Another New Year is upon us, and with it the opportunity to wash the stain of the year's mistakes off our skin, to rectify all of the various things we've screwed up, to chart a different course: eat better, exercise, drink less, don't be a dick.
Or, you know, pretend to, until we decide that shit is just too hard.
Resolutions are usually ephemeral things, but we make them anyway. And once in a blue moon, they actually stick—and when that happens, this bizarre annual ritual can almost seem worthwhile.
For this, our last issue of 2015, we wanted to share with you our resolutions for the year to come—both for ourselves and for our community. These are broken up into two rather arbitrary categories: good and bad. Good, because we want to take care of ourselves and the cities we call home. Bad, because life is meaningless if it's not fun.
So here you go. Stay safe this weekend—New Year's Eve is the most amateur of amateur hours, after all—and we'll catch you on the other side.
In seventh grade, my unpromising career as an athlete came to an abrupt end when I tripped over a soccer ball and sustained the kind of broken forearm where the bone juts up at an almost right angle. This pretty much crushed the "no pain, no gain" mantra for me, and since then, when it comes to exercise, I'm of the European persuasion that says less is more. Walk to work. Take the stairs. Swim in the ocean at the beach. Go ahead and have a glass of wine and high-five yourself for participating in life.
But I'm pushing 30 now, and it seems that dancing at the Royal James until 2 a.m. a couple of times a month does no longer a reasonable fitness routine make. I'm going to have to find some other ways to shake the -itis out of my bones and raise my heart rate that don't actually require intense physical exertion.
I live just across from Cirque de Vol Studios on Hargett Street in Raleigh, and every evening I see adults in colorful attire flying around on trapezes, walking on stilts or dancing and practicing yoga while suspended in the air from hoops and sashes. The studio's website urges you to escape the "monotonous and limited confines of the weight room" for a "low-impact, full-body workout," a perfect summation of my philosophical approach to fitness. I can train to be a circus performer or an aerial dancer; throw in a dash of what looks like hula-hooping parties, sounds like drum circles and is rumored to be naked yoga, and I'm so there. Sign me up for everything. These people get me.
I will need a backup plan, however, for the days I'm not feeling the hippie-dippiness of Cirque de Vol.
Enter Lap it Up in Durham, the indoor dog-and-activity training center. OK, so this one isn't so much for myself as it is for my pit bull mix, Bosco. Bosco has grown bored of our jaunts about Lake Johnston, and of our very light jogs/fast walks around downtown. He needs to work on his agility and his manners, so the boot camp, hoop-jumping, tunnel diving and swimming classes that Lap It Up offers are exactly what Bosco is looking for. And if I want to get in on the action, there are group activities in which we can play hide-and-seek, round robin and whatever track zoom is together.
I will be purchasing the daytime activity pass. For Bosco.
Now, for all that's great about trying new things, I think there's also a lot of value in getting back to your roots. For me, that's dancing, and not just at Royal James. After the soccer ball incident, I turned to ballet to fill my days as a highly organized middle schooler. Even now, jazz dance helps me when I'm feeling down. I want to try something new in the realm of the movement arts—and also, one day, to participate in the St. Patrick's Day parade. Why not get some exercise while working toward my goals? Like any great city, Raleigh has a school of Irish dance called Inis Cairde, which offers beginners Irish dance classes on Thursday evenings. I can't think of a more worthwhile goal for the year than to learn how to riverdance.
My exercise resolutions may not be for everyone, but generally, the Triangle offers tons of ways to move for the non-physically inclined. Just in Raleigh, you could join one of the many, many intramural sports/beer-drinking teams (kickball is especially popular). Or sign on to the rock-climbing meetup or go on some group bike rides. Or visit one of the myriad yoga studios. Or explore the 114 miles of the greenway system with your bike, your dog or yourself.
Whichever mode you choose, you'll be doing you a favor in 2016. Go ahead and give yourself a high-five for participating. —Jane Porter