Vail Daily column: Stick to your resolutions for 2017 |

Vail Daily column: Stick to your resolutions for 2017

We are in the midst of the most chaotic week of the year in our valley. This joyous season is always mixed with love, family, warmth and ugly sweaters. The holiday season is also filled with stress, busyness and frustration.

The symptoms of these times are often intolerable. I experienced an unfortunate event at a local grocery store on Christmas Eve that compelled me to consider our own dilemma with New Year’s resolutions.

Navigating City Market in Avon on Christmas Eve often involves getting hit in the parking lot. Being pinned against the produce wall is all too common. My shins getting bruised several times by grocery carts at the helm of hard charging tourists is what I signed up for. What I didn’t anticipate is an unexpected confrontation over beef stock.

As it turned out, as I was removing beef stock from the shelf and placing it in my cart, I was bombarded by an audacious man who claimed that the item was rightfully his. He demanded the stock, despite that the item was sitting on the shelf unpressured from any other grubby hands who may have fought forth, was duly his. I was awestruck. What was I going to do? Be a better man in the holiday spirit and give the stock to this chap? It wasn’t as if I took the item from his cart and declared war.

Any reasonable individual would clearly see the outrage in that potential scenario. No, he absolutely insisted that the beef stock ought to be his, even though I took the item off of the shelf without anyone within an arm’s reach at the time. I stood my ground. However, in my own dizzy spell of disbelief moments later, this man had me convinced that maybe I actually did something wrong.

Win the war

Here’s the point. Even though this entitled civilian had lost the battle, I’m absolutely positive he is winning the war. A good friend of mine once told me to never worry about winning the battles, worry about winning the war. Boldness, conviction, courage, and the ability to stand there attempting to argue over something so minuscule is the key to your fitness resolve during this New Year.

Every year we resolve to make a change. We decide to finally do it. The problem is that we fizzle out after a few weeks because we lose the ability to look at the man in the mirror and say, “give me the beef stock you fool.” We aren’t courageous enough to stand up against our own selves that get in the way.

I’m convinced that the only thing that ever gets in the way of our New Year’s resolutions is ourselves. We don’t stand up to our old bad habits. We tell ourselves it’s OK to take it easy. After a few weeks in, when we feel we have earned a reward, we don’t stop and say “hey, that behavior is what got you there in the first place.” Do you ever stop and stand up to your pathetic self? I often don’t stand up to myself. I sleep better at night telling myself that it’s OK, “you’re just a man, go get ’em tomorrow!”

Well, in the spirited voice of Apollo Creed in “Rocky III,” “there is no tomorrow!” Listen friend, it’s time to get out of the way. It’s time to make a resolution to get it done this new year. I’m not talking about physical fitness exclusively. I can tell you for certain this has been a long, weary year for yours truly.

It’s been a hard road because I have gotten in the way of good things. I’m sure you’ve gotten in the way of yourself, too. Want to be a better husband this year? Take responsibility. Do you want that promotion at work? How about losing the 20 pounds you’ve been holding onto for years? The fact that you know how to lose it makes it that much worse. Make the choice, friend. How are you going to respond?

Will you lose battles along the way? Certainly. The man in the soup aisle lost a battle on Saturday. Surely his dispositions have won him more than he’s lost. After all, if he never said anything, his chances of redeeming the beef stock would have been zero. How are you going to respond this year when the temptation to quit whispers in your ear? Here’s your challenge — look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Give me the beef stock you fool.” You should hand it over gladly. Happy new year!

Ryan Richards has a B.S. from Ohio University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is the personal trainer at the Sonnenalp Golf Club and the owner of R2HP, an athlete consulting and personal training company. Richards’ passion comes from overcoming childhood obesity and a T1-L3 spinal fusion. Contact him at or 970-401-0720.

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