Goals are good and I like starting out the new year with goals firmly in mind. Last year, it was to get back into shape and get my health back in line. Goal was pretty much accomplished although I learned a lot of things along the way.

1–that it’s much harder to get back into shape when you’re no longer a kid! When I was in my twenties and thirties, running and biking came so easy. Not so easy now. I worked hard all year and while I’ve made significant ground, I’m still a long way from my ultimate goal.

2–that the weight doesn’t come off as easy any more. Twenty years ago if I’d done everything I have this last year, I’d be a toothpick! Suffice it to say, I’m not. I’m toned, I’ve lost some weight, and I’m healthy, but I’m far from a stick.

3–I am prone to panic attacks in open water! Now let me tell you, that was a shocker. Never experienced a panic attack until my first triathlon this last year. Toss me out in that open water and there’s a better than average chance I’ll be swimming along just fine and then bam…panic attack. With the help of team members in my triathlon club, I learned how to work through the panic but it sucks to even have to deal with it. I mean, seriously, it’s not like I can’t swim! Goal for 2011…NO PANIC ATTACKS.

4–It’s healthy to step out of your comfort zone. Joining the triathlon club was one of the best things I’ve done in a really long time. It was also one of the scariest. Not only was I waaaay out of shape, but I’m not particularly social. I had to force myself to show up to club functions. I had to put myself out there and not worry about how silly I was going to look being so far out of shape and overweight. Funniest thing…no one cared how out of shape or overweight I was. The group welcomed me, mentored me, encouraged me. In short, I had a fantastic time and met some incredible people. Without the group, I don’t think I’d have stayed the course.

So, taking in the lessons of the last year, I’m looking forward to 2011. So far, I’m signed up for a half-marathon and a triathlon. I look forward to my workouts, I look forward to the challenges. As my body gets healthier, it does wonder for my energy and creativity. With a new vampire novel coming out in April, I’m also busy writing the follow-up.  Yeah, 2011 is looking bright.