In the languid environment of summer, it's easy to fall into inaction. Projects begun (or planned to be begun) in earnest are pushed aside as the hot sun saps energy and the cool poolside beckons, while without the diversion of school and mostly without any real work to do, entire days easily slip away while I listen to my iPod, take walks around my neighborhood, or goof around on the Internet.
More than anyone I know, I can find myself at the conclusion of a summer's afternoon wondering what I did all day, and sometimes even writing blog posts is too much.
I have one keen advantage over others, though, in that while I can at times be exceptionally lazy I take resolutions quite seriously and am apt to keep them.
Three times since starting this blog I have declared resolutions to be met, and my track record thus far has been, while not perfect, certainly better than most people's in the area.
First came the January, 2009 post entitled "BB's New Year's Resolutions."
This list of goals, sixteen in all, came on the tail end of a long and debilitating depression that was easily the most damaging experience in my young life, and I was still handling lingering self-doubt, self-pity, and pessimism. Those resolutions dealt mainly with changing my negative outlook and branching out of my comfort zone, an endeavor in which I have excelled. A year and a half later, my life is completely different, largely because I determined to make things better no matter what it took. Going through all that, including the recovery, endowed me with a kind of stoicism that has proven helpful. Sometimes things just are what they are, but hard work has nearly unlimited potential. That duality has empowered me immensely.
The second round of benchmarks, which I termed "summer resolutions," came in May of 2009. There were only two this time. The first was that I would record my original song, "So Long," and the second was that I would get my first kiss. The recording happened in May, and while the kiss didn't come until October, it still took place.
Then there was this January, when I dedicated myself to four aspirations: to get in better shape, to devote more time to my writing, to work towards career goals for after college, and to actively pursue singing.
I did well on the first two counts, adjusting my diet and putting more effort into my stories, including one that I may share, there being the will for it, on this blog.
The second two were met, too; I secured a public relations internship at Major University in May and was offered a recording contract in April.
I don't play with these things.
And while I may occasionally miss (I could definitely have done more on the fitness side and the record deal wound up not working out), I wind up in the right direction and more or less succeed.
In the spirit of those prior commitments, I am making my second year's summer resolutions, all three of them related to earlier marks I set for myself.
Here they are:
1. In keeping with this winter's promise to make the most of my singing and hopefully build something from it, I will be setting up a YouTube account and trying out for American Idol this summer. The YouTube account I will, unfortunately, be unable to share with you because it will show my face and be under my actual name, but the American Idol audition will make for a great blogging adventure.
2. I will undergo track training. This one has actually already begun. I have noted for some time that the cross country boys at Major University are easily the hottest guys on campus, while Black Boy, my nineteen-year-old neighbor and a former track runner himself, is looking to shed some of the weight he's gained since high school. Our interests thus conveniently converging, we decided to put in the time together and endure some fairly rigorous physical training four days a week.
We were due to start on Thursday but Black Boy got sick, so it was today that we met in our front yards just after eight o'clock in the morning and headed for Mountain Town Middle School's running track. We absolutely murdered ourselves, running just under a mile (though not all at once) and performing a number of strange exercises, including lunges, high knees, butt kicks, and a challenging set of crunches known as 30-30-30s that contorted us into five different positions for a total of 150 lifts.
It was all quite envigorating, and, to be honest, not as bad as I'd imagined. It certainly was very tiring, but I'd thought it would be much worse. I think that the bike rides I've been doing four times a week must have helped my endurance, because I found myself holding up fairly well, and, for my obvious lack of athletic ability, I did not once falter on a run, stretch, or warm-up, however much I may have struggled.
I managed to lose half a pound during this hour-long activity, something I'll have to watch. I'm 5'10" and only about 125lbs to begin with. Black Boy says we'll both probably lose some weight initially before adding muscle mass. We'll have to see.
I'm insane, so of course I'm pushing to go again tomorrow.
3. I will finish my story, Captain Vanilla and the Great Adventure, by the end of the summer. This one will be the hardest. When I actually sit down to write I usually get a good bit done, but putting myself to the grindstone without a deadline is difficult. My more longtime readers will remember that I posted some of this story last summer, and if the followers would like I could do that again this year, putting one chapter up a week. Having an audience waiting for new material would keep me going forward, but despising as I do those bloggers who push their work on others I won't include the project here unless I'm convinced people would enjoy it. I may submit the first chapter up and then ask if anyone would like to hear more.
So that's it for now. Wish me luck going into all this.