For many people, the new year brings with it an opportunity for self improvement and a reminder of the things we would like to change about ourselves. Over the holidays, I had a chance to reflect on that as I spent time with my family in the Metroplex.

Over the last two years, my father and I have made it an annual tradition to go out for a hike and run on Christmas Eve when I come down to visit for the holidays. While I have never been the most active person in the world, I’ve always found it to be something fun to do instead of simply sitting on the couch.

In recent years, my father has become much more physically active, and I think this is a trait he is trying to impart on me as well.

For this year’s run, we went to Cedar Ridge. While he ran the trails, I walked them, and took the opportunity to take in nature in a way I normally don’t get to in my everyday life.

At about the middle of my hike, I got a call from my father, who was worried because he hadn’t run into me yet on the trails. Much to his surprise, considering I do not regularly exercise, I was about a quarter mile ahead of where he was. Despite my walking, and going up steep trails in some places, I was making very good time.

In spite of my boasting, I will admit that the trails were hard. By the end of the hike, about three miles, my calves were killing me, but I got a sense of accomplishment from it all.

I faced a second challenge on New Year’s Day when I was on duty for the Herald Democrat and was asked to cover Eisenhower State Park’s annual new year’s hike. At the time of the hike, the outside temperature was pushing only 25 degrees, and the wind near the lake was significantly colder.

Still, I bundled up and made the best of it, and by the end of that hike I felt proud of myself for doing it, despite how cold it was. I think in part, that adversity is what made it all the sweeter.

Happy birthday Friday to Lyndon Phea and Kedaylen Holt, both of Sherman.