‘I want to stop making excuses’: Routt County experts provide recreation resolution inspiration

Nearly 500 people participated in the 40th anniversary of the Steamboat Marathon in 2021. Completing a marathon, half marathon or even a 5K is a great resolution for anyone looking to push themselves in 2022.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

It’s officially 2022: Your social media timelines will be full of people announcing fad diets, declaring impossible-to-reach milestones and concluding it all with #NewYearNewMe. But you know better than that.

If you are the type to use the new year to set new goals, (we are actually able to set new goals any day of the year) you can set smart, enjoyable and attainable resolutions.

Routt County is full of casual and not-so casual athletes. With our streets full of triathletes, ultra runners and Olympians, it’s safe to say a lot of people in Steamboat know how to set and achieve their recreational goals.

Not everyone has to go to the same lengths that professional athletes do, but can turn to the pros for aid in establishing and meeting goals.

Set challenging, achievable goals

Resolutions are meant to not only push ourselves, but to improve ourselves and perhaps the world around us.

At the same time, goals shouldn’t set someone up for failure. Resolutions with benchmarks make progress more obvious. Setting realistic, manageable standards is better for our mental health.

Alex Pond, a real estate agent, mountain biker and one of the people behind the Ski Ascent Series, has seen his goals change in recent years as his family started to grow. With a young daughter, he’s had less time to race and train. His definition of physical activity has shifted.

“My goals for the upcoming year are really just maintaining fitness for the times that I can get out and to have as much fun as possible,” Pond said.

“Just take advantage of every minute that you have, whether you get out for a 20 minute run with the dog or you can get out for two hours and enjoy time outside,” he added. “Any little bit of time is always good for your mental and physical (health). … All those little things add up in helping you maintain your fitness. It doesn’t have to look like any sort of workout. It’s all physical activity.”

Try something new

Kayaking, or any water sport, could be a fun, new thing to try in 2022. Don’t think you have to be as wild as the Fish Creek Kayak Race participants, seen during the Yampa River Festival.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Cara Marrs, a nutritionist, mom, wife and race director with the Steamboat Running Series, sets ambitious goals each year.

She’s already signed up for many races throughout the year, culminating with Run Rabbit Run in September. She’s hoping to hydrate more and keep up with a variety of activities throughout the year, but mostly, she wants to try something new.

“I am an avid skier and like to backcountry ski and go on hut trips, and ski on the mountain all the time, but one of my resolutions is to skate ski more,” Marrs said. “Well, actually, start skiing because I haven’t gone in years.”

Thankfully, between sport shops and gyms, there are endless opportunities to try something casually in Steamboat Springs. It’s easy to rent snowshoes or a mountain bike, or take a pilates class.

For those looking to get into trail running, Marrs recommends the Spring Creek 5K as a beginner-friendly introduction into the sport and the running series. Registration for all the races is open now.

Recreation Resolution Ideas

– Push yourself

– Try something new

– Give back

– Be green

“Having something on the books that you’ve signed up for is a great motivator,” she said.

Laraine Martin, executive director of Routt County Riders, took up fat biking last year, which was difficult. She suggests beginners start on county roads. They’re flat and out of the way, free of pressure from the crowds on Emerald.

She’s hoping to learn to kayak, something she’s wanted to do for years. The death of Adam Mayo in December inspired her to finally do it.

“For me, I really want to stop making excuses and putting things off,” she said. “Next year in 2022, it’s going to be all about, for me, living in the present. I want to finally get myself in a kayak.”

Give back

James and Addy Mae Howser clean a portion of the river bank as part of the 2021 Yampa River Cleanup.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Recreation-related or not, giving back or spending more time helping others is a go-to and admirable goal. There are ample options in Routt County, including the Yampa River Cleanup and trail maintenance days.

Martin said one of the Routt County Rider’s resolutions is to have a calendar of trail maintenance days set further in advance, allowing more people to plan to participate.

“We want to be able to stack some more of that planning on the front end, so it doesn’t seem so last minute,” she said. “So folks can fill that into their plans for the summer.”

Be Green

It’s pretty easy to better the Earth while bettering ourselves. When exploring, hiking, cross country skiing or just walking the dog, pack a trash bag and gloves to snag any stray trash you find. Follow and share Leave No Trace principles. Follow all signs, be aware of any closures and fire bans.

When you’re out there buying a new planner for 2022, consider getting a clear water bottle, too. No one needs to reinvent themselves in the new year, but we could all certainly stand to be better hydrated.

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