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COLUMN: Here's to an athletic 2016

Ah, the New Year is almost upon us.

The time when anything seems possible. A time when an inspirational movie quote gets me pumped up to set ridiculously ambitious (for me) goals, because how hard could that really be? A time when the possibilities seem endless — until I remember my favorite cooking tool is a microwave and my athletic career peaked before the age of 18.

Those darned resolutions. Those promises of a better life that we commit to for a shorter length of time than some celebrity marriages. Those goals that are supposed to make me feel better, but instead reveal that, alas, I’m not quite the awesome, athletic, and multi-talented superhuman I thought I was.

History should suggest I temper my expectations for 2016. Will I? Of course not!

What better way to hold myself accountable than printing my sports resolutions? There may be triumphs (I use that word loosely). There may be failures, but 2016 will be one to remember.

In no particular order:

Enter the Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July Tennis Tournament — It’s a little known fact I once had a promising tennis career at a young age. By promising I mean I took tennis lessons one summer and beat three other students (two of whom had the agility of an overweight sloth and the hand-eye coordination to match). OK, so I’m no Roger Federer. Or Tinotenda Chanakira (No. 2,255 in the Association of Tennis Professional’s men’s singles rankings as of Monday). I can, however, hit the ball over the net … sometimes. Whether it lands in play, on someone else’s court face or over the fence is a whole different matter.

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Feel free to come watch me this Fourth of July weekend. Just be warned — you’re watching at your own peril.

Enter (and finish) a full/half triathlon — The Independence Sprint Triathlon was my athletic triumph for 2015. I imagined myself finishing the sprint triathlon in a blaze of glory. Instead, it was more of a flicker than a bang. I have also never wanted to smell, see or taste pizza less in my entire 25 years of life on this earth than I did after that race (sorry Brian). During the training process, I also questioned my sanity, completely disregarded my pre-race strategy and promptly returned home afterward wishing I had an escalator installed in my apartment instead of stairs — but there was something strangely addicting to it. The smart move would be to do another sprint triathlon. I say, go big or go home. Forget Chariots of Fire music playing in the background. I’m ready to go all Leonidas on this (aside from the dying, hopefully). If only I could convince my coworkers to join me (Emily Mentzer).

Take part in one of Dallas’ adult rec leagues — What better way to satisfy my competitive fire than to join a rec league? Basketball is the most likely one I’ll do. Perhaps it can rekindle the memory of the high point of my basketball career — a two-game stretch where I made the game-winning shot in each. We’re not going to talk about the fact it was on a team where I was the only player with any organized basketball experience or that this triumphant stretch came in the sixth grade.

Shoot a 45 or lower (for 9 holes) in golf — It’s been a year and a half since my — ahem — wonderful golfing excursions in Polk County. I love golf. I really do. There’s nothing like an afternoon on the course during a beautiful day. Of course, depending on how my round is going, all the weather in the world won’t stop me from getting frustrated, using colorful language and/or questioning why I like torturing myself like this. I don’t care what kind of course I shoot this on, but I WILL get this mark at least once — even if it’s on a mini golf course (just kidding … but seriously).

There you have it — my four athletic New Year’s resolutions for 2016. As I write this, I question whether this is actually a good idea, or if I’ve finally crossed that line from sane to crazy. I’m probably being a tad bit overconfident in my athletic ability in a lot of areas. I’m not exactly the shining example of peak physical shape, but one thing is certain — I’ll be gloating to friends about my athletic triumphs or wondering what the heck I got myself into.

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