by Joseph Kolinsky
I love this time of year.Â Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (mainly because the turkey gives me an excuse to be lazyâ€¦..kidding!) â€“ the air is crisp, the park is a rainbow of color, and people just seem to be in a great mood within the city.Â Itâ€™s a day where you simply get to spend time with family and friends, and thoroughly enjoy their company.Â The only present given or received is time.
As Thursday quickly approaches, I begin something that I call my own personal Annual Assessment Process.Â I take stock of the things I wanted to accomplish this year (usually a long list) and the corresponding number of things that I actually got done (not surprisingly a much SHORTER list).Â Then I literally sit down, grab a pen and a piece of paper, and list out my goals for the upcoming new year.Â Sounds oddly thorough, I know â€“ but thatâ€™s the way my brain works.Â I then use the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to finalize my Top Ten list for the upcoming year.Â The week between Christmas and new Yearâ€™s is spent bracing myself for the drastic changes that I normally enforce on January 1stâ€¦and disappear from memory by Superbowl Sunday.
So what does this have to do with Disney and running?Â Bare with me, because it takes me a while to get to the pointâ€¦and Iâ€™m as sharp as a bowling ballâ€¦.
For the past several years, Iâ€™ve placed some goals on my Top Ten List that have proven to be challenging, yet very fun.Â Theyâ€™ve involved running some Disney races, including:
- The Expedition Everest Challenge (the medal you are awarded is extremely cool!)
- The Wine & Dine Half Marathon (do the mental math with me: 13.1 miles waddled + 2,000 calories burned + ending at Epcotâ€™s World Showcase = absolutely NO GUILT while ordering funnel cake from the American pavilion, pizza from Via Napoli and nachos from La Hacienda de San Angelâ€¦in that exact order)
- The Disneyland Half Marathon (Grand Californian â€“ I looooooove that place!)
- The Walt Disney World Marathon (I can actually say that I was in all four parks in one day before 12pm, and I scored a picture with Abbey Mallard)
Theyâ€™ve also included some easier, more relaxed goals, such as:
- Figure out whether thereâ€™s a jogging path from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom (answer: not unless you also feel like swimming)
- Enjoy a jog from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian (I HIGHLY recommend this one to all my fellow Disney Geeks that are thinking of taking up joggingâ€¦)
- Run the paths around Saratoga Springs and the Port Orleans resorts (sooooooo enjoyable)
Why not find a quiet spot, grab a pen and a piece of paper, and begin thinking about your goals for the upcoming year, and put ideas to ink?Â For those of you thinking about trying jogging / running (or waddling like me!), pick a goal or two.Â Make one of these goals a really fun, shorter distance run â€“ like a Disney race.Â Put the idea to paper.Â Do the research, grab your sneakers, get out there and enjoy in 2012!
Part of the fun is in the preparation â€“ the journey is just as important as arriving at the destination.Â So look at this time of year as an opportunity to check your compass and see which way your winds will take you.Â In my next blog entry, Iâ€™ll share with you my own goals for the upcoming year, which shockingly include time spent waddling through the Disney parks and resorts, and WDW Radio Running Team! Until then, make sure to double-knot your shoe laces, get out there and get moving!
A self-proclaimed Disney nerd, Joe Kolinsky also is a running enthusiast.Â He has completed over 10 marathonsÂ and runÂ 5 Disney races (including the 2009 Goofy Challenge).Â When he is not running or dreaming of his next Disney vacation, JoeÂ spends his spare time being a Dad and writing.Â (You can follow his writings in his blog, entitled â€œBuilt for Comfort, Not Speedâ€ at http://backofthepacker.wordpress.com/)