Since the collapse of the sun into the winter abyss sometime in November, the gym and I have gotten much cozier. It has nothing to do with New Year's Resolutions and everything to do with the misery I experience in the winter months. The only respite from the cold is to simulate rain forest levels of personal perspiration. And so I hit the treadmill three or four times a week, attempting to trick my internal organs and hormonal balances into summer bliss mode. They are easily duped.

Since my semi-failed half-marathon days (okay, so they weren't at all failures, I just quit running them because I love not feeling my left hip when I walk), I haven't had much in terms of goals with running. With the exception of "don't get fat," which is really a whole-life goal and not actually specific to running.

Goals in running are surprisingly problematic for me. I have spent too much time in yoga practice and have become totally okay with challenge but not with forced effort. I don't like racing because of an aversion to competition. I am terrible about wearing stopwatches and using them appropriately. Treadmills sidestep the stopwatch issue, but only kind of because I like to pause to drink water, but my time should really be paused and they can't pause time without pausing distance traveled. Grr. Weight goals don't work either because I haven't weighed myself in years. (In my mind, so as long as my clothes fit and my doctor doesn't say anything at my yearly check-up, I don't need to be worried.) Increasing distance is somewhat out of the question because of aforementioned affection for not feeling the left hip while walking.

And yet not having a goal seems to be tantamount to quitting before stopping. I don't do much in my life without purpose or reason. So, dearest Internet, after hours and hours of thought over an appropriate goal for running and even a pitiful attempt at wit, I can say to you in total confidence that I am running just to run. Because it feels good: old-school hedonistic style.

Goalless activity is a whole new type of accomplishment in my life.

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