It’s a new year, but I have the same goal. Well, not the exact same goal from last year. Last year at this time I was still working on my first pull up. Now I’m working on volume. I want to be able to do 5 strict pull ups in a row without dropping from the bar.

From everything I’ve read, increasing volume is all about doing pull ups throughout the day, but I don’t have a bar. I’m looking at different ways to improvise, but it might have to wait until the weather is warm enough to use the outdoor gym near work. It isn’t a perfect solution, since the grass gets overwatered in the spring and summer, making the ground muddy under the bar, and it’s a pretty long walk from my office to there. But if I’m serious about volume, then I need to buckle down and find a way.

I suppose I do have another goal – a 100 mile solo hike through the deserts of Southern Idaho on the Idaho Centennial Trail. That trip is tentatively planned for late April, so the next Hike with Me book should be out in plenty of time for next Christmas (unlike the current one which isn’t quite ready yet). I’ve never hiked in the desert before. From what I’ve read, I’ll need to cache water and carry water, though spring will be a better time of year to tackle it than summer.

And I want to be generally fitter – not thinner or lighter necessarily, but more able. Able to bust out 100 miles in 5 days under pack. Able to lift heavier weights over my head. Able to accomplish more gymnastic feats on the bar. Able to push my body farther than I ever thought it could go.

I once overheard someone at Crossfit talk about how they felt it was overly dramatic when people collapsed to the floor after a workout. As someone who frequently makes sweat angels by collapsing after a workout, I took a bit of offense, although I didn’t say anything. This person can lift heavier than I can, run faster and has more aerobic capacity. But maybe, just maybe, I push myself harder. To me, if I don’t collapse to the floor after a workout, then I’ve still got energy left that I should have spent on the exercise. If my heart isn’t pounding in my ears and my lungs aren’t begging for mercy, then I haven’t done the job I came to do.

There’s always a little harder to push, and every time I push I have the chance to extend myself that little bit more. I don’t always notice improvement because I can always make things more difficult for myself. So the last goal will be to take notice of improvements and not let myself forget how amazing what I can do really is.

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