure disturbs me; it's not a nice note on which to start the New Year. Hence, I propose tossing the old term and adopting making a wish come true instead. Drawing up a few plans in early January should be energizing. If the wish doesn't come true, we won't call it a failure. Who needs that negative energy?

In choosing our wishes, we should let our passions speak, but remain realistic, concrete and specific. Completing a triathlon is quite specific. As you can imagine, I didn't wake up on Aug. 21 and make that wish. I prepared for it, which made it realistic. (Remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise program.)

Variations of "exercise more" appear high in the list of resolutions made in January. I suggest substituting that vague term for a specific goal. Say you want to run a 5K race. Great! The Six Rivers Running Club's calendar of events at shows plenty of opportunities to make your wish come true in 2023. Choose an event, put it on your calendar and get ready for it.

Humboldt County offers plentiful options for outdoor wishes. Ever wondered how it feels to be out on the bay, the ocean, or other bodies of water? Sign up for a kayaking, standup paddleboarding, sailing or rowing experience. (The Humboldt Bay Rowing Association normally hosts the Learn to Row Day the first Saturday in June — check in early May for information.)

Does hiking call out to you? Discover the joy of reaching Fern Canyon from the Redwoods State Park's Prairie Creek Visitor Center via the James Irvine Trail, or follow the Rim Trail in Sue-Meg State Park to Agate Beach, and from there, tide permitting, continue north to Big Lagoon. You don't need to do it alone. Joining a group may help with motivation, or you can ask a friend or family member to share the adventure.

Whatever your wish, make it come true in 2023.

Simona Carini (she/her) shares photographs of her outdoor explorations (and of food) on Instagram @simonacarini.


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