"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
The words are usually attributed to Robert Burns although they're not exactly what he wrote. But the sentiment stands the test of time; no matter how carefully we plan, things can - and often do! - nevertheless go very wrong.
In my case, by virtue of a virus.
It's not that I had much of a plan - 'get outside and start moving' about sums it up - but I was intending, with Christmas out of the way and the New Year duly rung in (actually, I was asleep by 10pm), to get on with my diet and exercise plans a few days at least ahead of this coming Sunday, when my Nine Month Countdown to the Cardiff Half Marathon formally begins.
But no. I have a filthy, horrible cold and outside is simply not somewhere I want to be right now.
Even so, I've adapted somewhat, and have concentrated instead on building up some motivation and inspiration. Some of my old books on nutrition, running and general exercise have been dragged off their shelves and pored over, and I've treated myself to a couple of new ones thanks to vouchers I received over Christmas. I've always found that reading widely about something gets me focussed on, and immersed in, that subject - so reading is probably the best start I can make at this point.
I'm hoping to be better on Sunday - which, as well as being nine calendar months away from the Half Marathon, is also exactly 39 weeks from it - and able to report on Monday that I have indeed made a start on losing around five stone in weight (yikes!) and recovering my running fitness. Along the way, I'm hoping to do a 10k race, an 8-mile fun run and, once I've lost enough weight, a tandem parachute jump (no promises!). More importantly, I will be accepting that things don't always go according to plan and that I can only do my best at any given time. I hope that my best is good enough to take me across that Cardiff Half finish line in under two hours on October 7th, and I will be doing my utmost to achieve that - but I won't be berating myself if it doesn't pann out that way.
In the end, our best is all any of us can do, and I wish all of you with plans to achieve certain goals in 2018 lots and lots of luck - but lots of understanding too. Let's all aim high - but remember that the important decision is the one we have made to simply try.
Do keep me posted with your progress, no matter what the challenge you've set yourself.