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Resolutions


Sunrise on Twin Peaks


Resolutions
by Andy Dappen


Minutes before the New Year, our host circulated pens and strips of paper. His instructions: “Write a resolution for the coming year and put it in this hat. Don’t sign your name. We’ll read each resolution aloud and guess who wrote it.”

I pondered whether to tell the truth or draw a laugh with my resolution and an answer that did both bubbled to mind. I wrote it down and fed it to the hat.

New Years arrived and we welcomed it with a toast, some champagne, and a truly awful rendition of Auld Lang Syne. And then the hat was brought front and center and the host removed a slip of paper. The first resolution was elegantly simple and appealed to many of us, “Retire this year.”

Many of us at the party were outdoor junkies, wanting more time for the nearly endless outdoor opportunities surrounding us in Central Washington. However, none of us present had had our software company bought out by Google nor were any of us slated to retire over the coming year. This was probably a joke … or the wishful thinking of a government employee. We scanned the cast of characters present and correctly pegged the Forest Service employee who often groused about the inefficiencies of the bureaucracy that kept him gainfully employed.

The next several resolutions were variations of the same theme: “Spend less time working and more time playing.” Each time, we looked around the room, found those type-A individuals who were serious professionals and avid recreationalists, and identified them.

Not all resolutions were easily matched. Take this one-word resolution: “Practice.” Practice what? When? It was vague and took several guesses to flush out the practitioner.

Then came this resolution, “Work more!”

Among this group placing a premium on recreation, there were a few grimaces. My wife whispered to me, “That must be you.” I gave her a ‘no-way’ shake of the head.

Meanwhile, one of the doctors present was applying his diagnostic techniques to the puzzle, ignoring those people who we had already identified, eliminating people who already believed they worked too much, and wondering about someone who might state this with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “Gotta be Andy,” he said. Most of the group was in agreement – not necessarily because they ‘got’ the joke but because they didn’t believe I worked much. I confessed to my crime.

An hour later as we were leaving and I was thanking our host, he asked what I was up to on this first day of the year.

“Thought I’d take a little ski tour in the foothills,” I told him

“But you said you needed to work more this year.”

“That IS work for me,” I told him.

Of course, for adventure-sport journalists, experiencing what we write about is only half the job. Applying that experience to paper is the less pleasant part of the job. Which is where my New Year’s Resolution came into play -- I wanted to be more productive and more creative in fulfilling the office side of the equation. It takes creativity and firmness of purpose (resolve) to make those resolutions work.

In the case of friends wanting to log more play, for example, it requires creativity to use time more effectively -- to get out in early morning on a Dawn Patrol; use the lunch hour for a hike or ride; head out after work on a Dusk Patrol; or merge Dusk and Dawn patrols into an overnight DAD Patrol. The beauty of living where we do is the ease with which we can weave outdoor yahoos into a busy schedule.

In my case of wanting to be more productive on the office side of equation I applied new creativity to the problem while I skied up a peak flanking Wenatchee. I carried a small digital recorder and dictated a draft of the article you are now reading. When I returned from skiing, I transcribed the audio file, edited it and, presto, – a finished product was produced far faster than normal. That left me free to spend more time skiing.

A morning dose of inspiration -- almost as good as morning coffee

If you are among the many who resolved to play more, exercise more, practice hobbies more, enjoy life more, appreciate family more… help yourself achieve the resolution with the planning needed to actually make it happen. How are you going to work the resolution into daily, weekly, or monthly life? Who can you recruit to join you and help you stay on track? What events can you sign-up for to give yourself a goal to work toward? Will joining an organization or group  help? Don’t just say it--resolve to make it real.


Suggestions for those who resolve to ‘Get Outdoors More’:

  • Dawn Patrols and Dusk Patrols (hour-long to two-hour-long outings on the early or late ends of the work day) are creative ways to extend play time. A good headlight with an output of 200 or more lumens will allow you to hike, run, peak bag, snowshoe, or ski through the dark hours. If bicycling is your passion, go brighter and use lights with outputs of500 to 1000 lumens.
  • Check the WenatcheeOutdoors ‘Calendar’ for events giving you events to train toward. Most people are more diligent at getting outdoors if they have a challenge on the horizon that motivates them to remain in shape or improve their skills
  • Finding others who will go out regularly with you is a strong motivator. It’s tougher to bail on your outdoor adventures if you’re accountable to a friend.
  • Local outdoor clubs and outdoor groups will get you more involved in outdoor activities. Use this listing of local outdoor clubs or this listing of less formal outdoor activity groups.

 

Looking over Wenatchee (hidden by clouds) at Badger Mountain and the Waterville Plateau.