Holiday Wishes and a Magical New Year to YOU

December 22, 2009 By Uta Pippig and the Take The Magic Step® Team
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Many good wishes to YOU, our reader, from all of us here at Take The Magic Step! We hope you can celebrate the holidays with joy, and rejoice in a well deserved time together with your family and friends. May the coming days be filled with happiness, peace, and fitness. When you reflect on the past year we hope you are pleased with what you have achieved: maybe a successful year of fitness, thanks to exercising, and training. A year of enduring and never giving up!

Wintertime in Colorado… © private
Wintertime in Colorado… © private

We would like to pass on our special Thank YOU for visiting our Web site—for your ongoing interest, your caring thoughts, and invaluable feedback. We hope you find our training, fitness and health information helpful, and that you took inspiration from our updates and special features about our charity activities this past year. We were able to strengthen our support of our wonderful charity partners, especially SOS Outreach, Team Hoyt, and Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. The strength and passion of the people who are involved in these extremely caring groups inspired us as well. We salute their unceasing care, hard work, unity and compassion.

As the New Year approaches, building excitement and hopes for the future in every one of us, our entire team would like to extend to you our personal wishes for 2010 and beyond. I hope you don’t mind my sending our friends here at Take The Magic Step a heartfelt Thank You for their endless support this past year. Without their knowledge and care this Web site would not be possible. Now the team is sending you these special thoughts, which may give you the inspiration to come closer to your ultimate goal of health, fitness and wellbeing.

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© private

If you have never been running before or didn’t take sports too seriously—why don’t you just start slowly and have some fun with long winter walks? Increase distances and durations of these walks and eventually begin running for a minute or two. Start slowly, increase steadily: before long you will find yourself becoming a real runner!—Florian; web manager and computer scientist

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to participate in a 5K run, maybe next spring? For beginners this is a good distance because it doesn’t require too much training. It is so exciting to get ready for the race, to run together with so many fellow runners, and then when you cross the finish line to be hugged by a loved one. That’s just wonderful!—Rosie Bachtler; translator, editor, and first time 5K runner

Many of us have busy schedules with work, home, travel etc. I travel often. The first thing I suggest packing is your running gear. I check the weather where I am going, pack accordingly, and when I open up my luggage at my destination, it is staring me in the face as a gentle reminder “you brought me here, might as well use me.”—Mike Reger; business adviser and passionate golfer

New Zealand's Christmas tree—the  pohutukawa—at the beach from Tauranga, North Island. © Betty Shepherd
New Zealand’s Christmas tree—the pohutukawa—at the beach from Tauranga, North Island. © Betty Shepherd

I’m back from a knee injury and so happy to get on my bike and enjoy the forest trails once again here in New Zealand. It’s great to join the birds back in nature. Turn your cell phone off and give it a try sometime!—Betty Shepherd; photographer in down under, photo editor, and trail biker

I tried paddle boarding in 2009 and it was awesome, letting me combine my love of the ocean with exercise and joyful excitement. Go for it—it is never too late to try a new sport or outdoor activity!—Steve Coz; manager, media consultant, and devoted paddle border

Since I am expecting a baby quite soon, I had to slow down this year: no more “high-energy” sports and hard running. But I have returned to yoga—and I love it! I’m focused on what’s important now. Even without a baby on the way, try yoga— you’ll soon find yourself feeling stronger than ever. Good luck!—Jutta Casdorff; translator and returning yoga enthusiast

About three years ago I tried my first yoga postures. Oewww! I was too aggressive and it hurt. But now I can manage an almost perfect angle on the left side. In 2010, I can’t wait to see how the right angle will develop. You’re never too old to try something new and find out more about helping your body stay young!—Piet Könnicke; writer and new yoga enthusiast

Organic homemade food can help the youngest among us to a healthy start in life. You might be lucky enough to have a local farmer with a Community-Supported Agriculture Subscription who can supply a weekly box of seasonal fruits and vegetables. To find a CSA farm in your area, check out the Web site www.localharvest.org.—Janett Walter; nutritional scientist, writer, and new mom

All my life I’ve somehow known the affect a good breakfast, a poor breakfast or no breakfast at all can have on my performance on that particular morning. Funnily enough it always affected mental performances more than physical ones. My suggestion for the coming year is to kick start your day with a great breakfast to give your body the best possible fuel. Terrific options are oatmeal, or yoghurt with fruits, or a smoothie.—Dieter Hogen; coach and nutritional advisor

Let’s all encourage a youngster to run in 2010. Maybe we can build on the most interesting trend I see in our sport: the dramatic increase in the numbers of young women who are enthusiastically flocking to road races. Next step could be making the 10-15 age group totally cool for girls and boys. I plan to do my bit by running more with my 10-year-old granddaughter—while I can still keep up with her!—David Wright; writer and proud granddad

If you’ve never tried cross-country, this is the season to start, especially if you live in the kind of climate where winter means cold, wind and perhaps a liberal amount of snow. The body has to work harder to adjust to uneven ground, bringing extra training benefits and I believe it improves concentration. It’s even better if you can find areas of forest or woodland where you can feel the season changing.—Andy Edwards; journalist, broadcaster, and “winter runner”

If you are considering running your first marathon in 2010, a great race to do it is at the Napa Valley Marathon. Historic wineries, rustic landscapes, warm spectators, beautiful vistas, and a downhill point-to-point make it the perfect venue to start your marathon career!—Duncan Larkin; editor, writer, and marathon enthusiast

© Betty Shepherd
© Betty Shepherd

My final thoughts for the upcoming New Year: You might want to look for a way to perfect your training routine to achieve a better result in one of your upcoming running events. Maybe try adding more recovery to your fitness and training schedule, since proper recovery will help you run faster. You may be surprised to find that less can be more! Or perhaps just taking some time for YOU—even just half an hour a week—can be a great start to staying more energized and fulfilled. Maybe sipping tea with a friend, reading a book, or taking a walk could be a pleasant first step to a peaceful mind and happiness.

On behalf of the entire Take The Magic Step Team I send you heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a Magical and Happy New Year!

May you keep running on happy and peaceful trails! Yours in fitness and health,

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