Running Towards Your Best Self
By Shanaz Shamsuddin

SHANAZ IS AN ENGINEER, AVID RUNNER AND TRAVELLER TALKS ABOUT PURSUING CHALLENGES AND FINDING NEW ADVENTURES,
ALL IN THE PURSUIT OF BECOMING HER BEST SELF !

Reflections and Resolutions

It is hard to believe that we have entered 2018. Time seems to go by faster as we get older. At the beginning of each year, I like to spend a quiet moment to reflect on the year gone by - to look back on the things I achieved, the hiccups and the lessons learned. I take this as a good opportunity to plan for the year ahead. While some people may dislike the idea of new year resolutions, I regard them as good motivators to keep me on my toes.

Staying true to myself

I read an interesting book recently, entitled “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***”, about figuring out what truly matter in our lives and letting go of everything else. It wasn't exactly life-changing but it did hit the right spots. I would like to think that I spent most of 2017 with this mindset, by limiting my concerns over things that brought no value. In 2018, I shall continue to keep my priorities at the forefront of my mind and not get easily distracted by anything that is not worth my time.

My resolutions are neither complicated nor far-fetched. They are simple means of improving on things that I’m already pursuing.

Continuously challenging myself

2017 has mostly been about getting back to running after a long hiatus. It wasn’t a smooth journey! Despite the struggle, I managed to complete two full marathons in the process. This validated the fact that I still have what it takes to run long distance. More importantly, I am glad that running has become a big part of my life once again. Although I am currently not as fit as the runner I used to be, I do believe that, with patience and persistence, I still have the potential to improve.

Running-wise, there are two things that I want to challenge myself this year. First and foremost is to break my marathon’s personal best. I know it will take a significant amount of effort there’s no harm in giving in a shot, right? I miss the feeling of crossing the finish line knowing that I have given my best. The other challenge is about stepping out of my comfort zone and go slightly further. What I specifically have in mind is to complete an ultra-distanced trail run. I have always wondered if I am cut out for it.

Expanding my horizon

Another thing that gets me most excited about in the beginning of the year is my travel plan. Believe me, I have a long list of dream adventures just waiting to be turned into a reality. Last year, I spent a considerable amount of time revisiting my favourite destinations which was a blast. This year, however, I am heading to places I have never been to before. 2018 will hopefully be a good year of discovering new trails and amazing landscapes. If these don’t broaden my horizon, I don’t know what will.  

Speaking of travelling, I have always considered scuba diving and photography as an extension of my love for the outdoors and to see the world. Unfortunately, I have been neglecting both interests for quite some time and honestly, my learning curves are getting stagnant. I have a couple of trips in mind this year that will give me the chance to further develop my skills. They are easier to commit to than trying to take up a new skill, which I have repeatedly planned and failed to achieve in the past.

Being a better version of myself

I can go on and on about the rest of my resolutions - from spending more time with loved ones to reducing my negative impact to the environment - but they all boil down to one thing: to be better. My resolutions are neither complicated nor far-fetched. They are simple means of improving on things that I’m already pursuing. At the end of the day, it is easier to go through the year with some checklists in mind. Without them, how can I envision the bigger picture of who I want to become in the long run?

I would like to take this chance to wish everyone a wonderful year ahead. May we have abundance of joy, good health and happiness all through the year. May 2018 give all of us countless opportunities to indulge in our passions and follow our dreams. Regardless of the obstacles that await with each passing day, may we remain committed and motivated to be better today than we were yesterday. 

 At the end of the day, it is easier to go through the year with some checklists in mind. Without them, how can I envision the bigger picture of who I want to become in the long run?

Follow Shanaz's adventures here:
Instagram: @shaznita

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